City going to flat-fee garbage payments

The city plans to change the way garbage is paid for. Plus, ambulance delays are getting worse.

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Good morning!

One of the great things about running a small publication like the Lookout is we’re able to respond more directly to our audience. That’s why every year we run a reader survey.

We want to know what you like about the newsletter, what you love, and what you’d like to see improved. It also gives you a chance to tell us what sort of coverage you think we’re missing.

So, if you’ve got a few minutes, we’d really appreciate it if you could fill out our annual summer survey. It helps us tweak the Lookout to better serve you all.

There’s plenty to get to today, so let’s get to it.

— Robert Hiltz, managing editor


Monday: 15 🌡️ 10 | 🌧

Tuesday: 23 🌡️ 14 | ☁️

Wednesday: 26 🌡️ 16 | 🌤


Solid waste master plan unveiled

What happened: The city plans to implement a flat-rate garbage fee and will steadily increase rates over the next decade as it looks to claw back a reserve-fund deficit. In a briefing to council and the public, city staff said Ottawa’s garbage rates were well below many other Canadian cities. Even though the cost will rise, staff expect it to stay below other municipalities.

  • The city’s reserve accounts are underfunded by $25 million, CBC reported.

Status quo: As it stands, the city pays for garbage partly through an annual garbage fee, and partially through a tax levy. The tax averages out to $56 per household, but the amount varies by property value, with a flat fee for all homes of $148. The new plan would make a flat fee of $227.

City of Ottawa

City of Ottawa

The long view: The city faces a major long-term issue as the Trail Road Waste Facility is approaching the end of its lifespan. Having to build a new dump for 2036 would cost more than half a billion dollars, staff estimate. So, to extend the dump’s life, the city is looking to divert more waste away from the landfill and into other streams like recycling and composting. Staff expect the solid waste master plan to extend the life of the dump by 14 years to 2049 and reduce carbon emissions by about 9,000 tonnes per year.

City of Ottawa

Burn it all? Staff are also looking at the possibility of building an incinerator that would convert garbage to energy, but that isn’t included in the current plan. A report on that is expected next year, according to CBC. That could cost the city $450 million to build.

The full solid waste master plan comes to the environment committee next week.

Last chance to invest before this company becomes a household name

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They have patented the only mass market shade automation device, and their exclusive deal with Best Buy resembles that which led Ring and Nest to their billion-dollar buyouts.


👦 $720,600: This year’s CHEO Telethon raised this much for the children’s hospital. In five years, CHEO wants to be able to give kids the care they need within the clinically recommended time. Only about half are able to currently. [CTV]

🌲 26,000: The number of trees planted on properties across Ottawa and other municipalities in the region to heal damage from the 2022 derecho that levelled tens of thousands of trees across the region. [CBC]


Paramedic offload times worse than ever

Ottawa hospital

Robert Hiltz/Ottawa Lookout

What happened: An already stretched paramedic service waited an average of 8.6% longer to offload patients at local hospitals last year, putting speedy service further at risk, CBC reported. Ambulance crews are losing an average of 559 hours per day waiting for their patients to be seen by hospital staff.

  • These delays have meant that there have been no ambulances available for calls 1,672 times in 2023.

Compound problem: Paramedics are in charge of patient care until a bed is available for them at a hospital. Longer ER waits mean not just longer waits for patients, but for medics as well. 

Lack of doctors: Part of the issue goes back to the lack of family doctors. Without a primary care physician to go to, residents are instead forced to visit the ER for treatment. Councillors on the emergency preparedness committee are planning a motion to directly ask the provincial health minister for more resources for Ottawa hospitals and healthcare. 

Slow response times: For the paramedic service, this has all meant that they’re unable to answer serious calls promptly, CTV reported. Ambulances only made it to life-threatening calls 68% of the time within the target of eight minutes. They were only able to make it within the 10-minute target for urgent calls 68.8% of the time. 

  • While waiting longer than ever to offload patients, paramedics also receive more calls for service than ever with 193,127 calls, a 4.9% increase from the year before.


Check out the new open positions in Ottawa.

  1. Marketing manager at Mad Radish

  2. Sustainability reporting senior advisor at Canadian Air Transport urity Authority

  3. Environmental specialist at Clean Water Works

  4. Ergonomic consultant at Ergo-Safety

  5. Economic modelling specialst at the CMHC

Local jobs are selected by the Lookout team and are not paid ads, unless specifically noted. 


🗳️ Former councillor Maude Marquis-Bissonnette will be the next mayor of Gatineau. She won the byelection with more than 40 percent of the vote. [CBC]

🏚️ Several homeowners are paying the price for the mistakes of their homes’ previous owners, as they end up with bills under the new vacant unit tax. The city said that taxes are applied to properties, not owners so it’s up to new buyers to pay the tax. [CBC]

🪧 The townhouse that was the site of a mass killing is up for sale. The Barrhaven townhouse is listed for $599,900. [Ottawa Citizen]

⚖️ An appeal of the Lansdowne 2.0 plan by the Glebe Community Association was dismissed after a provincial law preventing third-party appeals to proposed developments went into force. [CTV]

😷 Ottawa Public Health said it needs more funding from the provincial government to keep up with its workload. The city saw an increase in infectious diseases of 6%, excluding the flu and COVID. [CBC]

⏱️ A possible CBSA border workers’ strike is on hold until at least Wednesday. The strike had originally been scheduled for Friday, but the union and the government have continued negotiating through the weekend. [CTV]

💐 A 71-year-old Ottawa man was killed in a bike crash north of Brockville. The man was carrying something that went into the front wheels and sent him over the handlebars. [CBC]

🚔 Kingston police are asking the public to remove a viral photo from their social media accounts. A parent incorrectly assumed a man approaching a girl at a splash pad was suspicious, but police found there was nothing wrong. [CTV]


What to do this weekend

🚌 Stittsville Transit Forum, Wednesday 7 pm: Come out to an event hosted by Ottawa Transit Riders, looking at the transit needs of Stittsville. Looking at challenges and proposals to make transit better. At the Royal Canadian Legion, 1481 Stittsville Main St. Free.

☀️ Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival, 4420 West Hunt Club Rd., June 21-23: At Mādahòkì Farm and Partner Venues throughout the month of June. Performances, workshops, exhibits, pow wow, culinary experiences, drone show, storytelling and interactive family fun. Learn More. [Sponsored]

🚲 Bike Maintenance Workshop, Thursday 6 pm: Bring your bike, and learn how to assess its condition and make basic adjustments and repairs. At the Ottawa Tool Library, 877a Boyd Ave. Tickets $62.

🍷 Wine Night at The Mill Tavern, Thursday 6 pm: A specially selected win to pair with a poké bowl. Tickets includes food and a drink. At the Mill Tavern, 5544 Manotick Main St. Tickets $22.

🏍️ RIDE FOR ALS - Steve Hastie Memorial Ride, Saturday 8:30 am: The day starts with breakfast, followed by a motorcycle through the countryside. In honour of Steve Hastie to support ALS research at The Ottawa Hospital. Tickets $50.

🥄 Carve a Spoon, Saturday 12:30 pm: Learn how to carve your very own wooden spoon by hand with an expert advisor. At Lee Valley Tools, 900 Morrison Dr. Tickets $65.

🍽️ Authentic Ethnic Cuisine, Saturday 4 pm: Indulge in the rich flavours and traditional dishes from various cultures, prepared by talented chefs passionate about preserving authenticity. At OB&O Afro-Caribbean Restaurant, 3059 Carling Ave. Tickets $33.

📸 Henry's Kanata Manual Mode Workshop, Sunday 3 pm: Learn mechanics of manual mode on your camera using exposure triangle to gain hands-on expertise in adjusting aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. At Henry’s Camera, 501 Hazeldean Rd. Free.

  • There are some great views of Parliament from the city’s bike paths. [Reddit]

  • New research from 45 universities, including uOttawa, has found brain and heart illnesses are often interconnected. [CTV]

  • Want to spend time with hummingbirds? Check out Fletcher Wildlife Gardens and if you’re patient you may see some. [Reddit]

  • Quebec strawberries are having trouble competing with imported fruit from the south. [CBC]

  • The new library has its roof in place, and is really coming together. [Reddit]

  • Want to have your announcement featured? Learn how here.


Julia Mountford/Ottawa Lookout Reader

Thanks to Julia Mountford who sent in this great photo of a fox drinking out of a backyard birdbath.

Do you have a photo you’d like to share with the Lookout community? Send it in!


Congrats to everyone who got last week’s Ottawa Wordle, the answer was BEACH as in Juno.

For this week’s Ottawa Quiz, we want to know…

How many hours per day do ambulance crews wait at hospitals?

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