Ottawa Police escort new convoy through town
A new-look convoy rolled slowly through town instead of camping out. Meanwhile, police complained about counter-protestors.
Well, the inevitable has finally happened, COVID has come to our home. Everyone’s okay — and vaccinated! — and I’m so far negative and symptom free, but, well, that virus is around and on the rise. Be careful out there.
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With that, let’s get to it.
— Robert Hiltz, managing editor
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Ottawa Police Escort New Convoy Through Town
Full escort: Ottawa Police responded to a new convoy rolling through the city by scolding counter-protesters. Police escorted the line of slow-moving vehicles, and blocked downtown intersections, snarling traffic.
It was not the protest that the police criticized, however:
- “We are ensuring the safe movement of a convoy that originated in Quebec and are travelling through Ottawa en route to Vankleek Hill. Counter-protests are hindering the safe flow of traffic and putting public safety at risk,” police tweeted Saturday.
This did not exactly go over well with the public, perhaps best summed up on Twitter by Coun. Shawn Menard: “You let them occupy our streets for weeks and openly facilitated the risk to public safety during that time.”
- Read more: Convoy Protesters Were Expected To Leave Ottawa During First Week, City Says [CBC]
Smaller than before: Organizers billed this as the next generation of the convoy. With about 200 supporters lined Laurier as vehicles from Quebec City vehicles drove slowly through the city, and headed toward Vankleek Hill, according to the Ottawa Citizen. The new convoy came through in two groups, taking more than an hour to finish.
Closed for good? The city is still debating whether to close Wellington Street for good. Mayor Jim Watson said to CTV if closing it means better safety for residents, and for parliament, should be considered. How the street might be transformed may be the real question, with no single vision a clear favourite.
- Read more: The 100 Years' Wrangle: How To Revamp Wellington Street
Ottawa By The Numbers
- $370,714: The salary of city manager Steve Kanellakos, the highest-paid city employee. Dr. Vera Etches has the third highest at $326,602. [CTV]
- 3 of 5: The fraction of Ottawa Police Service employees who made the highest-paid sunshine list but no longer work for OPS. Former chief Peter Sloly had the city’s second-highest salary at $341,827. [Ottawa Citizen]
- $8.8 million: That’s the price of River View Estate in Dunrobin, the most expensive home currently for sale within city limits. What’s included? Six bedrooms, six full bathrooms, and a six-car heated garage. [CTV]
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Post-March Break, COVID Makes A Resurgence
Reported outbreaks: Six schools in the city had 20 percent or more students and staff absent, CTV reports. It’s not clear if this is entirely due to COVID, as the province changed the rules so schools no longer report virus outbreaks, just overall absences. But Ottawa Public Health warned a rise in cases following the holiday was likely, especially as mask mandates lifted at the same time.
Prepared for the next wave? The province says it is prepared for another upsurge in COVID cases by having up to 3,000 ICU beds at the ready, Global News reports.
Through the pandemic the highest number of ICU beds in use was in May 2021, when there were 2,038 people in ICU, out of about 2,550 beds, according to provincial figures.
One expert told Global the province is seeing the start of a spring wave. With the wastewater signal rising in Ottawa, our city seems part of that broader trend.
- Read more: Quebec Likely Heading Toward Sixth Wave
In Orleans, the testing centre at the Ray Friel Recreation Complex is moving to the Orleans Health Hub.
Looking For A Job?
Here are five new jobs you might like in Ottawa:
- Senior Communications Consultant, Bilingual - Federal Government
- Summer Student Counsellor, Camp - City of Ottawa
- Senior Vice President Residential - On-site and remote
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- Human Resources Officer - Full time, non-profit
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Stories You Might've Missed
$10/day daycare coming to Ontario: Good news for Ottawa parents, the province and the federal government have finally got a deal for $10 per day daycare. An announcement on the full details will take place today, but the broadcaster reported the average daily cost for a daycare spot will drop to $10 by 2026. It’s expected the cost will drop 25 percent next year. [CBC]
Downtown restaurants get crowdfunding: Forty-three downtown businesses received money from a community crowdfunder to help those impacted by the convoy. Grants for food businesses were between $1,500 and $3,500 from the total $103,000. To qualify, the business had to promise to give half of the grant to its employees. [Ottawa Citizen]
Speed board shot: A speed board on Rideau Valley Drive outside of Manotick will need to be repaired after someone shot it. The bullet passed right through the sign. Coun. Scott Moffatt, who represents the ward, said on Twitter the repairs will cost about $2,000, on top of the incredible danger. [CTV]
City to stop selling water, more Coke: In an effort to sell fewer single-use bottles of water, the city will vending machines Dasani bottles on city property with single-use bottles of other Coca-Cola products. Ottawa has a contract with the soda giant to sell a minimum of 115,000 cases of Coca-Cola products, unless it buys out the contract for $574,000. It’s thought replacing the water will hit the minimum of the contract faster. [CBC]
New intercity bus route coming: A limited bus route from Ottawa to Toronto will start up next month. FlixBus will run an express route Thursday to Monday between the two cities. There will only be one bus in each direction each day it runs. You can book a ticket for only $4.99 until April 6. [CTV]
Celebrating Canada’s return to World Cup: It’s been 36 years, but fans across Ottawa were able to celebrate the return of the national men’s team to the World Cup in Qatar. The Canadian team secured a spot with a 4-0 win over Jamaica in Toronto. Fans packed the Senate Tavern on Bank to witness the historic win. [CTV]
- Our food editor Ralf has a review Food Mood: Korean Kitchen. His verdict? It’s a can’t miss spot!
- Miss out on important city hall news? Check out the biggest news in Friday’s newsletter.
- Chances are your house isn’t one of the eight most expensive in the city. In that case, see which ones made the list. [CTV]
- The Senators signed 19-year-old Jake Sanderson to a three-year contract and expect him to be an important part of their defence. [CBC]
- The team could use the extra help after losing 4-3 in a shootout to the Panthers on Saturday. The team blew a three-goal. [CBC]
- Test your bird skills to see if you know as much about birds as CTV anchor Graham Richardson. [CTV]
- Thirteen-year-old Serene Summers, who was critically injured in a hit-and-run six weeks ago, got free tickets to see Justin Bieber last night courtesy of Kiss 105.3.
- Horizon Ottawa is hosting an online discussion about increasing affordable housing this Thursday at 7pm.
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Today's Top Photo
Here’s a blast from the past. It’s an overhead view of Ottawa in 1965, posted by Reddit user CEO_of_613. You can see the 417 is only partially built, to about O’Connor. It’s interesting to think what the city might have been like without a freeway run through the middle of it.
Have a shot you’d like to share with readers of the Lookout? Send them in! We’re always looking to see the view from where you are.
Daily COVID Stats
- Active Cases: 924 (+165)
- Deaths: 760 (+0)
- Ottawans In Hospital: 10
- Ottawans In ICU: 1
- Acute Beds Occupied: 99%
- ICU Beds Occupied: 68%
- ICU Ventilator Beds Occupied: 18%
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Written by managing editor Robert Hiltz. Food stories written by Ralf Joneikies.