City Councillors sign open letter for Greenbelt investigation
Eleven city councillors have signed an open letter calling for an investigation into the provinces handling of the Greenbelt.
As I write this, I am sipping on one of my first pumpkin spice lattes of the season. It’s hard to believe we are already in fall. September is soon coming to a close and Halloween is a little more than a month off. Where has the year gone? Costco already has their Christmas decorations on shelves!
Today, we are writing about a group of councillors seeking more information about a Greenbelt-like land purchase that’s raising questions, plus a look at the Ottawa encampments.
— Charlie Senack, [email protected]
Wednesday: 20 🌡️ 9 | ⛅️
Thursday: 22 🌡️ 11 | 🌤️
Friday: 22 🌡️ 12 | 🌤️
Councillors call for Greenbelt investigation
What happened: Eleven Ottawa city councillors signed an open letter to the Auditor General Nick Stavropoulos and the Integrity Commissioner David Wake, calling on them to investigate the decision of the provincial government to expand the urban boundary, according to the CTV.
Background: The Minister of Housing added 1,281 hectares to build future suburbs in 2022. But an additional 654 hectares were added, including a 37-hectare farm slated to be used for agriculture, that the city had not originally included in the proposed land expansion.
The farm was bought for $12.7 million in 2021, from a company whose directors donated $12,315 to the Progressive Conservatives in 2021 and 2022, according to CBC.
The councillors: According to the Ottawa Citizen, the list of councillors includes:
Shawn Menard, Ottawa City Councillor for Ward 17
Glen Gower, Ottawa City Councillor for Ward 6
Ariel Troster, Ottawa City Councillor for Ward 14
Sean Devine, Ottawa City Councillor for Ward 9
Jessica Bradley, Ottawa City Councillor for Ward 10
Theresa Kavanagh, Ottawa City Councillor for Ward 7
Marty Carr, Ottawa City Councillor for Ward 18
Rawlson King, Ottawa City Councillor for Ward 13
Clarke Kelly, Ottawa City Councillor for Ward 5
Laine Johnson, Ottawa City Councillor for Ward 8
Riley Brockington, Ottawa City Councillor for Ward 16
The councillors on the list come from varying sides of the political isle. Former Ottawa mayor Jim Watson and others had spoken out against the decision to add the additional 654 hectares, saying it would increase urban sprawl and would cost taxpayers money, according to CBC.
What’s next: The councillors will introduce a motion at council today to ask all council members to back their appeal to the auditor general and integrity.
OTTAWA BY THE NUMBERS
🛥️ 17: The number of vessels affected by delays after a ship was stuck on the St. Lawrence near Cornwall. [CTV]
📱 $50,000: The amount of money a Renfrew County woman lost during a phone scam. [CTV]
👮♂️ $193M : The amount of money it will cost to build a new police station off Prince of Wales drive. [CityNews]
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Watch Jonathan's intro video here 🎥
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🏃♂️ A South Carleton High School alumni is embarking on a trek to raise money for the Shriner’s Hospital. [Manotick Messenger]
👮A call about a person with a gun at Arnprior school yesterday was not found to be true. Multiple schools were searched but police found nothing. [CityNews]
💸 A person in Renfrew is out over $50,000 after they got caught up in a crypto scam, using spoofed phone calls from fake government departments. [CityNews]
👮Police are looking into reports that shots were fired in Overbrook on Saturday evening. The Gangs Unit is also investigating. [CityNews]
Housing encampments grow
What happened: Housing encampments are at an all-time high in the city, according to CBC. But it has less to do with insufficient housing space and more with what’s available.
In an interview with CBC, one homeless man named Norman explained he prefers not to stay at the Ottawa Mission shelter because of the drug scene. Other reasons people choose not to stay include no pet options, not being able to stay with a partner or other trauma.
The data: The city estimates 260 people are sleeping outside, which exploded during the pandemic. So far, the city has dealt with 375 encampments, up from 343 for all of last year. Kale Brown, the city's manager of homelessness programs and shelter, says there is enough space to accommodate anyone who needs a place.
The problem: There are few permanent options for those seeking housing. Rent-gearered-to-income housing has a 12,000-person wait. With rents up from $1,628 in 2020 to $2,058 this year, it’s getting harder to afford a place.
A court decision in 2023 resulted in it being illegal to remove encampments if no other housing was available, according to CBC. This is similar to BC, and in Vancouver, which is dealing with their own encampments. But unlike Ottawa, Vancouver does not have enough space to house everyone.
Other encampments: An encampment located 100 metres from the École secondaire de l'Île in Outaouais resulted in the school hiring additional security, according to CBC. Outaouais is dealing with its own problem, with nearly 700 people experiencing homelessness between 2018 to 2022, five times higher than previously documented.
HOUSE OF THE WEEK
We are venturing a bit outside the core for this week’s house of the week.
This charming bungalow is located in the desirable neighbourhood of Shadow Ridge in Greely. It is situated on a spacious half-acre lot! This lovely home is enrolled in Ontario's microFIT program, featuring solar panels installed on the roof, allowing for sustainable energy generation and income to cover utility costs.
House of The Week is a home selected by the Lookout team and is not a paid advertisement. All ads are labelled as such. If you’re a realtor who wishes to feature your home in our newsletter, please contact our sales team.
👮♂️ Ottawa Police say an allegation of sexual abuse at a city of Ottawa-run daycare centre was unfounded. The daycare looks after kids aged 18 months to five years.[CTV]
🍎 It’s been a bad year for apple farmers. Some eastern Ontario farms are saying a series of particularly cold nights in May have all but ruined their apple-picking season. [CBC]
🔥 An Ottawa firefighter has been injured after battling a blaze in Bells Corners. The injury is considered “non-critical.” [CityNews]
🐼Get ready for the Panda Game… Officials are hoping to reduce the amount of problems from the popular football game between Ottawa and Carleton University football teams, with a more aggressive police presence and sanctioned tailgating. [Ottawa Citizen]
👮A child died after falling from a high-rise apartment Sunday afternoon. Police are investigating the cause of the death. [CityNews]
🚆Transit riders took to Ottawa city hall to oppose cuts to the transit system. The focus this week was on Para Transpo services, which they say are under threat. [CTV]
🍊 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is coming up this weekend. A number of events are taking place in the nation’s capital this week to provide residents with the opportunity to gather and reflect. [Ottawa Citizen]
👮 Ontario Provincial Police said they found no evidence of any weapon or suspicious activity after receiving a report that someone at an Arnprior school had a gun. [CTV]
🧑⚖️ An Ottawa woman is planning to file a human rights complaint against the Royal Bank of Canada after a routine trip to her branch to pick-up her credit card resulted in “a dehumanising and racist experience.” [CTV]
Here’s a list of lunch spots worth checking out in the downtown core. [OBJ]
📊 Love a good statistic? Check out Stat Significant, a weekly newsletter of data-driven insights on culture, sports & more. [Sponsored]
Country superstar Tim McGraw is coming to Ottawa in 2024. [CityNews]
Want to have your announcement featured? Contact our partnership team for more info.
Yes to Yes! Mama Kitchen
Ralf Joneikies/Ottawa Lookout
Capital Eats is written by our food editor Ralf Joneikies.
Those who love Vietnamese food love it a lot and by writing that, I suspect I speak for a large number of people.
Once occupied by Asian Stars restaurant, Yes! Mama Kitchen opened its doors July 6, on Clyde just south of Baseline. Part of the vision is to create a menu with items from the Vietnamese kitchen that are more unique to Ottawa.
In my early years experiencing Vietnamese food, I was, almost always, served Vietnamese spring rolls that had been deep fried in a rice wrapper. This was true of restaurants in either Toronto or Vancouver. In the last decade however I see more and more rolls made in wheat wrappers and I’ve been told more than once that this is actually the traditional Vietnamese way. Whatever the case, the spring rolls here are very good.
🏒 New Ottawa Senators owner Michael Andlauer says there is a desire to move the team to a new arena to LeBreton Flats. He said it could be costly, though, with a price tag of $900 million. [CTV]
🏒 Cyril Leeder has returned to his roots after being introduced as the Ottawa Senators chief executive officer and president. He returns to a job that has had difficulty staying filled in recent years. [Ottawa Sun]
Where was this photo taken? Last week’s photo was of a tree outside St Maurice Church on Perry Street near Meadowlands.
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