- Ottawa Lookout
- Flood risk returns after heavy rain
Flood risk returns after heavy rain
The risk of flooding on the Ottawa River is high again. Plus, which councillors raised money from big-money developers. And also, a councillor voted remotely…from a Cuban vacation.
For those of you wondering how my dog Lady Bird is doing, she’s doing reasonably well. She’s not super happy about the weather, but that’s not stopping her from wanting to splash in the river. Things could be better, but she started treatment this week that we hope will make her feel a bit better.
Mme Lady Bird starts chemo today, send your good vibes to a very good girl.
— robert hiltz (@robert_hiltz)
May 2, 2023
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Wednesday: 9 🌡️ 6 | 🌧
Thursday: 11 🌡️ 6 | 🌧
Friday: 17 🌡️ 7 | 🌦️
Fears that recent rain could lead to 2017-level flooding
What happened: The heavy rain over the weekend is pushing the Ottawa River over its banks. Minor flooding is expected on the river from Mattawa in the west to Montreal in the east, with major flood issues in areas that are prone to flooding, CTV reported.
In Constance Bay, Aylmer, and Gatineau, the river is expected to peak at levels above what was seen last week.
The Chaudière Crossing was closed at 5 pm yesterday to vehicles and pedestrians because of the high water, the Ottawa Citizen reported. The bridge’s closure could mean the planned full reopening will be delayed past this Friday after more than a year of maintenance.
From Pembroke to Grenville, Que., water levels are about 75 cm above average, some are 100 cm above average, CBC reported. In Gatineau, the water is expected to rise 50 to 60 cm above last week’s peak and about 250 homes and businesses are at risk.
Water is expected to rise along the Ottawa River until at least Thursday.
Ottawa side: On this side of the river, Cumberland and Britannia Bay are the most at risk. Backyard flooding is expected, but water could rise above foundation levels, and the water could rise about 20 cm this week.
The good news: While the water is expected to rise, it’s not expected to hit the historic heights of 2019. The river is expected to peak about 45 cm to 100 cm below those levels. The Rideau River isn’t expected to flood, though the water has risen slightly.
Poor maintenance: In the Nepean neighbourhood of Arlington Woods, Graham Creek has badly flooded because a culvert the city did not clear, CTV reported. One resident said officials had come by, only to say they would clear it in the summer. Now the creek is about 10 feet above its typical level.
Major damage: Flooding in the Quebec region of Lanaudière has caused severe damage to several communities, CTV reported. Hundreds of people have been forced from their homes, and roads and bridges have been damaged or destroyed by the flood waters. The water is expected to stay high for several days.
OTTAWA BY THE NUMBERS
🪧 35,000: The number of Canada Revenue Agency workers still on strike. Earlier this week 120,000 went back to work after their bargaining units reached a tentative deal with the federal government. [The Canadian Press]
🏚️ 320,074: The number of completed vacant unit tax declarations received by the city. Vacant homes are subject to an additional one percent property tax. About 99 percent of people who were required to complete the forms did so. [CTV]
🚨 A corrections officer and an inmate have been charged with smuggling drugs into the Collins Bay Institution in Kingston. More than a kilogram of methamphetamine and 120 grams of fentanyl were seized. [CBC]
🏖️ While making the case a new airport hotel should receive a tax break from the city, Coun. David Hill attended city council remotely from Cuba on a previously planned vacation. [Ottawa Citizen]
🪴 Former customers of Kanata Landscaping are trying to get deposits and payments back after the company announced it was shutting down, and wouldn’t be returning any money. [CBC]
🏛️ Residents of Pembroke are raising concerns about their mayor, alleging a conflict of interest after the city hired the mayor’s employer, Sheppard & Gervais, which is the city’s legal council. One resident said he received emails from the firm from the mayor’s account at the firm. [CBC]
🐈 Firefighters saved a cat from a house fire in Kanata on Sunday night. It was the sixth fire of the weekend crews had to put out. [CTV]
🚌 School bus drivers in the Outaouais are on strike, demanding better wages and working conditions. Collège St-Joseph and Collège St-Alexandre in Gatineau are part of the affected region. [CBC]
How municipal candidates raised their money
What happened: Different municipal candidates took very different paths to fundraising for the recent campaign, CBC reported. One longtime councillor raised mostly big donations from local developers, while the biggest-spending councillor relied heavily on small donations.
Big spender: Rookie College ward Coun. Laine Johnson spent the most of any council candidate with $46,702. Slightly more than half of that, $23,727, was raised from donations of less than $100.
The only councillor who came close to raising as much from small donations was Knoxdale-Merivale’s Sean Devine, another first-time councillor, who brought in $12,759 in smaller donations.
Big donors: Coun. Allan Hubley raised a total of $40,002, the bulk of it came from 47 people who donated an average of $815. His campaign got donations of more than $1,000 from local developers from the Minto Group, Richcraft Homes, Taggart Group, Glenview Homes and more, according to CBC.
Osgoode Coun. George Darouze raised $24,000 from 26 people, in increments of $500, $1,000, and $1,200.
Self-funding: First-time Coun. Wilson Lo, of Barrhaven East, put $9,000 of his own money into his campaign. He only spent $14,613.
Third parties: Only two outside groups registered as third parties, anti-abortion group Campaign Life Coalition and the municipal advocacy group Horizon Ottawa. Campaign Life didn’t raise any money, but spent $810. Horizon spent $24,547, and raised $23,943.
Look for yourself: The city has posted the financial filing for candidates from all 24 wards, mayoral candidates, and school board trustee candidates. You can find them here.
HOUSE OF THE WEEK
Today we’re visiting Chelsea to share a waterfront property that, well, you’ll have to see to believe. It has four bedrooms, 100 feet of waterfront, a boat house and somehow, a beautiful view. With 3,500 square feet, you’ll be bringing the entertainment to your home. Oh, did we mention the lake is Meech Lake?
🚴♂️ This summer, the NCC will once again close the Queen Elizabeth Driveway to traffic, and open it to active transportation, from July 1 to Sept. 4 from 8 am to 8 pm. The road will also be closed to traffic on weekends from May 13 until Oct 9. [CTV]
💪 Former coun. Keith Egli wrote a moving piece this week about dealing with the trauma of being abused as a child. As part of his process, he got a tattoo in large block letters: “TLF,” for “Tenacious Little Fucker,” a nickname given to him by his wife. [Ottawa Citizen]
⛺️ Residents in Old Ottawa South are asking the NCC to clean up the remains of an abandoned encampment on an island in the Rideau River. [CBC]
🍟 RIP to a real one. The Rideau Street McDonald’s has officially closed its doors. [CTV]
🚨 An Ottawa Police officer has been charged with the assault of a youth who was in police custody. Const. Muhammad Omair Khan has been charged with one count of assault and was on duty when the incident allegedly occurred. [CTV]
🪧 A work-from-home policy was kept out of the final agreement between federal workers and the government. The new policy commits to a case-by-case basis, rather than one standard policy that applies to everyone. [CBC]
✈️ You may want to wait a bit before renewing your passport. While the strike is over, you can expect large lineups at passport offices around the country. [CTV]
🚨 Police are asking for help to find a Centretown robbery suspect, after a break and enter in April. [CTV]
Peer back into 1930s Ottawa, at Sam’s Buy and Sell on William Street. [Reddit]
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A beaver was spotted swimming under the LRT overpass in Heron Park. Look at him go! [Reddit]
Pure Kitchen on Preston Street will be closing its doors. [Reddit]
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CITY HALL INSIDER
(Members-only) How do we pay for city services?
This story is available for Insider City Hall members. Consider becoming a member today and support independent journalism that investigates and explores the issues happening at city hall and across Ottawa
In yesterday’s Insider members-only newsletter, we took a deep dive into what some (but probably not most) people consider to be an exciting topic — city finances.
How do we pay for everything is a key question facing the city and in yesterday’s newsletter we explored the impact of the province’s actions on the city’s ability to fund critical services.
Plus: The impact of no OCTranspolive and whether the city would fund a new arena.
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🥅 Rapper Snoop Dogg confirmed he’s part of a group led by Neko Sparks looking to buy the Senators. [The Canadian Press]
⚾️ Bad news for all you summer sports fans. Poor weather conditions impacting the diamonds and sports fields mean they aren’t open and will be delayed opening. No word on when they may be fixed. [CityNews]
Congrats to Gord, Adam, Pat, and Beverly, who all knew the answer to this week’s quiz question: There are understood to be seven bidders who made an initial pitch to buy the Senators.
Do you know where today’s Ottawa Guesser is? The first five people to respond correctly get their names mentioned in the newsletter.
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