Ottawa police use force more against people of colour
The Ottawa Police Service’s annual use of force survey has come out, and it shows officers are using a disproportionate amount of force against people of colour.
Well, bit by bit I’m getting back on my feet. There’s nothing quite as dispiriting as being sick in the summer, but at least I was able to get to my desk to write this one, rather than laying in bed the whole time. I don’t recommend getting ill!
Anyway, I hope everyone was able to enjoy their weekend. It was a hot one, but there was plenty going on in the city.
We're still looking for local businesses to partner with on giveaways over the summer. Send Geoff an email and he'll get in touch.
Let’s get on with your newsletter.
— Robert Hiltz, managing editor
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City police use disproportionate force against people of colour
Higher incidents: Ottawa police officers use force against Black, Indigenous, and Middle Eastern people, according to the annual use of force report more than their proportion in the city’s population.
Officers used force against Black people 4.3 times their population, Indigenous people, 3.0 times their population, and Middle Eastern people 2.2 times their population. Police used force against other racialized people at twice their population. White people have force used against them 0.7 times the population.
- "Disproportionate findings reflect long-standing and unresolved system racism and related intersectional issues that are still found within the justice system, other institutions, and our larger society — policing is no different,” the report said. “Relative to 2020 use of force statistics, there has been little movement in this disproportionality in 2021 year-over-year.”
The report has three main recommendations:
- Work with the Community Equity Council to develop a committee of police and civilians to review incidents where police have used force;
- Hire a specialist in equity and race data to improve reporting;
- Increase training for officers in human rights, anti-racism, and cultural awareness.
Canada Day plans: In other news, interim police chief Steve Bell will update the board on plans over Canada Day weekend, when convoy-related protests are expected to descend on the city again. You can watch the meeting at 4 pm today on the city’s YouTube channel.
Ottawa by the numbers
90%: That’s how much of the city’s office real estate has been rented, but for how long? In May, 46 percent of the city’s workers were still working from home. [Ottawa Citizen]
3.5 million: The number of homes needed to be built across the country by 2030 to reach housing affordability. [The Canadian Press]
Distress over rising inflation
More calls: Inflation and financial pressures are forcing more people to reach out to the Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region. Calls about housing and food made up 12 percent of calls to the distress line, and another 12 percent were general financial concerns.
Historical data: That’s up from last year at seven and eight percent respectively, according to CTV.
- “It’s stressful seeing the prices go up and up; we’re not getting paid more, we’re not seeing a break in any other areas, and it’s a lot of stress for people. … Unless you’re over 40, you’ve never seen inflation happen like this before,” Distress Centre communications manager Leslie Scott told CTV.
Inflation is at a four-decade high, hitting 7.7 percent last month. At the same time, the Bank of Canada has been increasing interest rates, and signalled it will raise them further if inflation doesn’t slow down.
- Dig deeper: Is price-gouging helping fuel high inflation? [The Associated Press]
Are you feeling the pressure? The Distress Centre can be reached at 613-238-3311.
Sushi worth the trip to Wellington West
Sushi Ro at 1123 Wellington St. W. is the kind of restaurant we all wish we had in our neighbourhood. A small 10-seat space, in calming tones with beautiful blonde wood chairs that happens to knock out some classic Japanese standards.
It has a quality you won't expect for the price. A place that you would frequent regularly because it offered consistent quality and value. Sushi Ro is simply very good and a new go-to favourite.
Agedashi tofu is lightly dusted in tapioca flour and flash-fried and handled so expertly that all these morsels remain attractively intact before giving over their delicate warm custard. The gyoza are similarly gossamer nestled in their tender wrappers. You'll enjoy the sweetness of the cabbage accented by modest seasonings and at $7 for each of these appetizers, they're a true bargain.
For the prices charged at Sushi Ro, the fish is better than you would normally expect. In fact, I've had worse experiences for considerably more money.
Take for example one of my favourites: Ika (squid). I order this because I love it and it pairs beautifully with sake but also because it provides some insight into the level of care a sushi chef puts into his or her buying. Ika should always be so tender that it is easy to chew and gives off a milky sweet cream as it dissolves over your palate. Over many visits to this restaurant, I've not once had a bad Ika experience.
—Ralf Joneikies, food and drink editor
Jobs around town
- Front End Development and Support Specialist at the Bank of Canada
- Various positions available for Advisors and Associates at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research
- Community Liaison at the Native Women’s Association of Canada
- International Sales Manager at Westboro Photonics Inc.
- Vice-chairperson at the CRTC
LRT Inquiry: City suggested making LRT trials easier to pass
Day 10: June 24
Who testified Friday:
- Matthew Slade, from OLRT Constructors and Rideau Transit Maintenance
- Yang Liu, from Alstom Transport Canada Inc.
Pointing the finger: Former head of transportation in the city John Manconi was the one who suggested it should be easier for the LRT to pass initial testing, the project leader at the private sector LRT construction firm told the inquiry.
Matthew Slade, of Ottawa LRT Constructors, said Manconi and other city officials suggested to the train system builder they should use an older version of trial-run requirements that would make it easier for the system to be certified as ready to hand over, according to CBC.
- In June of 2019, it was decided the LRT was likely to be declared complete and handed over to the city in mid-August of that year.
When numerous problems arose during testing, Slade said they were going to blow past that deadline, it was then the city approached the builders about making the tests easier to pass.
For a recap of previous inquiry days, check out our dedicated page covering daily updates on the LRT inquiry.
Stories you might've missed
Expired plate fines coming: The fallout from the province’s decision to cancel licence plate renewal fee continues. Ottawa police have announced they will soon begin ticketing people with expired plates. Despite there being no fee, licence plates must still be renewed. Driving with expired plates is a $110 fine. [CTV]
Planned booster clinic cancelled: An Ottawa doctor had to cancel a pop-up COVID vaccine fourth-dose booster clinic when Ottawa Public Health refused to supply her with doses. Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth was going to give boosters to people seeking a fourth dose but weren’t eligible under provincial guidelines. [Ottawa Citizen]
Kanata worries about loss of Sens: While the city as a whole might win from the Senators moving to LeBreton Flats, those in the far-flung suburb Kanata worry about the impact of the team movings. Hotels, sports bars, and other businesses rely on not just Sens games, but events at the Canadian Tire Centre for revenue. [CBC]
MacLeod takes time off: Lisa MacLeod will be taking time off to take care of her mental and physical health. She was re-elected last month as Nepean MPP, and last week was left out of the new Conservative cabinet. [CBC]
Petawawa refuses to fly Pride flag: Citing a town policy that disallows Petawawa from flying flags of support for any cause, the town refused to fly the rainbow flag for Pride Month. Mayor Bob Sweet said the town is just following policy, but last year Sweet voted against a motion to change the policy. [CBC]
- This afternoon the Hockey Hall of Fame will announce the entrants for this year’s class of players, let’s hope Alfie is finally let in. [Ottawa Citizen]
- Wagyu beef is a prized cut of meat, and this one Osgoode farmer is one of the few raising the special cattle in the province. [CBC]
- The heat’s here, and you know you’ll want to check out some of Ralf’s suggestions for the best ice cream and gelato in the city.
- Three cheers for Ausome Ottawa’s entry for kids on the autism spectrum in the Dragon Boat Festival this weekend! [CBC]
- Looking to plan ahead for Canada Day? CTV has a guide for what to do in the city and just outside of town this holiday weekend.
- Don’t forget, OC Transpo Summer Service has begun!
- The convoy protests made Jeopardy! last week as a $600 question.
Photo of the day
Today’s photo comes courtesy Sabine Nolke, who captured the shot in Mud Lake over a recent weekend. Stunning stuff.
Do you have a summer photo you’d like to share with other readers? Send it our way! We love sharing reader photos with the Lookout community.
Latest COVID stats
Note: Ottawa Public Health is now only updating COVID stats twice a week, on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. Because of the Lookout’s publishing schedule, this means the numbers here may be out of date. For the most recent stats, see the OPH COVID Dashboard.
- Active Cases: 476
- Total deaths: 818
- Ottawans In Hospital: 6
- Ottawans In ICU: 0
- Acute Beds Occupied: 95%
- ICU Beds Occupied: 69%
- ICU Ventilator Beds Occupied: 25%
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