Ottawa schools stay open as education workers reach tentative deal
The Ottawa Catholic School Board and others will stay open today.
Never mind the weather, winter is surely here in our home with the Christmas tree up. Incidentally, both cats have decided to go absolutely bananas. I don’t know if they understand what the tree is about, but they do know it means they get new things to hide under and attack. It’s a spectacle, let me tell you.
Anyway, enough about cats, let’s get to your newsletter.
— Robert Hiltz, managing editor
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Monday: +1 🌡️ -11 |❄️
Tuesday: 0 🌡️ -2 | ☀️
Wednesday: +1 🌡️ -4 | ❄️
School masking: Tuesday, the Ottawa Carleton District School Board will debate whether to bring back a mask mandate to public schools. The chief of staff at CHEO will make a presentation, and the city’s top doctor will make a written submission. [Ottawa Citizen]
Convoy inquiry: This will be the last week of hearings at the Public Order Emergency Commission, with witnesses including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the head of CSIS, and several cabinet ministers testifying.
Mr. Sutcliffe heads to Toronto: Mayor Mark Sutcliffe will meet the premier at Queen’s Park this week to raise concerns about a budget funding shortfall, the province’s new housing bill, and the ongoing fallout from the pandemic. [CBC]
Strike averted at multiple local boards as education workers reach tentative deal
What happened: Sunday evening education workers and the provincial government reached a tentative deal, averting a strike at school boards throughout the region. The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) said workers would report to work today. A date to vote on the deal has not been set yet, but more information is expected this week.
School boards across the region, including the Ottawa Catholic School Board, will be open Monday.
At the table: Both the union and the government spent Sunday at the bargaining table in a last-ditch effort to get a deal before a 5 pm deadline. The full details of the agreement haven’t been released, but the union said there would be an across-the-board increase in hourly wages by $1. This amounted to a raise of about 3.6 percent, according to The Canadian Press.
Compromise: Pees of the CUPE unit representing education workers Laura Walton said the deal fell short of what the union was asking for, CTV reported. The government wouldn’t budge any further so the union decided to let their members vote on the deal as it stood.
“This tentative agreement is nowhere near everything education workers and kids deserve, however it's all this government is willing to give,” Walton said in a statement.
"I think all parties have been able to receive some incremental wins; the greatest beneficiary of this deal is our kids who will be in school, that's what matters,” Provincial Education Minister Stephen Lecce said, according to CTV.
What comes next: The union will have to vote to accept this deal, or return to the bargaining table. It’s possible this is not the end of job action by education workers. The union’s bargaining committee will recommend members take the deal.
What did you think of our summary on the strike?
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OTTAWA BY THE NUMBERS
🤳 10.5 billion: The total number of views Spencerville’s Robert E. Blackmon has got on a series of GIFs he’s created. [CBC]
💻 85: Federal grants of $4.4 million are expected to create this many jobs in the city for tech startups BluWave-ai and Tehama. [OBJ]
City stairwells chained off for winter, but should they be?
What happened: The arrival of winter weather can only mean one thing — stairs across the city are being blocked off for the winter because they aren’t maintained. Rather than shovel and salt, it’s easier to block them off.
Time for a change? In a column for the Ottawa Citizen, Bruce Deachman argues it’s time the city and the NCC open their stairwells for winter.
“It does seem strange that in a city where it can — and does — snow any time between October and April, officials seem unable or unwilling to keep public paths and stairs open year-round,” he writes.
Chain reasoning: The NCC told Deachman it had limited resources, and that winter maintenance like scraping and salting can cut the life cycle of stairs by half. The city said it only maintains stairs if there is no nearby ramp or path that could be used instead.
The city is going to update its winter maintenance standards in the new year, now could be the time to make a change in how we take care of our winter stairs.
What do you think? Should the city open up its stairwells, or is it better for them to stay closed once there’s snow on the ground.
Pharmacies limiting cold medication sales, one child dies from flu
What happened: A child in the region outside Ottawa died of the flu, CTV reported. “We are saddened by this tragic death. We are not aware of any other flu-related deaths in our region,” the Leeds, Grenville, and Lanark acting medical officer of health Linna Li said.
The health unit didn’t share how old the child was, or whether they had any complications. They only said the child had a severe case of the flu.
Shockwaves: The intense flu season has some pharmacies limiting purchases of cold medication to two packages at a time, CTV reported. Supplies have been limited for several weeks, especially of children’s medication.
Hospitals are still overwhelmed by the number of patients with respiratory illnesses including the flu, RSV, and COVID. According to the Ottawa Citizen, CHEO’s ICU was at 200 percent capacity, with some ICU patients being treated elsewhere in the hospital.
Taking the load: Adult hospitals in Ottawa have agreed to take patients over the age of 16 to help alleviate some of the pressure on CHEO, the Citizen reported. Most of the children needing hospitalization are under the age of five.
What can be done: Public health officials are urging people to return to mask wearing, getting a flu shot and keeping your COVID vaccinations up to date. If you think your child might need to go to the hospital, CHEO has put together a guide to help you make that decision.
What to do this week
Solids and Stripes Tabletop Sports Fundraiser, today, 3 pm-11 pm: Students at Algonquin College are hosting this all-day fundraiser for the Make A Wish Foundation. Come on out to play billiards, ping pong and more. Tickets start at $10.
Ottawa Rock N. Gem Show, Nov. 24 10 am-8 pm: This Thursday at the EY Centre, an expo of rocks, gems, jewellery, fossils and more kicks off. Tickets start at $3.
Movie Trivia, Nov. 24 7 pm: Head on out to Kichesippi Beer’s tap room for a game-show style trivia night. Jeopardy and Family Feud formats will both be used! Tickets are free.
The History Museum’s Christmas Market, Nov 24 11 am-8 pm: In the glorious Great Hall of the History Museum, this market of more than 80 vendors has plenty to find for your holiday shopping needs. Free admission.
🏒 There are thought to be six different groups seriously considering buying the Senators, with bidding expected to start in January.
🚒 A fire in a highrise in Little Italy has displaced 40 people, and injured five adults and a child. [CTV]
🚚 The convoy inquiry has been long and intense, catch up on all the highs and lows with this guide by CTV.
🎅🏻 This year’s Help Santa Toy Parade through downtown was a big success, with thousands of people lining the route from City Hall to Lansdowne. [CTV]
🏀 Local basketball star Steph Okenge has had his life changed by a car crash that broke six of his vertebrae. [CBC]
🚨 Hundreds of people came out to march downtown in support friends and family of Hodan Hashi, who was killed in a Saskatchewan nightclub. [CBC]
NEW LOCAL JOBS
Check out the new open positions in Ottawa.
Firefighter at the Ottawa Fire Services
Procurement officer at Nisha Technologies Inc.
Bilingual program analyst at Sport Canada
Watch and security manager at Global Affairs Canada
Video game producer at Snowed In Studios Inc.
The Senators lost 5-1 this weekend to the red-hot New Jersey Devils. [The Canadian Press]
…the team meanwhile has done a bit of a takeover of the Lyon Street LRT station. [Reddit]
Are you supporting a team for the World Cup? These locals are, here’s who they’re supporting and why. [CBC]
If you’re going to watch some matches, Olitos Cafe in Blackburn Hamlet is geared for soccer, and has great Portuguese food.
The Ottawa Humane Society needs your help! Because of an influx of dogs, they need foster families.
Newcomers from Australia posted a hilarious video of their dog seeing snow for the first time. [Reddit]
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Joanne Reyes/Ottawa Lookout Reader
Today’s photo comes from reader Joanne Reyes, who got this great shot of a fox near Glen Cairn.
Last Friday, we incorrectly labelled this photo and misidentified the photographer, an error we regret. André Martin took that photo, and the caption should have read:
Afraid today’s photo of the river seals it. As reader André Martin puts it, “Summer's officially over!”
Send us your winter shots! We love sharing reader photos with the Lookout community.
The answer to last week’s Ottawa Wordle was POWER, as in the new power the mayor is getting.
A strike of education workers has been averted after the two sides reached a deal. The strike could have affected several school boards in and around the city, except for one. Which board doesn’t have any education workers represented by CUPE? (We will accept either the full name or the acronym, this is maybe a hint!)
The first five people to write in with the correct answer will get their names mentioned in the next issue.
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Who has the best pizza in Ottawa?
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