Group at St. Brigid’s being evicted
The group who said they were in the process of buying St. Brigid’s church in Lowertown are now being evicted for what a notice says in non-payment of $10,000 in rent.
Sunny days are here as the final round of finger pointing in the LRT Inquiry is now over.
Today, we’ve got a breakdown of what all the players said, and who they blame, for the numerous LRT breakdowns and delays. It is, uh, not exactly heartening to see how no one raised their hand and said, “Uh, yeah, this one’s on us.” But, I guess you’d have to be some kind of lunatic optimist to expect accountability when it comes to the LRT.
Not to give the game away, but we’ve also got a special surprise for anyone who reads to the very end. Who doesn’t love surprises?
Anyway, let’s get to that and a few other things, shall we?
— Robert Hiltz, managing editor
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Convoy group being evicted from St. Brigid’s church
What happened: The group who said they were buying St. Brigid’s church are instead being evicted from the property.
The United People of Canada’s occupancy was terminated by the church for non-payment of rent, CTV reported. A note posted to the church door said they were behind $10,000 in rent, did not provide proof of insurance for at least $5 million, violated the Ontario Heritage Act and had not got construction permits, according to the broadcaster.
- You can see a full copy of the eviction notice here, posted by CFRA's Andrew Pinsent.
On Wednesday, Ottawa police were called to St. Brigid’s. They told CTV they were there to keep the peace in a dispute between the landlord and tenant. Police said officers took no action.
Fighting the eviction: A board member for The United People of Canada told CBC the eviction was “unlawful.” Using his typical weird legalese, William Komer told the broadcaster they were fighting the eviction “regarding what we understand to be breaches of the Ontario Human Rights Code by the property owners.”
By yesterday afternoon, a locksmith had changed the locks on the church, according to CTV.
OTTAWA BY THE NUMBERS
SPONSORED BY OTTAWA GARDEN FESTIVAL
May the best floral arrangement win at tomorrow’s Flower Show
It’s the final days of the Ottawa Garden Festival and they’ve saved the best for last - the Summer Flowers & Edible Show tomorrow at City Hall.
Professional and amateur floral arrangers will face off against each other. From annuals and perennials, to roses and houseplants, there’s something for everyone.
- Not only are there flowers, there’s also vegetable exhibits.
Check out hands-on floral demonstrations from 2-3 pm.
But hurry, the last day of the Ottawa Garden Festival is Sunday.
Who’s blaming who for the LRT’s problems
What happened: All the major players at the LRT Inquiry have submitted final statements, laying out their view of what has gone wrong (so far) with our new transit system. They all have a different view on who is most to blame. Here are what the biggest players had to say:
The company that built and maintained the system’s trains said the “system was set up to fail” and much of the blame should be laid at the city’s feet.
Alstom said the city put its image before other considerations, and forced a system into full service before it was ready. Rather than finish thorough testing, and give maintenance teams time to catch up on train retrofits that were required because of issues like the sinkhole, the city changed the testing requirements to get the system into full service too early, Alstom said.
Read Alstom’s entire response here.
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 279
The union representing OC Transpo drivers and bus-maintenance staff said the main reason for the LRT’s failures were the decision to make the project a public-private partnership.
The structure of the deal fragmented the operations and maintenance of the system, prevented OC Transpo managers from properly responding to issues, and led to a lack of public accountability. They also said the deal made it so the system was handed over too early and with not enough staff.
Read ATU’s entire response here.
Rideau Transit Group
The consortium that runs the system and is in charge of maintenance said the city is to blame for setting unrealistic expectations.
The consortium said almost every major rail project across the globe suffered from being late, was over budget, had reliability issues, or some combination of all three. They said the city was never honest with the public by repeatedly promising the system would be a turnkey system delivered with no delays.
RTG also blamed Alstom for delivering trains that suffered from significant reliability problems.
Read RTG’s entire response here.
The City of Ottawa
You can read our coverage in Wednesday’s newsletter of what the city said here. But briefly: the city said it was blameless for the LRT’s problems.They put the onus on the various subcontractors who the city said were not living up to the contracts they all signed.
Read the city’s entire response here.
- Dig deeper: You can find the closing statements for all nine parties here.
Our view: The Amalgamated Transit Union gets to the heart of the matter. While the contractors blame each other and the city, the city blames everyone else; the ATU takes a step back and looks at the broader picture. All of these problems were created by the decision to build and run the LRT as a public-private partnership.
The lack of transparency, the lack of accountability, the lack of OC Transpo’s direct control and communication over the system, all of these problems stem from the core problem: the city gave over a public good to the private sector. From there, the failures of the LRT are practically inevitable.
The inquiry's final report is expected Nov. 30. You can catch up on all this summer’s testimony at the inquiry here.
More surgeries going private
What happened: The provincial health minister announced a plan to head off the crisis in healthcare that includes moving more surgeries to private clinics and transferring patients out of hospital into temporary long-term care beds, The Canadian Press reported.
Few details: The government released an 18-page document outlining the plan in only the broadest strokes. The document said they would look to send more surgeries to private facilities covered by OHIP.
It also said there would be mandatory guidelines to keep anyone who is being moved to a long-term care home not of their choice “to ensure patients continue to stay close to a partner, spouse, loved ones or friends,” the document said.
- Dig deeper: Read the government document outlining the plan here.
What it doesn’t do: The plan involves no wage increases or other benefits for nurses and other healthcare staff, which their unions had been calling for to stop the exodus of worn-out and overworked staff.
Instead, it said it would negotiate with healthcare agencies to bring down their costs. The private agencies are used to temporarily fill gaps in staffing, paying temp nurses more than double full-time hospital nurses, the Ottawa Citizen reported.
STORIES YOU MIGHT’VE MISSED
Hawkesbury doctor charged with more murders: Brian Nadler is facing three new first-degree murder charges of elderly patients once in his care at the Hawkesbury hospital. Nadler was charged last year in the death of one elderly patient. The investigation is ongoing into deaths at the hospital and toxicology tests could take months more to complete. [CBC]
Police chase death under investigation: The Special Investigations Unit is looking into the death of a man who was running from police for speeding. Police initially chased the vehicle, but called off the chase. Later, they found the 28-year-old driver had hit a pole. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. [CTV]
Ice cream giveaway? You heard correctly
How does $100 worth of free ice cream sound?
We’ve launched a giveaway for $100 of free ice cream from La Cigale, a local ice cream shop producing some excellent ice cream. You’ll fall in love with their sorbets and ice cream flavours like gingersnap and chai, megamint oreo and lemon cassis cheesecake. Yum!
Entering is easy. Just sign-up here and you’ll automatically be entered to win. It’s that easy!
Plus we’ve got a special bonus for anyone who refers three sign-ups.
Fireworks, Afrobeats, roller derbies, and a market
Les Grands Feux grand finale | Saturday | Sundown | Ottawa River | Sold out | The main event site for the fireworks festival is sold out, but you’ll still be able to catch the last of the fireworks at several locations along the river.
Midday Market | Saturday | 11 am to 7 pm | 687 Somerset St. W | Free | Head on down to Chinatown for a bazaar with more than a dozen vendors. Tons of vintage clothing is on offer, and so much more.
Roller Derby | Saturday | Doors open 5:30 pm | 525 Cote St. | $12 | The Bytown Blackhearts face Roller Derby Sherbrooke, in a doubleheader that has Les Buches of Quebec City and Skateful Dead of Kingston in the second derby match of the evening. Kids under 12 get in free!
Afrobeat Music Festival | Saturday | 1 pm | RCGT Park, 300 Coventry Rd. | A one-day festival of Afrobeats music, billed as a cultural exchange to bring the genre to the world. Food, music, and culture are all on offer.
Ottawa Coffee Fest | Saturday | 9 am to 4 pm | 5510 Canotek Rd., Unit 15 | $9.55 to $20.33 | The second annual coffee fest is here with unlimited samples from roasters from all over the region. Treats and beans will be for sale, and there’ll be live music from DJ Sweet Cheeks.
- If you’re in the Hunt Club area, keep an eye out for coyotes, as several have been spotted in the area. If you see one, call 311. [CityNews]
- The weekend is coming, maybe a guided tour of Pontiac wineries, restaurants, and cideries is just what you’re looking for.
- Indigenous youth and police officers took part in the Flotilla for Friendship as they paddled down the Rideau River to learn from one another. [CTV]
- The beach at Parc Lac-Leamy has reopened, after being closed for a week because of poor water quality. [CityNews]
- No birdfeeder is safe from this black bear in the Katimavik neighbourhood. [CTV]
Nikki, Beverly, Gord, Heck, Ricky, Michael, Bam, Alexandra, Mattinson, Laurent, Mike all got the GeoGuesser correct. The photo was from Hunt Club Road, underneath the Airport Parkway. Congrats!
Today is Ottawa Wordle day, play now!
Latest COVID stats
Note: Ottawa Public Health is now only updating COVID stats twice a week, on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. Because of the Lookout’s publishing schedule, this means the numbers here may be out of date. For the most recent stats, see the OPH COVID Dashboard.
- Active Cases: 891
- Total deaths: 862
- Ottawans In Hospital: 19
- Ottawans In ICU: 2
- Acute Beds Occupied: 96%
- ICU Beds Occupied: 62%
- ICU Ventilator Beds Occupied: 26%
A surprise for our top readers…
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