Provincial housing bill means higher taxes city says
New housing rules will mean the city will need to raise taxes to pay for growth.
Well, that was not an ideal way for Canada to end its run at the World Cup. It was a fun run, and the team had the chance to move on, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. If nothing else, it’s given me a reason to work from my couch, which all the pets have taken a liking to.
Let’s get to the newsletter, shall we?
— Robert Hiltz, managing editor
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Monday: -1 🌡️ -9 | ☁️
Tuesday: 0 🌡️ -1 | ☁️
Wednesday: +9 🌡️ -2 | 🌧
City council: The first meeting of the new council and mayor will take place today at 10 am for a special session about the city’s ongoing lawsuit against the private consortium that operates the LRT. The meeting is expected to be in camera, meaning not open to the public.
LRT Inquiry: The final report of the hearings into the various O Train failures will be released Wednesday. The commissioner said he believes they’ve identified the maintenance and construction problems that have plagued the system. [CBC]
New rules mean property tax hikes
What happened: As the province’s enormous housing bill approaches its final vote, City of Ottawa staff warned in a memo it could cost the city $60 million per year. Today, MPPs are expected to vote whether to end debate on the legislation and move ahead with the final vote, which is expected in the two weeks before the holiday break.
The problem: The bill strips out the ability for cities to impose development charges on many new constructions. Typically, those charges pay for infrastructure like water and sewers, libraries, community centres, and so on. To build that, the money needs to come from somewhere:
- “The only readily identifiable source to make up the significant funding shortfall are existing taxpayers, who would be required to fund the studies and capital investments necessary to deliver services, amenities and infrastructure needed to support growth,” city staff said. “Meaning conclusively that growth will not pay for growth.”
It’s not just the city raising the alarm. The Regional Planning Commissioners of Ontario told CBC the fiscal implications for cities will be widespread. “Development charges are the backbone of how you get complete communities,” commission chair Thom Hunt said.
Late changes: Last week, the government made some changes to the bill. Among the big shifts, according to The Narwhal were reinstating certain rights:
- Cities will once again be able to set some environmental standards on new buildings, mostly restricted to green roofs and landscaping;
- Third parties like environmental groups or citizens will be able to file appeals;
- Regulations speeding up the mining of aggregate — gravel, sand, and other materials — have been removed.
OTTAWA BY THE NUMBERS
🛶 $9.8 million: The amount of money tourist spots in the region received from the federal government. [OBJ]
🚔 2%: The number of calls to police for service from July to September decreased this much, compared to the same period last year. [CityNews]
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Beyond the platform, Uber and UFCW Canada have also agreed to press provincial governments for industry-wide standards like a minimum earning standard, a benefits fund, and access to workers’ rights.
Better is possible, when everyone works together.
Mooney’s Bay sledding hill ruled too dangerous
What happened: After a fatal accident last year, the city decided the hill in Mooney’s Bay Park is too dangerous to allow tobogganing. The city will put up fencing in the winter to deter people from using it for sledding, a city memo said.
- Last year an 11-year-old girl died when the sled she was on spun around and collided with a metal fence post at the bottom. Abi Assal died of her injuries.
Closed: The city officially removed the hill as an approved sledding hill in 2017 after several injuries, but it was still used by residents. Last summer, before the accident, the city had done a safety review of the hill and determined there was no way to substantially improve the safety of the hill, and it should be closed to sledding, CBC reported.
Coun. Riley Brockington, who represents the area, said he was “very disappointed” the city released its memo without first consulting with him, CTV reported. He said he would like to see the city keep the hill open, and find a way to make it safe.
What to do this week
🍹 Made with Love Regional Finals, tonight: A cocktail competition between the city’s best bartenders at Savanna Lounge, 145 Besserer St. The theme is to draw inspiration from a bar that has marked their imagination. Tickets $70.
🎄 Trees of Hope silent auction, tonight: Come out to see the lighting of the Trees of Hope at the Chateau Laurier. It starts with a silent auction Nov. 28 with hundreds of local products, services, and experiences up for grabs, all to raise money for CHEO. Free admission.
🩰 The Nutcracker, Dec. 1-4: The quintessential holiday ballet comes to the NAC this week. See the return of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens after a 16-year absence from the city. Tickets start at $29.
💻 Ten years of the Impact Hub Ottawa, Nov. 30: Co-working space the Impact Hub is celebrating its first decade of existence at 123 Slater St. A dress-code free night of networking with food and wine courtesy of the Hub. Admission is free.
NEW LOCAL JOBS
Check out the new open positions in Ottawa.
💊 While shipments of children’s medication have arrived, pharmacists warn parents that supplies are still limited. [CTV]
🐶 A puppy was saved after falling into the St. Lawrence near Brockville by a local dive master who was nearby after the dog fell in. [Ottawa Citizen]
🚨 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he invoked the Emergencies Act because what he’d seen of police plans to clear downtown “wasn’t a plan at all.” [CBC]
🚛 The inquiry into the use of the Emergencies Act during the expulsion of the convoy is expected to cost about $19 million. [CBC]
📕 The French-language Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est has instituted a new dress code after students staged a walkout last year over a dress code “blitz” they said was inappropriate. [CTV]
- Instead of paying parking tickets with cash, in Kingston you pay your tickets in toys. [CTV]
- (Members only) One of the city’s best spots for Vietnamese sandwiches Banh Mi Yes will open a new location downtown.
- Santa Claus parades returned to three communities across the valley this weekend. [CTV]
- This spring, the Harlem Globetrotters will come to the Canadian Tire Centre to take on the lowly Washington Generals. [CityNews]
- Despite the loss, fans were thrilled by Canada’s World Cup performance at viewing parties around Ottawa. [Ottawa Citizen]
- You have to try the smoked rice at Moe’s BBQ, a restaurant that’s about more than just the meat.
- The new Orange Turtle Bakery has opened up with limited hours on St. Patrick Street with plenty of sweets to fill your cravings. [Reddit]
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It seems this weekend was a great one for sunrises, as this photo of the sun coming up over the Carp River by Reddit user Raskel_61 shows.
Do you have photos you’d like to see published in the newsletter? Send them our way! We love to shame them with the Lookout community.
Congrats to everyone who got last week’s Ottawa Wordle. The answer was WIDER, as in the city wants to make the Airport Parkway wider.
Onto this week’s quiz. The public testimony part of the convoy inquiry is now over and done with. How many weeks was downtown occupied by trucks last winter? The first five people to write in with the correct answer will get their names mentioned in the next issue.
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Where to watch the World Cup?
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