Slain OPP officer brought home in procession
The body of slain OPP Sgt. Eric Muller was brought back to Rockland ahead of his Thursday funeral. What we know, and don’t about what happened at the shooting last week.
Thank you to so many of you who sent lovely notes of condolences on the death of Lady Bird. I can’t reply to them all, but I have read them. You’ve all been so kind during these last few weeks. So thank you, truly.
Today we’ve got the latest on what we know, and don’t, about the shooting death of an OPP officer east of the city. Plus news on which eastern Ontario city is thinking of decriminalizing opioids to combat rising overdose deaths. Plus a whole lot more.
Let’s get to it.
— Robert Hiltz, managing editor
Monday: 26 🌡️ 9 | ☀️
Tuesday: 15 🌡️ 2 | 🌧
Wednesday: 14 🌡️ 2 | ☀️
🥅 Sens sale: Today is the day. A deadline has been set for all prospective bidders to get their final offers in for the team. They’ll also have to put down a deposit of tens of millions of dollars. Bids are expected to be in the neighbourhood of $800 million to $1 billion. There’s no date set yet for when the winning bid will be announced. [Ottawa Citizen]
Slain OPP officer’s body given honour guard home
What happened: The body of slain OPP Sgt. Eric Mueller was brought home to a Rockland funeral home, CBC reported. A procession of more than a dozen police vehicles escorted the body from the General campus of the Ottawa Hospital to the funeral home, and the public, firefighters, and police officers lined the streets of the town, and overpasses all along the route.
A group of officers waited outside the funeral home, where they greeted Mueller’s arrival home.
The procession of Sgt Eric Mueller from the Ottawa General Hospital to the Brunet Funeral Home in Rockland Ontario. Part 2
— OPP Highway Safety Division (@OPP_HSD)
May 13, 2023
Witnessing a shooting: A neighbour recounted what she heard the night of the shooting. The neighbour told CTV that she saw a police cruiser drive by her house, followed by several minutes of sporadic gunfire and shouting.
“It was a quick event; it was very intense, it was very scary,” Jennifer Maynard told CTV. “It was traumatic to know that these officers were being injured and killed in such a way that doesn't make any sense.”
Muller* was pronounced dead at the hospital. One of the wounded officers was released while the other remained in hospital over the weekend, CBC reported. The OPP was called to the home in Bourget after a neighbour reported hearing gunshots. One neighbour told the broadcaster she’d heard the man shooting guns before.
Funeral: Thursday, a public police funeral will be held at the Canadian Tire Centre, the Ottawa Citizen reported. Details of the service have not been announced, but will be once they’re finalized.
Thirty-nine-year-old Alain Bellefeuille has been charged with one count of first-degree murder, and two counts of attempted murder for wounding two other officers. He was not injured in his arrest. Bellefeuille will appear in court this week.
*Editor’s note: A previous version of this story misidentified the officer with the name of the town he was shot. The Lookout regrets the error.
OTTAWA BY THE NUMBERS
🌊 80 cm: The amount water levels along the Ottawa River are expected to drop this week. [CTV]
🚍 500: The number of new employees OC Transpo wants to recruit with a travelling job fair at its Transitway stations this month. [CTV]
🏒 $50 million: The expansion fee in 1991 charged by the NHL when the Ottawa Senators joined the league. Here’s the story of how it may now be worth as much as $1 billion. [Ottawa Citizen]
With deaths on the rise, Kingston considers decriminalization
What happened: Opioid deaths in Kingston have skyrocketed 330 percent since 2014, and now local agencies are looking to decriminalize the drugs to ease the deadly burden, CBC reported. The local council previously endorsed a motion from the regional health unit to support decriminalization in 2021.
What it is: Decriminalization wouldn’t make opioids legal, but it would remove criminal penalties for people caught with the drugs. Local Coun. Gregory Ridge told CBC the current approach is not working.
The survey: A survey of local residents has been launched to get the public’s opinion on possible decriminalization. The health unit told CBC it would be used to shape local policy, and could also be used to apply to the federal government on eventual decriminalization.
You can find the survey, run by the Kingston, Frontenac, and Lennox & Addington Community Drug Strategy Advisory Committee, at this website. Today is the last day it’s open.
Elsewhere: BC deciminalized small amounts of illegal drugs for private use in January, and in 2021 Toronto’s board of health voted to ask the feds to decriminalized drugs in that city. BC research scientist Kora DeBeck told CBC prohibition “does not effectively deter people from using substances. It has not kept substances away from young people, from the general public.”
Studies have shown decriminalization makes it more likely for people to seek addiction treatment, lowers overdoses, and decreases the spread of blood-borne illnesses.
NEW LOCAL JOBS
Check out the new open positions in Ottawa.
Call centre operations manager at Ottawa Community Housing
Senior advisor for program coordination at the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority
Learning quality specialist at NAV Canada
Senior site superintendent at ASCO Construction Ltd.
Pay and benefits administrator at the Public Service Alliance of Canada
🔥 An open-air fire ban has been declared within the city because of the hot and dry weather. It forbids any fires, including campfires and brush pile burns. [CBC]
🚮 Kanata Coun. Allan Hubley wants the city to explore using garbage-powered electrical generators to extend the life of the Trail Road dump. [CTV]
💰 Lower income households will get a one-time GST rebate in early July. The payments will be between $234 and $467, depending on whether you’re single, a senior or have children. [CTV]
🐕 A proposed downtown dog park location is a bone of contention for Perth residents. [CBC]
💥 A car that barreled into their home at high speed felt like an “explosion” for the family inside. They were lucky, as three children and an adult were home, but no one inside was hurt. [CTV]
🚤 A bill to make wearing a life jacket mandatory for anyone 12 or younger was introduced by Ottawa MPP Goldie Ghamari in the Ontario legislature. It was inspired by the death of an 11-year-old Joshua Steinburg, who wasn’t wearing one and drowned when a boat he was in capsized. [Ottawa Citizen]
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Your guide to the week
🎭 2023 Arts Awards Presentation, Monday 5:30 pm: Awards celebrating local artists and supporters. With awards for local artists at all phases of their careers, and awards for community members who have made a difference. At the Ottawa Little Theatre, 400 King Edward Ave. Free admission.
🎻 John Showman and Chris Coole, Monday 7 pm: This banjo and fiddle duo have been playing together for two decades, and play old-time, bluegrass and folk music. At Red Bird Live, 1165 Bank St. Tickets $23.
⚽️ Canada v Netherlands, Men’s Wheelchair Basketball, Wednesday 5 pm: Part of the five-day Ottawa Invitational tournament. Featuring Canada, the USA, and Netherlands. At the Carleton University Ravens Nest, 9376 University Dr. Tickets are free.
🏃♀️ West Ottawa Run Club, Wednesday 6:30 pm: For those looking for others to run with, there’s both a 10K run and 5K social run. Meets at Kichesippi Brewery, 2265 Robertson Rd. Free to join.
🍹 15th Annual Red and White Foodie Fundraiser: She Flourishes, Thursday 6 pm: A multi-chef cocktail party to raise money for Harmony House with live music and more. It’s the in-person return to the event. At the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, 50 Sussex Dr. Tickets start at $115.
🪴 Make Your Own Cedar Planter Box, Thursday 6 pm: The Ottawa Tool Library is hosting a workshop to build your own 12”x12”x12” cedar planter from start to finish. Learn to use all the necessary tools, and materials are provided. Tickets start at $165.
Ottawa’s indie theatres have some great films this month, including Women Talking and Klute. [Apt613]
The broth at this brand-new ramen restaurant will have you coming back again and again.
Ottawa’s Derek Gee finished runner up in the eighth stage of the Giro d’Italia. [The Associated Press]
Here’s your throwback Monday, to this photo of Fluffy, the one-time leader of the Parliament Hill cats. [Reddit]
Nothing quite says Ottawa like a 15-minute car trip taking nearly 90 minutes by transit. [Reddit]
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Janet Stephens/Ottawa Lookout Reader
Today’s photo comes from Janet Stephens, who took this shot of tulips in full bloom across the river from Parliament.
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 TULIP, as in the festival.
With the Tulip Festival in full swing, we want to know what country provides the tulip bulbs every year to thank Canada for its liberation during the Second World War? The first five people to write in with the correct answer will get their names mentioned in the next issue.
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