Private healthcare bill passes legislature

The province’s controversial private healthcare bill has passed. Plus, why are so many celebrities interested in the Sens?

Good morning!

In the ongoing trials of having a sick dog, we decided to get her a wagon so she could still visit some of her favourite spots, without having to strain herself too much. This went predictably for Lady Bird, in that she hated it. She’d reluctantly get in the wagon — which is to say, I’d lift all 95 pounds of her into it — and stay just long enough for it to get moving, at which point she’d jump out and insist on walking.

Which, you know, fair enough. She’s still got her dignity.

We’ve got plenty of news today about private healthcare, the Sens ownership and more.

So, let’s get to it.

— Robert Hiltz, managing editor

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Weather Report

Wednesday: 24 🌡️ 10 | ☀️

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Friday: 24 🌡️ 10 | 🌦


Province passes bill allowing more private surgeries

What happened: The provincial legislature passed a law that permits private clinics to perform more publicly funded surgeries, CBC reported. It will now be legal for hip and knee replacements, cataract surgeries, and scanning to be done in private, for-profit clinics paid for by OHIP.

Regulators? The province said the private clinics will be regulated but hasn’t laid out what those regulations are or who will enforce them. The clinics must be licensed and have a detailed staffing plan to prove they won’t steal workers from the public system, CBC reported.

Hospitals are worried that private clinics will be able to offer better salaries and hours than the public system. A pilot program at the Riverside Hospital has already shown that nurses are paid more for weekend surgeries than their normal hours, the Ottawa Citizen reported.

“In Ottawa, a private surgical clinic is paying double to staff to work on weekends and, as a result, The Ottawa Hospital is starved of those staff and their ability to work,” the president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions, Michael Hurley, told the Citizen. The hospital said the private surgeries haven’t affected staffing levels.

The salary bill: The provincial government passed a law in 2019 holding wage increases to one percent. Recently, an arbitrator awarded retroactive wage increases adding 0.75 percent, one percent, and two percent for the three years from 2020, CBC reported.

Extra charges: Private clinics have charged patients about $70,000 in illegal fees since 2018, Global News reported. That number has dropped significantly since 2012-13, when more than $340,000 in illegal charges were reported.

  • The problem with the current oversight system is it relies on complaints from patients, and is not proactive. From 2012 to 2022, there were an average of 101 complaints, and only 43 were upheld. In 2020-21, only 15 were upheld.

U-turn: In BC, the government is reversing its previous system of using private clinics, The Globe and Mail reported. Last year, the government spent $11.5 million to return private clinics to the public system. Those clinics were only open to cataract surgeries and scanning procedures like endoscopies.

  • The BC government said its reinvestments in public care had been effective, increasing surgery volumes and the hours operating rooms were open by five percent.


💰 $1 million: An Ottawa man won this much in a recent 6/49 Gold Ball lottery draw. [CTV]


🚮 While Ottawa is considering introducing garbage bag tags for residents, Carleton Place has had the system in place for decades. [CTV]

💐 A paraglider who crashed in Gatineau last week died of his injuries. The cause of the crash is still under investigation. [CTV]

📜 A Gatineau city councillor wants to protect the ruins near Aylmer of the Deschênes Rapids dam, which was first built in 1885 and wants them designated as a heritage site. [CBC]

🚒 Firefighters responding to the Orléans explosion were faced with live power lines, gas leaks and other dangers. There was also conflicting information about how many people may have been at the site when it exploded. [CBC]

🚀 The French public school board will change the name of école élémentaire publique Julie-Payette in Kanata to école élémentaire publique Grande-Ourse, after the French name for the constellation Ursa Major. [CBC]

🔥 The former water treatment plant in Smiths Falls was seriously damaged by a major fire Monday night. No one was injured, and the town’s water supply was unaffected. [CBC]

🚨 Three men from Perth face drug charges after being pulled over for suspected impaired driving. Police said they found fentanyl and other drugs in the vehicle. [CTV]


Why everyone wants to own the Senators

Artist’s rendering for illustrative purposes, subject to change.

Artist’s rendering for illustrative purposes, subject to change. Handout/Populous

The Senators sure are a hot commodity for a team not in the playoffs. So why are so many celebrities interested in owning part of the team?

What’s going on: Ryan Reynolds, Snoop Dogg, The Weeknd — all these celebrities are part of different groups trying to purchase the Senators. According to CBC, it’s unfortunately not because they’re interested in the city. Rather, it’s about the cachet of owning one of 124 professional sports teams on the continent, as well as the appreciation of the asset.

Sky-high valuations: Historically, sports teams haven’t been a valuable asset. But that’s changed, according to The Ringer. All sports teams in the last 40 years in the major leagues have increased in value. For example, the Golden State Warriors are now worth $7 billion, 16 times more than they were worth when they were bought in 2010.

Celebrity and athlete purchases have been on the rise. According to The Athletic, many purchase a minority stake, which doesn’t have any real decision-making power. Instead, they gain cachet and perks such as mingling with athletes, sports suites, and networking.

Wrexham Senators? Ryan Reynolds recent foray into UK football shows how celebrities are tapping into their influence to shape sports teams. The star bought the Wrexham club, turning the team’s climb in the rankings into must-see TV. Apparently, this is something Reynolds wants to replicate with the Senators, according to the Ottawa Sun.

What it means: Who knows right now! But the scale of interest could bode well for the team's future, and by extension, the city. Now they just need to decide what to do about the arena


It’s called the farm, which may be a misnomer once you see the building.

The building is on 10 acres, and includes a hobby farm with horse stalls, a beautiful chef’s kitchen, a massive trail network and waterfront access. It’s perfect for the person who wants all the amenities of a modern home, but enjoys getting up early to do farm stuff. Did we mention it has a pool?


🖼️ The National Gallery said it was the victim of a data breach, but said neither visitor information nor its payment system was affected. [Ottawa Citizen]

🌊 Levels along the Ottawa River have stabilized after days of persistent flooding. The Red Cross has put up 137 people in hotels in Gatineau who were forced from their homes. A temporary boating ban has been put in place on parts of the river because of the flooding. [CTV]

🐻 The city is considering giving bylaw officers dangerous animal training after a bear was shot and killed by police last month. [CTV]

🪙 Provincial Liberals accused the government of snubbing Ottawa for homelessness funding. The city had expected about $20 million in funding, but only received about $850,000. Toronto got $40 million in funding. [CTV]

🚨 The driver of a van is dead after a collision with a school bus. Four children and the bus driver were taken to hospital with minor injuries. [CBC]

⚖️ The federal government is appealing a ruling it acted improperly by delaying negotiations over renewing a dental plan with the Public Service Alliance of Canada. [Ottawa Citizen]

  • The mural on the side of the Château Lafayette is finished! [Reddit]

  • This summer, Porter Airlines is adding a non-stop route between Vancouver and Ottawa. [CTV]

  • Turtles along the Ottawa River have some fascinating patterns, as you’ll see in these photos. [Reddit]

  • OC Transpo is running a survey to hear what residents want to see from its ongoing route review. Have your say. [OC Transpo]

  • Today at 12:55 the Alert Ready system will be tested. Be ready for your phone to buzz! [Alert Ready]

  • Want to have your announcement featured? Contact our partnership team for more info.


A French bistro that’s a destination for any occasion

Capital Eats is written by our food editor Ralf Joneikies.

In retrospect it strikes me as odd that I’ve never been inclined to seek out French dining in Ottawa. Certainly I’ve enjoyed very good bistro dishes at places such as Les Fougeres in Chelsea but unless the landscape is littered with bistros, it’s not been on my radar to compare them.

This restaurant in a newly renovated hotel, however, has my curiosity piqued. I expect I’ll be back many more times before the year is out.

The space is nicely appointed with the kind of furnishings you’d expect at a bistro and the floor is a hypnotic stunner in black, white and grey. The rooms evoke a nouvelle époque elegance with a nod to the late 70s. At least that’s the emotional charge it carried for me.

I was enthusiastic about the meal to come but little did I know I would be further delighted to learn that Ottawa is turning out such talent. La Salle graduated from the Algonquin culinary program in 2008 and he has breathed in classic French technique. As you would with a favorite novelist, you’ll want to revisit his work.


🏒 Chicago will pick first in the NHL Draft, where they’ll likely take Vancouver native Conor Bedard. The Sens traded away their first round pick to the Arizona Coyotes, and had little chance of winning the lottery anyway. [Ottawa Sun]

🥅 Sens captain Brady Tkachuk was named the King Clancy nominee for the team. It’s a trophy given to the NHLer with leadership qualities on and off the ice. [Ottawa Sun]

⚾️ The Ottawa Titans won their first home exhibition game of the season 6-0 against Trois-Rivières. [Twitter]

⛳️ Claude Giroux will play in the Commissionaires Ottawa Open, part of a lower tier PGA Canada event. [Ottawa Sun]


Google Maps

Congrats to Adam, Gord, Jean Rohit, Pat, Chantal and everyone else who knew this week’s quiz answer: The city will charge $3 per garbage bag tag after each household has used up their yearly sheet of 55.

Do you know where today’s Ottawa Guesser is? The first five people to write in with the correct answer will get their names mentioned in the next issue.

Capital EatsHelping you discover the best restaurants, food and drinks in Ottawa and the Capital Region. From the team at Ottawa Lookout. Read by 18,000+ locals.

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