News & Updates

Happy New Year, crisis pilot update, response to recent tickets and VUT declaration time

Happy New Year, crisis pilot update, response to recent tickets and VUT declaration time

Happy New Year! I hope you were able to get some downtime and the ability to connect with friends and loved ones over the last couple of weeks. I am back from a family trip and gearing up for a busy few weeks at City Hall and in the community. While things have been relatively quiet since I last wrote to you, I wanted to update you on a few key issues.

Seasons Greetings and winter resources

What a year it’s been. It has been an absolute honour to represent Somerset Ward at City Hall and to engage with residents on issues big and small. I couldn’t have done this without an amazing team and I want to tell you more about them and the work they have done for the community.

As We Heard It - Community Safety Report

We have all noticed the changes in Centretown. More boarded up storefronts, less vitality, more people sleeping rough or using drugs in public. It is within this context that Somerset Ward Councillor Ariel Troster, took the initiative to assemble a community safety panel. Panel members included Ottawa Centre MPP Joel Harden, Dawn Lyons (Somerset West Community Health Centre), Bobby Jamison (Centretown resident with lived experience with drug use), Michael Wallack (President of the Centretown BIA), and Constable Paul Stam (community police liaison officer). The meeting was attended by residents and businesses from downtown Ottawa.

Below is a report outlining the takeaways and results from this meeting.

Somerset Ward mailer volume 16: Saving Plouffe Park, understanding the city budget, safety improvements to Gladstone and more

Somerset Ward mailer volume 16: Saving Plouffe Park, understanding the city budget, safety improvements to Gladstone and more

Dear neighbour,

Land use planning is political. The decisions that we make about how to use city-owned land today will have an impact on our children and grandchildren’s future. At every council meeting, we begin with a land acknowledgement, reminding ourselves that Ottawa sits on the unceded and unsurrendered territory of the  Anishinaabe Algonquin People.

Centretown selected for alternative mental health response pilot

Dear neighbour,

I know how much Centretown has been struggling with the impact of the overdose, mental health and homelessness crises. I receive dozens of emails a week from residents who don’t know what to do when confronted with open drug use, erratic behaviour, or displays of psychological distress by people on our streets or in local businesses and community spaces.

Somerset Ward mailer volume 15: Protecting the Experimental Farm, standing up for trans kids and more

Somerset Ward mailer volume 15: Protecting the Experimental Farm, standing up for trans kids and more

Dear neighbour,

The thing that constantly amazes me about this job is that I never know what I am going to learn a lot about very quickly. In the last few months, I have had to study up on the Transportation Master Plan, the right-of-way guidelines governing front-yard gardens, and the regulations governing zoning amendments. This week, it was all about the shadow impacts of a potential high-rise development on the Experimental Farm.

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