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.


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.

Déclaration sur l'attaque à Ste-Foy

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En ce temps de tristesse et de choc, je me joins aux milliers d'officiels élus et des dirigeants communautaires pour condamner les meurtre et les blessures de nos concitoyens canadiens à Sainte-Foy.

Je m'associe également à un appel lancé à tous les Canadiens, qu'ils soient citoyens, immigrants reçus ou réfugiés récents, pour qu'ils se souviennent que nous sommes un pays de personnes généreuses et compatissantes qui cherchent à s'unir, à trouver des points communs et à construire des liens, et à ne jamais diviser.

Sachez que je suis avec vous et avec tous les résidents d'Ottawa. C'est dans cet esprit que je partage le message ci-dessous de la part de notre chef de police.

En toute amitié,

Dirigeants communautaires, collègues et amis,

On a eu l'occasion de s'entretenir avec plusieurs d'entre vous au cours des dernières 24 heures qui ont suivi la terrible tragédie survenue à Sainte-Foy, au Québec.

Je tiens à ce que vous sachiez que nous sommes également conscients de l'effet de choc que cette attaque a eu sur chacune de nos collectivités locales. Les membres du Service de police d'Ottawa sont résolus à assurer votre sûreté et votre sécurité, et nous avons accru notre vigilance et notre présence dans les centres religieux locaux.

Nous demeurons en communication avec nos collègues des autres organismes de sécurité, notamment la GRC et la Sûreté du Québec, alors qu'ils poursuivent leur travail d'enquête.

Des événements de ce type nous bouleversent tous, et nous réalisons quelles graves répercussions ils ont au c¦ur de plusieurs de nos diverses collectivités.

Le Service de police d'Ottawa entretient des relations de longue date avec nos groupes communautaires et religieux et leurs dirigeants. C'est dans cet esprit que nous vous prions de diffuser ces renseignements le plus largement possible auprès des membres de vos collectivités respectives. On ne pourrait assurer la sûreté du public sans l'appui et le soutien des gens dont nous sommes au service.

En tout temps, si vous, ou un autre membre de votre collectivité estime qu'il y a en cours une urgence ou un crime mettant des vies en péril, nous vous encourageons vivement à appeler le 9-1-1.

En cas de crime de nature non-urgente, ou pour les questions d'ordre général, nous vous prions de composer le 613-236-1222.

Consultez notre site web, ottawapolice.ca, pour plus de détails concernant les services que nous proposons.

Je vous remercie de votre engagement continu à travailler ensemble.

Charles Bordeleau
Chef de 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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