Public service attrition

What happened: The federal government plans to cut about 5,000 positions from the public service ranks.

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Good morning!

Big day here at the Lookout, as we officially change over our house style to “%” from “percent.” It also means that all percentages will be written out in numerals from 1% all the way to 99%. 

It started with using “%” in the By The Numbers section, and then it started to feel awkward writing “two percent” right next to “2.4 percent,” and so after a brief internal discussion, here we are.

Whether I’m able to stick to it will be interesting to see. It took quite a while to get “percent” locked into my writing, but I’ve been doing it for more than a decade. Expect a few to slip past.

In any case, we’ve got plenty to get to so let’s get on with it.

— Robert Hiltz, managing editor


Wednesday: +13 🌡️ +7 | 🌤

Thursday: +11 🌡️ +9 | 🌧

Friday: +14 🌡️ +2 | 🌧


Public service to shrink, buildings to become housing

What happened: The federal government plans to cut about 5,000 positions from the public service ranks. The government said this will be done through attrition, not layoffs, CTV reported.

  • The government expects the decline in staffing to take four years. They did not specify how many of those jobs would be eliminated in Ottawa. The elimination of 5,000 positions would save an estimated $4.2 billion.

Buildings: The government is spending $1.1 billion over the next decade to get rid of half of its current office space. The money will be used get out of leases faster, and thereby look to turn some of the buildings it owns into non-market and student housing, CBC reported.

  • Not all the buildings will be converted to homes. Some will likely re-enter the city’s commercial real estate market, which already faces a 12% vacancy rate. (Federally owned buildings are not counted toward vacant office space.)

The feds are also looking at building homes on Defence Department land. That includes converting the former veterans’ hospital near the General campus into homes.

Transit: The city has been unwilling to fill the operational budget hole in its transit system, and has instead hoped another level of government would help out OC Transpo. The federal budget provided no funding to the increasingly beleaguered system, CTV reported.

Asylum seekers funding: No specific funding was set aside for Ottawa to provide services  and housing for asylum seekers, but the feds did announce $1.1 billion in additional nationwide funding for an interim housing assistance program already in place. In several years, more funding will be dependent on money coming from cities and provinces for more permanent housing solutions.

  • The city was hoping for $32.6 million in construction and operating fees for a new centre to offer specific services and get newcomers into housing within six months, according to a city staff document.

Cash for cops: Ottawa police will get a $50-million cash injection over the next five years, CBC reported. The money will go toward the increased costs of policing the Parliamentary precinct during protests. 

Outdoor enthusiasts head to annual Outdoor Adventure Show

If you're an outdoor enthusiast, come to the annual Ottawa Outdoor & Adventure Travel Show with free admission + free parking at the Nepean Sportsplex (Gate #4, at rear of building). Truly something for everybody and a great way to start the summer!

Outdoor & Adventure Travel Show
Saturday/Sunday, April 20-21 from 10am to 5pm
Nepean Sportsplex

Come see exhibitors with:

  • Outdoor gear (products you'll love)

  • Kayaks & SUPs (see the latest brands)

  • Camping trailers (for staycations and off-road fun)

  • Travel destinations (around the corner or around the world)

  • Family activities (see the baby goats and farm animals)

  • Craft brewers (with tasty libations)

  • Adventure stage (video presentations throughout the day)

See you there!


🎊 100: The Victoria Barber Shop on O’Connor Street downtown is celebrating this many years in business. [CTV]


🐠 Thieves made off with thousands of dollars worth of tropical fish from the Beachburg Restaurant. Cash was also stolen. [CTV]

🏖️ A section of Westboro Beach will reopen this summer for the first time since 2022. The stretch of beach will have no lifeguards or water testing, and swimmers will do so at their own risk. [NCC/Twitter]

🔍 An Ottawa police officer who fired his gun at a driver of a stolen car in Overbrook was cleared of wrongdoing by provincial investigators. The driver wasn’t hit by the four shots and had already hit one officer with the door of his car while driving at another. [CTV]

💰 A man from Battersea won a $12.5-million Lotto Max jackpot. He bought the winning ticket at a Kingston truck stop. [CTV]

🏛️ The mayor of McNab-Braeside has put himself on a self-imposed suspension, just weeks after returning from a 60-day unpaid suspension imposed by council. Mayor Mark MacKenzie was found to have been aggressive and abusive. Once again being paid, he said he was no longer comfortable representing the municipality, but did not resign. [CBC]

⛺️ The Robert-Guertin Arena in Gatineau will be torn down this summer, leaving the future of an encampment with heated tents set up by the city in limbo. [CBC]


For this week’s house, we picked one that was listed at exactly the average price for a single-family home in the city last month. This Manordale home comes with plenty of upgrades in the kitchen and hardwood throughout. But it also comes with a fully furnished basement, including a bar and a billiards table.

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.


Listings are provided by, the best place to discover live music in Ottawa. Check out for full listings across the city.

Feura, Thursday 7 pm: Emerging punk-rockstar empowering people to be unapologetically themselves. At Live! on Elgin, 220 Elgin Street. Tickets $10 adv, $15 on door.

arc, Thursday 8:30pm: Montreal sonic collective mashing modular synth, ambient, psych-rock, and contemporary classical. At Avant-Garde Bar, 135 Besserer St. Tickets $8 adv, $10 on door.

Chris Cresswell, Friday 8:30 pm: The Flatliners’ frontman brings his stripped-back solo work. At Club SAW, 67 Nicholas St. Tickets $20. 

James Matthews, Saturday 8 pm: Trumpet extraordinaire keeping the flame of New Orleans Soul and R&B alive. At Bar Robo, Queen St Fare, 170 Queen St.  Tickets $27.

Sorry Snowman, Saturday 9pm: Local Ottawans play their unique mix of indie, emo, folk and more. At House of Targ, 1077 Bank Street. Tickets $15.


🚨 Police have not laid charges in the death of a 16 year old at McNabb Park, but said they have identified all of the people “involved” in the incident. They have not released the name of the victim as they work on contacting his family. [Ottawa Police]

⚖️ Ottawa police Const. Muhammad Omair Khan pleaded guilty to assaulting a 13-year-old boy on a mental health call. Police were called by the boy’s family when he was threatening them with a knife. The boy was arrested and taken to CHEO, where Kahn assaulted him twice. The president of the police union said that other than beating up a handcuffed 13-year-old in the midst of a mental health crisis at a children’s hospital, Kahn had an “exemplary record” and should not be judged on a “lapse of judgement.” The Crown is seeking a conditional sentence and 30 days of house arrest. [CBC]

🏛️ Former South Glengarry mayor Frank Prevost, who was awaiting trial on charges of sexual assault and child luring, died last month of cancer at the age of 56. [CBC]

🌳 Tim Hortons will be testing non-plastic, fibre lids at several Ottawa-area locations. The six week test is part of an ongoing trial at the fast food chain to produce less trash. [CTV]

🛷 City staff want to conduct a study to figure out what options are available to make the Mooney’s Bay hill safe for tobogganing. They estimate the study will cost $250,000. [CBC]

💊 A class-action lawsuit filed by the Quebec government against 16 pharmaceutical companies for their role in the opioid crisis was allowed to proceed. The lawsuit covers anyone diagnosed with opioid use disorder since 1996, or their direct heirs. [CBC]


Signatures Spring Show features top Ontario food creators

Capital Eats is written by our food editor Ralf Joneikies.

Ontario has a wealth of fine food creators and because of our size, it’s sometimes challenging to find the best of the crop as companies struggle to get noticed. 

Luckily art and craft shows are there to help corral some top talents and bring them to our attention. In today’s line-up, you’ll be pleased to know that all the products represented are entirely clean label, which means that only recognizable and pronounceable ingredients are used.

Sprucewood Handmade Cookies has been in operation for 24 years and under the direction of founder chef Mark Pollard, their fabulous bites are now found coast to coast. 

Pollard had spent his early years working on Wall Street and eventually found that he needed to satisfy his creative impulses. Back in Canada, he started Sprucewood Catering and Event Planning and his cheddar shortbread cookies became so popular that he added a cookie division to his enterprise.

  • Kingston’s Aaliyah Edwards was picked sixth overall by the Washington Mystics in the WNBA draft. [The Associated Press]

  • 🌍 Geopolitics in <5 minutes? Get International Intrigue, the free global briefing crafted by former diplomats. Sign up for free. [Sponsored]

  • That’s all folks. The Sens finished their season with a 3-1 win over the Boston Bruins. They finished seventh in the Atlantic Division with 78 points, two ahead of Montreal. [Ottawa Senators]

  • Wild turkeys aren’t just for the suburbs, they roam the streets downtown, too. [Reddit]

  • Want to see what it’s like in the new LRT tunnels in the west? Several reporters got a tour of the construction. [CBC]

  • Did you know a hotel once stood about where the National War Memorial was? Now you do! [Reddit]

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


Google Maps

Congrats to the 73% of you who knew that Ottawa got $0 in operational funding from the province for OC Transpo. The federal government added to that total with $0 of their own yesterday.

Do you know where today’s Ottawa Guesser is? The first five people to respond get their names mentioned in the newsletter.