Feds give money to cities to prepare for what climate change may bring

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Councillor says Ottawa's share of the $125 million in funding could go towards green city vehicles or retrofitting buildings.

By Ryan Tumilty, Metro

The federal government announced funding Thursday to help municipalities deal with rising flood waters, higher fuel costs and an increased risk of forest fires.

Split between two programs that will both be managed by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), the $125 million is meant to help municipalities do flood mapping and mitigation and to find ways to reduce green house gas emissions in their fleets.

“By enabling municipalities to plan, build and maintain their infrastructure most strategically, communities will be better positioned to make their infrastructure dollars go further with a lighter environmental footprint,” Minister Amarjeet Sohi said in announcing the funding.

Many Canadian big cities have started work on these kinds of programs, but Sohi said that some are further ahead than others and that this funding will help municipalities match their peers.  

FCM president Clark Somerville said municipalities manage most of the country’s infrastructure and they will have to deal with adapting it to a changing climate.

“They are also on the frontlines of climate change and must cope with increasingly extreme weather from floods to droughts to heavy rains and ice storms.” 

Ottawa Coun. David Chernushenko said there is a lot the city could use this new funding for.

“We’re particularly well placed with, if not detailed plans, than a strong list of priorities,” he said.

He noted the city has a climate-change strategy, with work already underway on renewable energy.

“Nobody wants us to suddenly just make things up because there is money being dangled.”

He said this funding could help move plans for replacing the city’s fleet with greener vehicles or adding more renewable power to buildings.

“Money like this could help to do that earlier and begin reaping those benefits.”

Old Ottawa East Hosers victorious in Councillor's Cup

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The Old Ottawa East Moose, in blue, and the Old Ottawa East Hosers, in green, were the finalists in the 2017 Councillor's Cup hockey tournament, refereed by Councillor David Chernushenko, at centre. Photo by John Dance.

The Old Ottawa East Hosers triumphed in the tenth annual Councillor’s Cup on January 28.

In the final game, the Hosers crushed their archenemies, the Moose of Old Ottawa South, by a score of 8-4 after spotting the Moose a 3-0 lead after just four minutes.

The Hosers have now have won five times, once more than the Moose.

The Hosers had the skill borne of countless hours at Brantwood Park rink.

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The Hosers, front from left: Natalie Saunders, Susan Redding, Mike Souillière, Kenzie Tobin. Back from left: Cindy Courtemanche, Jacob Bays, Nick Workun, Nathaniel Sneyd-Dewar and Ian White. Photo by John Dance.

Statement on the attack in Sainte-Foy

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At this time of sadness and shock, I join the thousands of Canadian elected officials and community leaders in condemning the murder and injury of fellow Canadians in Sainte-Foy.

I also join in a call to all Canadians, whether citizens, landed immigrants or recent refugees, to remember that we are a country of generous and compassionate people who seek to unite, to find commonality and to build bonds, and never to divide. 

Please know that I stand with you and with all residents of Ottawa. It is this spirit that I share the message below from our chief of police.

In friendship,
David

 

Message from Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau

Community Leaders, Colleagues and Friends,

We have had a chance to speak with some of you over the last 24 hours following the terrible tragedy in Ste-Foy, Québec.

I want you to know that we are also aware of the impact this attack has had on all of our communities locally. The members of the Ottawa Police Service are committed to your safety and security and we have increased our vigilance and presence at local religious institutions.

We continue to be in contact with all of our security partners including the RCMP and the Sûreté du Québec as their investigation continues.

These types of events affect us all and we understand that they have a profound impact on many in our diverse communities.

The Ottawa Police Service has long standing relationships with our various faith and community groups and leaders. It is with this relationship in mind that we encourage you to share this information as widely as possible with members of your respective communities. Ensuring public safety can only be done with the support of the communities we serve.

If at any time, you or a member of your community feels that there is a life-threatening emergency or crime in progress, you are strongly encouraged to call 9-1-1. For all other non-emergency crimes, or for general inquiries, you are encouraged to call 613-236-1222. Visit our website at  ottawapolice.ca for additional information about the services we offer.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to working together.

Charles Bordeleau
Chief of Police

 

Wildlife group worried tree cutting in Kanata will endanger animals

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Tom Spears, Ottawa Citizen

A wildlife coalition in Kanata says tree-cutting by developers should be delayed until fall to lessen the danger to wild animals.

KNL Developments, a joint venture from Richcraft and Urbandale Homes, is clearing forest between Goulbourn Forced Road and Terry Fox Drive. Opponents of the work say they realize the development will go ahead, but argue Ottawa shouldn't allow it in winter.

The developers recently began cutting trees on about 175 acres.

Donna DuBreuil of the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre says the rule book — a protocol at city hall for the protection of wildlife during construction— "is not being adhered to at all."

The protocol sets out the "best practices" for clearing land before construction. In large forests with a lot of animals, it's best to cut trees in fall, Dubreuil said. She said cutting in winter destroys their homes in trees or dens, and takes away their stores of food, at a time of year when they have nowhere else to go.

"It's a very special natural area with a lot of species in there, and we're really dismayed that the city has given this permit. They could have waited until next fall. This thing has been in the works for years.

"The city's story is: Oh no, the animals just move on. Well they don't ... Where are they going to move to?"

Dubreuil said she is more upset with the city than with the developers because the city is failing in its role as a referee.

Opponents brought a petition with about 2,500 signatures to Ottawa City Hall in mid-January, asking to have it presented to Mayor Jim Watson.

A spokesman for KNL said the home builders have no intention of delaying the work.

"We've received all the permits and all the approvals necessary to do the work we are undertaking," said Jack Stirling, a consultant on the project.

"This is a group that has really quite frankly done nothing but attempt to delay this development," he said. "We really don't have much desire to listen to this group."

The developer's own consultants have said winter is a better time than fall to do the work.

He said KNL has a "very limited window" to do the tree-cutting, since it must finish by April 15. It's not allowed to work on the site in spring when birds are nesting and Blanding's turtles are coming out of hibernation.

Coun. David Chernushenko, who heads the city's environment committee, said the city's own experts feel there is no contravention of the protocol.

"Our own experts and the people who developed the protocol have assured me that there is nothing about doing it now in January that is worse than other times of year," he said.

"Everybody has know it was coming for a long time," he said.

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