Province and feds announce healthcare deal

The province and the feds have a new healthcare deal. Plus, the LRT was down Saturday in the east.

Good morning,

It’s been another sad week in the news business. At this point, the sad ones outweigh the joyful ones.

Bell, a highly profitable corporation in a protected sector, has decided to cut back on local news coverage. Shuttering local noonday broadcasts (everywhere but Toronto, of course) and signalling it’s looking to get out of the radio game altogether as it sells off half of its stations.

Having been through a few layoffs in my day, and been a part of newsrooms that were closed altogether, it’s a brutal process for the people involved. And all the while news coverage gets worse, and you, the reader are left less informed.

One thing that’s always been important to us here at the Lookout has been slow, sustainable growth. We’re a very small outlet. And while we’d like to grow, we’ve seen far too often in this industry how investors want huge growth, year after year after year. 

Instead, we’re focused on building a newsletter that’s sustainable. One that doesn’t require massive profit margins, but is focused on bringing you what you need to know at a scale built to last.

The Lookout isn’t big enough to fill the hole being left by major media companies. But we’re doing what we can.

Now, let’s get to it.

— Robert Hiltz, managing editor

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Monday: +1 🌡️ -6 | 🌤/❄️

Tuesday: -3 🌡️ -14 | 🌤

Wednesday: -5 🌡️ -14 | ☀️


Feds, province reach healthcare deal, while province cuts ER doctor funding

Doug Ford/Twitter

What happened: The Ontario government signed a deal with the feds to get $3.1 billion in funding for the provincial healthcare system over the next three years, CBC reported. The deal lays out the specific areas the province will spend the money on, including increasing access to primary care for residents.

  • The deal covers the first segment of a planned 10-year, $8.6-billion agreement to improve public health care. The new money comes in addition to $100 million announced earlier this month by the province to add more primary healthcare teams.

Promises, promises: As part of the agreement, the province said it would create 700 new spaces to train healthcare workers, including family doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses and others. Overall, the province said it would hire hundreds more doctors and nurse practitioners, and thousands more nurses and personal support workers, CTV reported.

  • BC, Alberta, PEI, and Nova Scotia have already agreed to deals for health funding.

Cutting ER docs: But the deal comes at a time when the province winds up other funding. The provincial government’s decision to cut back funding to pay for emergency room doctors means there will be fewer active at hospitals like the Queensway Carleton, the Ottawa Citizen reported. The hospital said wait times would increase in the ER.

  • Despite continued pressure on ERs, the government decided to withdraw the extra funding started at the height of the pandemic. 

At the Queensway Carleton, it means the hospital has had to reduce the number of doctors on shift in the ER. By April, the hospital will have funding for 10 fewer hours for a doctor covered per day.

Volumes: While overall patient volumes have decreased, one doctor told the newspaper that cases were becoming more complicated. With more people without access to a family doctor, they’re having to go to the ER with complicated health issues.

International IntrigueThe global affairs briefing you'll actually look forward to reading.

✏️ 2.75%: The one-year retroactive pay bump elementary teachers in the province were awarded by an arbitrator. The province had tried to cap wage increases in the public sector to one percent, but that was ruled unconstitutional. [CBC]

📚 7: The number of books at the Ottawa Public Library that were challenged by members of the public and asked to be removed from the collection, or moved to different sections. The library made no changes. [CBC]

🏎️ 169 km/h: The speed a driver was pulled over doing on the 417 near Moodie on the weekend. A second driver was stopped doing 158 km/h. [CTV]


LRT goes down Saturday, OC Transpo ups fare enforcement

What happened: LRT service in the east end was shut down Saturday because of damage to the trains’ overhead power system, the city said in a memo. The damage kept trains from running between St-Laurent and Blair stations for the whole day, with R1 service running in its stead.

  • “At approximately 11:30 pm, an OC Transpo rail operator observed sparks coming from an overhead catenary system support pole west of Cyrville Station. Initial observations indicated damage to an insulator that is part of the overhead catenary system,” the memo said.

Back up: Train service along the whole line resumed Sunday. Crews were able to make temporary repairs to the system to get things up and running. The city said it would schedule more permanent repairs for the future. “A full investigation into the causes of this incident will continue to ensure that appropriate mitigations are in place,” a memo announcing service had been restored said.

Details…later: In that follow-up memo, the city said more details on what caused the issue would be provided at the next transit commission meeting, scheduled for mid-March.

Pay your fare…or else: Meanwhile, the city is in the midst of a fare evasion crackdown. Special constables are handing out about seven tickets per day, CBC reported. The tickets amount to a total of about $75,000 per year.

  • Transit general manager Renée Amilcar told the transit commission the crackdown is less about money and more about driver safety. She said drivers who confront riders who don’t pay their fare can end up in confrontations that can turn physical.

Bearing the burden: Some councillors said that fare enforcement likely falls on the city’s most vulnerable, who have the least ability to pay fares or fines. But, the city doesn’t keep economic demographic data on who it is giving out tickets to. The head of the special constable division said that would be akin to profiling.


Check out the new open positions in Ottawa.

  1. Application engineer at Swagelok Ontario

  2. Operations manager at C-COM Satellite Systems

  3. Funeral director at Beechwood Funeral, Cemetery and Cremation Services

  4. HVAC project manager at PSL Mechanical Heating and Air Conditioning

  5. Project manager at Aquatech Dewatering Company

Local jobs are selected by the Lookout team and are not paid ads, unless specifically noted.


👎 Leafs defenceman Morgan Riley could be suspended at least six games, after the league announced he would have an in-person hearing for cross-checking the Sens’ Ridly Greig in the head Saturday night. Grieg scored an open net slapshot goal to bury the Leafs 5-3, Riley took offence to this slight(?) and went after Grieg immediately after. [Chris Johnson/Twitter]

🚫 The parent of a minor hockey player in Orléans wants an apology for her 15-year-old son, who was called the n-word at a recent non-competitive game. The two minor leagues the game was played between said they are investigating. [CBC]

🚑 A two-year-old girl was taken to CHEO after she put an uncapped syringe in her mouth. The girl appears to have found it at a park near other drug paraphernalia. [CTV]

🛣️ As the city looks to revamp Carling Avenue, two architects argue the road could be transformed from an arterial thoroughfare to a series of livable and attractive neighbourhoods. [CBC]

🪿 A wildlife centre has to euthanize sick Canada geese who are infected with avian flu in hopes of preventing the disease from spreading. The highly contagious virus can jump from birds to other species. [Ottawa Citizen]

🩺 New rules in Quebec came into effect banning certain cosmetic and other surgeries for pets, including cat declawing and ear cropping. Ontario is the only province left in the country that still allows the practice. [CTV]

🗣️ The Ottawa Carleton District School board is looking for experts of Algonquin and Inuktitut languages, to better teach students. It’s part of the board’s Indigenous education team. [CBC]


What to do this week


🥌 BDC Curling Bonspiel 2024, Friday 11 am: The annual networking and curling event returns. Join by yourself or as a team. Includes lunch, curling and networking. Portion of the proceeds go to the Shepherds of Good Hope. At Nepean Sportsplex, 1701 Woodroffe Ave. Tickets $108.


🍖 Prime Rib Dinner at The Mill Tavern, Wednesday 5 pm: A roast dinner with all the fixings, including Yorkshire pudding. At The Mill Tavern, 5544 Manotick Main St. Tickets $71.

🍺 Overflow Beer Lovers Dinner, Wednesday 6 pm: An evening for beer enthusiasts, with a special menu with beer pairings. At Overflow Brewing Company, 2477 Kaladar Ave. Tickets $85.


🛏️ 2024 Accora Village Bed Race for Kiwanis, Saturday 10 am: Teams of four, decked out in costume, race to raise money for Kiwanis. Prizes for best costumes, most fundraising, and fastest racers. York Street, near Dalhousie. Free to attend, $300 to register.

🪐 Tinkering School - Make Your Own Ring Toss Game, Saturday 2 pm: Designed for kids aged nine to 13 years to learn how to use power tools under close supervision. Bring home what you build! At the Ottawa Tool Library, 877a Boyd Ave. Tickets $97.

🧶 Your Perfect Mittens - Knitting Workshop, Sunday 2 pm: Learn how to knit a pair of mittens for yourself or someone special, with all materials provided. At 1000 Byron Ave. Tickets $44.


🛍️ Ottawa Multicultural Bazaar, Saturday and Sunday: An event where you can get all your Eid shopping done. More than 70 vendors, face painting, food, and more. At Nepean Sportsplex, 1701 Woodroffe Ave. Free to attend.

  • A lost pig found by the side of the 401 in the region last summer is thriving in her new home, where she’s now a proud mother. [CTV]

  • Thinking of giving the Dragon Boat Festival a try this summer? Reddit users have some suggestions for first timers. [Reddit]

  • Don’t get that lawn mower out just yet, more seasonable temperatures seem to be returning this week. [CTV]

  • The parade for New Year celebrations colourfully marched through Chinatown. [Reddit]

  • Ottawa police have a few suggestions for how to prevent your car from being stolen. [CTV]

  • Want to have your announcement featured? Learn how here.


Congrats to everyone who got last week’s Ottawa Wordle, the answer was SLUSH, as in the state of the snow with all this warm weather.

About how many tickets a day are issued for fare evasion?

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