January 18, 2018: Provincial Report; OC150 Award.

January 18, 2018: Provincial Report;
OC150 Award.

By Yasir Naqvi MPP, Ottawa Centre.

On December 2nd, I was proud to recognize 50 women, 50 men and 50 youth with the #OC150 Award.

2017 has been a very special year for our country as we commemorated 150 years of Canada’s Confederation. Much like Expo ’67 was for Canada’s 100th birthday, 2017 has been a historic year and one to be remembered for generations to come.

In the past 150 years Canada has grown to become one of the most welcoming, diverse and peaceful nations in the world. This would not have been possible without nation’s most important asset — our people.

In a year focused on celebrating our province and country, as your MPP I wanted to honour local residents who embody the qualities and values that make Ottawa, Ontario and Canada great.

On December 2nd, I was proud to recognize 50 women, 50 men and 50 youth with the #OC150 Award. These dedicated volunteers have committed their time and talent to our community and continue to serve Ottawa Centre making Canada one of the greatest country to live in.

The award ceremony was emceed by CTV Ottawa’s Stefan Keyes, and the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, delivered a keynote speech at a special reception hosted by Carleton University.

#OC150 Award recognized community members who have contributed Ottawa Centre in one of the following ways:

  1. Celebrating diversity/inclusion,
  2. Building community/capacity,
  3. Protecting the heritage of,
  4. Promoting a healthy community.

The 150 recipients we have recognized are true community builders whose contributions have made our national capital a place we are all proud to call home. It is thanks to them that we can enjoy Ottawa Centre as one of the most welcoming, diverse and accessible communities in Canada.
A full list of recipients is available at http://www.yasirnaqvimpp.ca .

Thank you to all the nominators for taking the time to help recognize the efforts of many deserving community leaders in Ottawa Centre. It has been an honour to celebrate our recipients vital contributions to our community.

Please accept my best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2018. As always, do not hesitate to contact me at the Community Office at 613-722-6414 or email at ynaqvi.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org .
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Photo Caption: The #OC150 Awards recognized contributions from community members to improve life in communities across Canada. Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi recognozsed 150 recipients. Photos courtesy of Y. Naqvi.

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January 18, 2018: Federal Report; Summer Jobs Program 2018.

January 18, 2018: Federal Report;
Summer Jobs Program 2018.

By Catherine McKenna, MP, Ottawa-Centre.

Calling Ottawa Centre Employers: Applications Open for Canada Summer Jobs Program.

Canada’s future prosperity depends on young Canadians getting the education and experience they will need to succeed in their careers. Our government understands that doing this requires access to meaningful work experience. That’s why we are committed to helping organizations hire young people through the Canada Summer Jobs program.

A summer job is a critical way for students to get the kind of valuable work experience that employers look for on a résumé, all while earning money for the upcoming school year.

Since its inception in 2007, the Canada Summer Jobs program has funded thousands of employers and created hundreds of thousands of student jobs. In 2017, over $1.3 million dollars was invested into Ottawa Centre to employ more than 300 young people.

Through the program, eligible small businesses, not-for-profits, and public-sector employers are able to subsidize the wages of full-time students. Small businesses with 50 or fewer employees and public-sector employers can receive up to 50 per cent of the minimum hourly wage, while not-for-profit organizations can receive up to 100 per cent of the minimum hourly wage.

I often say the youth are the leaders of today. Hiring a student brings energy and ideas into the workplace. They have important and influential voices within our communities and are a large part of what helps small businesses and not-for-profit organizations thrive.

As an employer in the Canada Summer Jobs program, you will play a vital role in generating employment, fostering entrepreneurship and preparing our youth for the future. When you hire young people, our local economy is boosted and young people gain access to experiences they need to prepare for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

For more information, including the eligibility criteria and application guide, please visit Canada.ca/Canada-Summer-Jobs, a Service Canada Centre, or call 1-800-935-5555 .
Applications will be accepted until February 2, 2018 .
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Photo Caption: Catherine McKenna, MP Ottawa Centre Photo courtesy C. McKenna

January 18, 2018: Councillor’s Corner; City news.

January 18, 2018: Councillor’s Corner;
City news.

By Jeff Leiper, Councillor, Kitchissippi Ward.

Happy New Year, Kitchissippi! We hope that everyone had a restful holiday season. We’re back in the swing of things and excited to tackle all the challenges and opportunities 2018 has to offer.

Before the break, we were thrilled to pull off a successful tree-lighting ceremony in Roy Duncan Park. This year we got the whole tree lit; big thank you to Giant Tiger for the lights, Dovercourt for equipment, and Taggart Construction for the use of a cherry picker to string the tree.

One of the issues we’ll face in 2018 is the new inclusionary zoning regulations set forth for comment by Queen’s Park. Inclusionary zoning gives municipalities the power to force developers to include a portion of affordable housing in new housing developments.

This would be huge for Kitchissippi, as much of the growth happening inside the Greenbelt is happening here; not surprising when we consider how LRT will transform our neighbourhoods, placing five stations in our ward alone.

This growth increases property values. Without intervention, it’s likely there will be very little affordable housing in Kitchissippi in the coming decades. This creates barriers for many Ottawans to access transit in our ward, and will have a negative impact on our communities.

Unfortunately, I feel the inclusionary zoning regulations have some problems. Core issues include: the rules only apply to ownership; municipalities will be required to subsidize developers’ affordable units by 40%, cash-in-lieu of parkland and development charge waivers would be used as part of the subsidy; and, affordability would be defined at a neighbourhood, not city-wide level. You can read a detailed copy of the regulations on the blog, but ultimately I feel that these new inclusionary zoning regulations in their current state won’t be much help to Kitchissippi.

Essentially, cities will be required to set out locations in their Official Plans where inclusionary zoning rules would be applicable to buildings with 20 or more units. The affordable units would be limited to 5% of a development or 10% if the building is in a high demand area due to access to transit. Cities must then lay out a detailed housing plan and guarantee that units would be affordable for a minimum of 20 but a maximum of 30 years. Clearly, this is a complex issue that will require some careful thought. If you have ideas, please drop me a line.

As Kitchissippi continues to grow, we need to work together to ensure it’s the best it can be.

Don’t forget: our next Pop-Up Office will be held at Freshii in Westboro (342 Richmond Road) from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 27th. While January is giving us some winter weather, we may as well enjoy it. The SJAM Winter Trail is fully open, having reached its fundraising goal of $20,000. Thank you for keeping this pathway open and making our city just a little bit greater.
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Photo Caption: Pictured here at the Hintonburg 5K Run, Kitchissippi community activist Jeff Leiper regularly bicycles to his job at City Hall. Photo by T. Hairbach.

January 18, 2018: Neilly’s Neighbourhood; Winter Readiness.

January 18, 2018: Neilly’s Neighbourhood;
Winter Readiness.

By Cst. Dawn Neilly.

Even if you normally drive and think you’re protected from the elements, equip your vehicle for the possibility of an accident or a breakdown that could leave you exposed to the cold.

Happy New Year! I hope 2018 has started off on the right foot for everyone and that it will be a healthy, happy time for all. Let’s talk about some tips to help that happen.

We all know that winter has to start sometime, but I think most of us were somewhat surprised by the unusual deep freeze in December. Temperatures in the minus 20’s can be real killers if we’re not prepared for them. And the likelihood of more for the rest of January and into February is a strong possibility.

If you’re a walker and/or a transit user, bundle up! Don’t assume that your destination can be reached without difficulty. The cold has lots of ways to make us miserable (think: waiting for a bus that’s late – it happens!), so always assume the potential for trouble is there. Even if you normally drive and think you’re protected from the elements, equip your vehicle for the possibility of an accident or a breakdown that could leave you exposed to the cold.

Speaking of driving, ‘tis the season to adapt your habits to cope with dangerous road conditions, which could be anything from heavy snowfall to freezing rain. Don’t drive so fast that you can’t stop easily and safely if the situation warrants.

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a Good Samaritan, winter is the season with the potential for opportunities to find out. Keep an eye out for anyone who might not be properly dressed or who is showing signs of frostbite. Your help could be anything from a word of warning to practical assistance to whatever extent is possible: an offer of a ride? A pair of mittens or a hat? If you see someone who needs assistance but you’re reluctant to approach, don’t hesitate to call the Ottawa Police at 613-236-1222 .

Bottom line: don’t take the weather for granted in a season when it can go to extremes. Stay warm and have a safe winter!
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Photo Caption: Constable Dawn Neilly Photo by T. Hairbach.

January 18, 2018: Science Moment; Supermoon for January 31 viewing.

January 18, 2018: Science Moment;
Supermoon for January 31 viewing.

By T. Hairbach.

The coming super moon on January 31 will also feature a partial lunar eclipse. Moonrise occurs at 5:31 p.m. in Ottawa, and the eclipse will begin at 8:31 p.m. Although only a partial eclipse, this eclipse will be visible from Ottawa, clouds permitting. If you’re going out to see it, dress warmly and bring a camera. Newswest would love to share your photos. You can send them to editor@newswest.org .

[ED: a reader replies:
Dear Editor,

The so called “Supermoon” occured on January 1 which was the closest full Moon to the Earth of 2018 and will not be on January 31 as stated in the article.

The January 31 full Moon is known as a “Blue Moon”, as this is a rare occasion when a full Moon occurs twice in the same calendar month.

The January 31 full Moon will feature a total lunar eclipse for locations west of the Manitoba/Ontario border, however from Ottawa, a partial lunar eclipse is only visible due to the Moon setting at 7:25am.

The correct time for the beginning of the lunar eclipse is 6:47am and not 8:31pm as stated in the article.

Mark Narwa
AMeN Observatory, Westboro


And for more checkout the CBC coverage:
How to watch the ‘blue moon’ lunar eclipse]

January 18, 2018: Compelling Theatre, Close to Home; Bear and Company.

January 18, 2018: Compelling Theatre, Close to Home;
Bear and Company.

By Allyson Domanski.

“Compelling theatre, close to home.” That’s the mandate of Bear & Co., a professional indie theatre collective and a resident company at The Gladstone Theatre. Barely five and a half years old, Bear is about to open its 18th play for a limited run at The Gladstone from January 17-27.

Bear’s production of playwright George Brant’s Grounded is just the latest in a string of Ottawa premieres by the company. This award-winning one-woman show became an Off-Broadway hit starring A-lister Anne Hathaway as an elite air force fighter pilot, proficient at dropping bombs over Afghanistan and Iraq, who gets grounded once she becomes pregnant, only to be reassigned to Nevada’s ‘chair force’ to operate drones continents away from her targets.

A trio of equally formidable women is behind Bear & Co.’s production of Grounded.
Alexis M. Scott dons the flight suit to white-knuckle the audience through the emotional power trip of feminism going head to head with female biology. Director/actor/producer Eleanor Crowder is one-half of Bear & Co., while Hintonburg’s own Rachel Eugster is the other half of its genius. (Eugster is also Bear’s music director, actor, writer of an award-winning children’s book, community activist and formerly a long-time soloist at Parkdale United Church.)

After seeing Grounded in New York, Crowder was so taken by its powerful script that she had to produce it. Crowder, who directs Scott in a role whose hard edges turn anything but mushy, had this to say: “A solo show is a marathon, a triumphant display of talent and sweat. This text is exactly that. A sweep of action and insight that asks the performer to pour every ounce of strength into her work. Alexis is the actor for this role. She is utterly compelling.”

Scott, a 2015 Prix Rideau Award nominee for her work as an emerging artist and a graduate of the Ottawa Theatre School, currently works out of Toronto. She has acted in past Bear productions, including Shakespeare’s Macbeth, The Tempest, and The Comedy of Errors.
Bear performs indoors and out, with casts large and small, offering works from the Elizabethan era to the present day.

Eugster says they typically put on three shows per year, starting with “something really daring” (like Grounded), followed by summer Shakespeare in the Park (Romeo and Juliet, 2017; Macbeth, 2016), followed by a fall musical revue (No Way To Say Goodbye: Songs of Leonard Cohen in 2017; and Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris in 2016).

A small company that punches way more than its own weight, Bear chooses works that intrigue and please audiences while delivering peak power from its artists.
Catch Grounded before it takes off.

CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM:

  • Director: Eleanor Crowder;
  • The Pilot: Alexis M. Scott;
  • Sound design: Daniel Claxton;
  • Cello effects: Raphael Weinroth-Browne.

PERFORMANCE DETAILS:

  • January 18-27 (preview January 17)
  • Tuesday – Saturday at 7:30 p.m.;
  • Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets: at The Gladstone thegladstone.ca/grounded/
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Photo Caption: Bear and Co.’s Alexis Scott

January 18, 2018: From Mechanical Engineer to Spiritual Engineer; St. Stephen’s Welcomes New Minister.

January 18, 2018: From Mechanical Engineer to Spiritual Engineer;
St. Stephen’s Welcomes New Minister.

By Charles Singh.

“Church Street”, as Parkdale Avenue was once known, is celebrating the arrival of a new minister.

St Stephen’s Presbyterian welcomed Rev. Meg Patterson, graduate of the Knox College, University of Toronto with her Masters in Divinity. Meg has a life-long association with the Presbyterian Church but prior to her call to ministry she worked as a mechanical engineer. She and her husband Ian have three wonderful children ages nine and six (twins) and all are settling in to their new adventure in Ottawa and with the family of St. Stephen’s.

“It is a joy for me to plan and lead worship,” says Rev. Patterson, “ I gave my first sermon at the age of 14, and it has been something I have enjoyed since then. I like to experiment a bit with my preaching style, although it is always based on Scripture. Music has always been important to me, and I appreciate meaningful, theologically sound, sing-able praise songs that speak to the theme of the Scripture for the day. I love ministering within a community of people who are passionate for Christ and for God’s mission within their neighbourhood, as well as in the larger global context. I see the entire congregation as ministers of grace and love, where I am the pastor of ministers, equipping people to be Christ’s hands and feet in the community.”

St. Stephen’s has a proud history in the west-end, and was founded as a result of a burgeoning Church School after the second world-war. It was one of those Churches that sponsored Vietnamese Refugees back in the late 70’s.

Within the neighbourhood, St. Stephen’s is a proud partner and active supporter of the Parkdale Food Center, the Youth Services Bureau; A.A., the Ottawa West Community Support, the Forward Shelter and Campus Ministry at Algonquin College.

Rev. Patterson hopes that St. Stephen’s will continue to have a positive impact in our Community.