River Ward City Councillor Maria Mcrae's Report to Hunt Club Community Organization May 7, 2007

STOP! Spare a Moment. Spare a Life Campaign

As you know, I am a strong supporter of the City's Integrated Road Safety Program (IRAP). In addition to the two monthly traffic enforcement initiatives, over the next two months, IRAP, along with local elementary students, are reminding motorists and cyclists on stop sign safety to prevent injuries and save lives.

As Chair of the City's Transportation Committee, on Tuesday, May 1, 2007,1 was pleased to kick off STOP! Spare a Moment. Spare a Life. - a stop sign safety campaign targeting various intersections throughout the City, some where Adult Crossing Guards are located and others where traffic collision and injury statistics are disproportionately high. This campaign, which runs from May 1 to June 30, 2007 was launched at Mutchmor Public School at Fifth Avenue and Lyon Street.

The campaign, entitled "Stop! Spare a moment. Spare a life." uses both public education and enforcement to remind motorists and cyclists of proper stop sign practices: stop completely, make eye contact with other intersection users, and proceed safely. For individuals caught not obeying the rules at locations near schools, their ticket will be placed in an envelope that was individually hand-drawn by elementary students, showing the consequences of unsafe stop sign practices.

Between 2004 and 2006, 1638 individuals sustained some form of injury at stop sign-controlled intersections. Ten others succumbed to their injuries.

The Integrated Road Safety Program is a partnership of Public Works and Services, Ottawa Public Health, Ottawa Police Services and community partners. Its goal is to reduce traffic fatalities or serious injuries by 30 per cent by the year 2010. The Program helps to better integrate the three E's (Engineering, Education and Enforcement) and thereby increase their effectiveness and impact in the delivery of various City-led initiatives that aim to improve road safety.

In addition to the City, the Ottawa Safety Council, CHEO, CAA North & East Ontario, Young Drivers of Canada and local school boards are community partners in this campaign - to urge drivers to "Stop! Spare a moment. Spare a life."

Integrated Road Safety Program

In March 2007, the City of Ottawa's Integrated Road Safety Program (IRSP), through its Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP), laid 4,330 charges for failing to stop for red lights and speeding.

The red light running initiative resulted in the laying of 394 charges and 3,936 tickets were issued to drivers violating posted speed limits.

Last month, the Police targetted Unsafe and Heavy Vehicles and Vehicle Occupant Restraints. I will provide the stats for these initiatives in a future report.

In May, the focus will be on Stop Sign Violations and Following too Close.

Twyford Pathway Lighting Installed

I am pleased to report that lighting has been installed along the pathway from Twyford to the back of the Hunt Club Plaza. The request for lighting came forward at one of my Community Safety and Crime Prevention meetings.

Community Safety/Streetracing Project

As indicated in my April 02, 2007 report, I have partnered with Ottawa Police Services East Division on an initiative to address streetracing in the south end of our city. This project follows on the three blitzes the Ottawa Police carried out last year to address this community issue. I participated in the first blitz and witnessed first hand the racing issues, safety and security issues, noise and the process of enforcement.

The second meeting of the streetracing project proposed a number of options for consideration and staff are following up in terms of responsibility, legality, safety aspects and feasibility. Options include the installation of a barrier on the exit ramp from Heron Road into Vincent Massey Park, no right-hand turns between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. at the Heron Road exit ramp to Vincent Massey Park, installing rumble grooves on the racing circuit, reviewing the route to identify options for traffic engineering solutions, installing speed limit signs, developing an education campaign for motorcycle drivers, bringing the issue to attention of the Provincial Prosecutor.

We will continue to meet to work together to address this problem

Community Safety and Crime Prevention Meetings

River Ward East
Date: Monday, May 28, 2007
Time: 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Location: Hunt Club/Riverside Community Centre 3320 Paul Anka Drive (corner of Paul Anka & McCarthy)

River Ward West
Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Time: 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Location: Carleton Heights Community Centre 1665 Apeldoorn Avenue (near Falaise & Apeldoorn)

Representatives of Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Fire Service, By-Law Services and Public Works and Services, as well as Neighbourhood Watch will be in attendance. These meetings will allow residents to have the opportunity to address community safety and crime prevention issues important to them.

New Funding for Large Community Events

I am pleased to announce that new project funding for large community events is available to local not-for-profit collectives and organizations this spring on a one-time basis. Organizations must have a mandate to provide large community events and civic celebrations, such as Canada Day events, in a specific district or ward of Ottawa.

Community events that are presented annually and are free of charge can obtain application forms through the City of Ottawa's Cultural Services Office, by calling 613-580-2424, extension 29404, or by e-mailing infoculture@ottawa.ca. Deadline for applications is: Tuesday, May 22, 2007, 4:00 p.m.

River Ward Volunteers Honoured

Earlier today, I was pleased to join the Mayor and my Council colleagues to honour Ottawa's volunteers at the City's 6th annual Civic Appreciation Awards ceremony. Eleven residents of River Ward were nominated for an award. I was pleased to present a Recreation and Sports Award on behalf of the City to a resident who has volunteered over twenty-five years toward the sport of orienteering. A River Ward resident also won the Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching. As well, it was my pleasure to recognize the nine other River Ward residents who were nominated for their individual contributions towards making the city of Ottawa a better place in which to live.

Residential Organics Collection

On April 11, 2007, City Council approved the next step towards implementing a residential curbside organics collection program to begin by fall 2008. Under this new program residents will be able to annually compost over 100,000 tonnes of kitchen scraps and other organic materials that otherwise would go to local landfills.

This program lets residents put fruit and vegetable peelings, food scraps, meat, bones, egg shells, vegetable oil, paper towels and napkins, waxed and/or soiled corrugated containers, wood shavings, and yard waste into a different container than the normal garbage can or recycling boxes.

The City's Compost Plus+ pilot project, which is in its sixth year of operation, offers a voluntary program of collection of household organics to nine communities comprising 5,300 households. On a yearly basis, the program has successfully captured and diverted approximately 2,000 tonnes of residential organic waste that would have gone to the landfill. Experience gained with this pilot project will be used to design the city-wide program.

The City is also exploring new technologies as an alternative to landfills and is pursuing increasing recycling rates in the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors, which currently generate approximately 70% of the city's solid waste. For more information on all the City's recycling programs visit Ottawa.ca/rethinkgarbage or call 3-1-1.

I am pleased to invite all River Ward residents to learn more about what we as a community can do to help the City's ongoing environmental and waste management initiatives. Please join me at the upcoming Public Forum regarding garbage and recycling:
Date: Monday, June 11, 2007
Time: 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Location: Jim Durrell Recreation Centre - Ellwood Hall 1265 Walkley Road (near Bank Street)

I am excited to announce that Mr. Rod Bryden, President and CEO of Fiasco Energy Group, is one of my guests and will speak about the Plasma Waste Conversion Project. Other guests include City staff from the Waste Diversion and Solid Waste Services Division.

Wake Up! Get a Working Smoke Alarm

Ottawa Fire Services started their Spring Wake Up! Get a working smoke alarm door-to-door awareness campaign on May 5, 2007.

Firelighters are knocking on doors throughout the city to remind residents about the value and legal responsibility of having a working smoke alarm. If requested, they will check smoke alarms to make sure they work properly and may provide new batteries, install a smoke alarm or provide residents with a manufacturer coupon for the purchase of an additional smoke alarm.

Since the Wake Up! Get a working smoke alarm campaign began in Fall 2005, Ottawa Fire Services have knocked on approximately 30,000 doors. Of the homes that were reached, more than 30 per cent did not have a working smoke alarm. That number dropped to 25 per cent in 2006.

2007 Strawberry Social for River Ward Seniors

All River Ward Seniors are cordially invited to Maria McRae's Annual Strawberry Social for River Ward Seniors
Date: Friday, June 22, 2007
Time: 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Place: Hunt Club/Riverside Community Centre 3320 Paul Anka Drive (corner of Paul Anka & McCarthy)
Entertainment by Ottawa's Singing Policeman Dominic D'Arcy
Refreshments and Snacks Door Prizes
Please call 613-580-2486 to reserve your FREE ticket(s). Space is limited.

Pesticide-free Gardening Seminars

The City of Ottawa invites residents to attend one of its free seminars on pesticide-free gardening in Ottawa. Learn from trained horticulturalists how to maintain your lawn and garden without pesticides. Seminars include maintaining a healthy lawn and managing insects and grubs without pesticides. To register for free seminars call 613-580-6744, ext. 26167.

Closer to home, the gardening seminars are taking place on the following dates:
Thursday, May 17, 2007
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Greenboro Community Centre
363 Lorry Greenberg Drive

Tuesday, May 29, 2007
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Emerald Plaza Library
1547 Merivale Road

Rethinking Garbage: New City-wide Give-Away Day

Council approved a city-wide Give-Away Day to be held on Saturday, June 23, 2007 with a rain date on Sunday, June 24, 2007. This new one-day program lets residents place their unwanted household goods at the curb for their neighbours to pick-up for free. The intent of the program is to help residents reuse household items that otherwise might end up in local landfills. Residents are asked to place items they would like to give away at the curb after 9:00 a.m. and retrieve the items if they have not been collected by 4:00 p.m. that same day.

City of Ottawa Tree Program

I am pleased to provide Hunt Club residents with information on various City of Ottawa tree programs. The newest program is the TREE Program, which has the goal of planting 100,000 trees in Ottawa over the next four years. It is being launched tomorrow, May 8, 2007.

Trees in Trust Program: Homeowners who do not have a tree on the street frontage can apply for one at no charge. The City supplies and plants the tree and the property owner assists with watering. Requests must be received by the city by December 15 for Spring planting and by June 15 for Fall planting.

Commemorative Tree Program: Under this program, the City assists families or groups who wish to have a tree planted in a City park in remembrance or commemoration of the loss of a person. The cost of a Commemorative Tree is $400.00 for a 50mm caliper tree.

Community Partnership Tree Planting Program: Under this program, grants up to $2000 are available to community groups and non-profit organizations to plant on private or public property.

The TREE program is part of the United Nations Plant for the Planet initiative to plant a billion trees. There are four components to the TREE Program.

TREEsfor Tomorrow: City-wide distribution of trees to individuals for planting on their own property; Community distribution, where City Councillors nominate community associations to facilitate a tree distribution in their local community; Volunteer distribution, where residents who volunteer with a City of Ottawa Community planting event receive a tree to take home.

TREE Program Community Grants: This program will assist community groups in tree planting projects in school yards, parks and other greenspaces.

TREE Enhancements (Parks and Streetscapes): This is a proactive initiative where community associations and local interest groups assist in identifying tree-planting opportunities in the urban core, suburban streetscape, rural roadsides and planters located throughout the city.

TREE Outreach: This involves a rural Forestry Outreach Program that advises rural landowners how to maintain and protect forested properties and increase the forest cover through new tree plantings.

Plastic Bags Recycling a Success

After close to a year in operation, Loeb's plastic bag recycling program has made positive steps to help the environment and the community, resulting in a $10,000 donation to United Way.

Loeb is a partner with the City's "Take it Back!" program and United Way to encourage Ottawa residents to bring clean plastic grocery bags to their local Loeb stores. The bags are sent to U.S.-based grocery bag supplier, Hilex, for recycling into new plastic bags. Loeb's $10,000 donation to the United Way represents a portion of the proceeds from the recycling program.

In addition to reducing the number of plastic bags sent to landfill, the recycling program is providing important funding to community organizations such as those housed in the Bronson Centre. The centre, established in 1996, houses several non-profit agencies that share one common purpose - providing support to individuals who want to take responsibility for their lives with renewed dignity and hope.

This successful recycling program will continue to operate in Loeb stores across Ottawa. The City will continue to provide in-store promotional material, recycling bins and listing the stores in the City's "Take-it-Back!" directory and website.

From an environmental perspective, every 1,000 plastic bags returned diverts 17 pounds of waste from the City's landfills.

Update on the City's Integrated Waste Management Master Plan

The City's Integrated Waste Management Master Plan describes the status of the plan and the process for implementation of Ottawa's waste management initiatives. Highlights of these initiatives include pursuing increasing recycling rates in the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors which currently generate approximately 70% of the solid waste in the city; revising the Household Hazardous Waste Program to include 10 rotating pick-up stations across the city; implementing a residential organics collection program by fall 2008; monitoring and providing input on the proposed Carp and Navan Landfill expansions; and generating energy from waste by entering into partnerships with the PowerTrail Inc. and Fiasco Energy Group.

The Integrated Waste Management Master Plan provides direction for optimizing current and future residential solid waste programs over the next twenty years, and is a sub-plan of the City's Environmental Strategy.

The City is proud to join forces with Natural Resources Canada and Public Works and Government Services Canada to host a one-day mobile household hazardous waste collection depot on Saturday, May 5, 2007. The depot will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the federal government parking lot between 405 Rochester Street and 550 Booth Street, just south of the Queensway.

This depot provides a convenient way to help keep the environment free of hazardous household waste. Attendants will unload the hazardous material and dispose of it safely.

Some examples of household hazardous waste include energy efficient light bulbs, turpentine, aerosol containers, fire extinguishers, pool chemicals, insecticides, stains, wood preservatives, barbecue starters, propane tanks, oven cleaners, disinfectants, herbicides, fungicides, furniture stripper, gasoline and window cleaner.

Please note the following:

For more information visit the City's Web site at ottawa.ca or call 3-1-1. (TTY: 613-580-2401)

Comprehensive Zoning By-law

When the amalgamated City of Ottawa adopted its first Official Plan in 2003, planning staff initiated the preparation of a new Comprehensive Zoning by-law. The Draft Comprehensive Zoning By-law has been undergoing public consultation since it was released on May 26, 2006.

Many comments were received from the community and for the most part they have been integrated into a revised draft, which was released for public comment today, May 7, 2007. Public delegations on the Draft Comprehensive Zoning By-law at the Planning and Environment Committee meeting on June 8, 2007, with additional sessions available, if required, on June 12 & 18,2007.

OC Transpo Buses to Use Biodiesel

Starting May 1, 2007, fifty public transit buses started being fuelled with biodiesel as part of the City's ongoing efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and to reduce dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels. The City will use a biodiesel blend of 5% soy and 95% petroleum diesel. This product reduces emissions of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulate matter.

As of this date, the City will use 3.5 million litres of biodiesel per year. The reduction in GHGs for these 50 buses alone is the equivalent of taking 90 cars off the road annually. It is all part of the City's commitment to using clean, green technology to improve our environment.

The City's Fleet Services Branch has been studying the use of biodiesel for two years as part of the City's Council-approved Fleet Emissions Reduction Strategy and will continue to work towards using even higher blend ratios. With this ongoing commitment the City will further reduce GHGs emissions from the transit fleet by at least 9%, or over 9,000 tonnes a year, which will help achieve the target of a 20% GHGs reduction set in the City's 20/20 Official Plan.

Since 2002, the City has been actively implementing the Fleet Emission Reduction Strategy. The City is committed to reducing emissions and saving money on fuel costs through a variety of programs including using ethanol-blended gasoline and ultra-low sulphur diesel, implementing an Idling Policy for City vehicles, as well as purchasing new enviro-friendly vehicles like a Smart Car for By-Law and Regulatory Services.

Latest City Performance Report

City Council recently received the Quarterly Performance Report to Council for the fourth quarter of 2006 (October to December). The report is part of the City's commitment to accountability and transparency. It provides performance information for a cross section of branches that deliver services to the public and that are of high interest to Councillors.

The Quarterly Performance Report to Council provides a total of 48 performance measures relating to 13 branches. It is produced following the end of each quarter, and is designed to provide efficiency and customer service information about the core services provided to the public by the City of Ottawa, as well as information about key internal services.

A few highlights from the fourth quarter of 2006 include:

Immigration Ottawa Initiative

Council recently endorsed the establishment of an Immigration Ottawa Initiative (IOI) to facilitate the development of a community-led, citywide labour market integration strategy for immigrants. Council directed staff to report back with a proposed governance structure and detailed terms of reference within six months.

The IOI will address labour market integration issues related to immigration and immigrants including critical challenges to economic prosperity, meeting looming labour shortages, maintaining and growing the tax base, and helping immigrants to receive the supports they require (e.g. supports to employment) to successfully integrate into the workforce.

By 2011, newcomers will account for 100% of the net labour force growth in Ontario. Currently, the underutilization of newcomers accounts for a loss of between $2 and $3 billion dollars per year for the Canadian economy. At the same time, there is increasingly fierce global and national competition for skills and talent and the need to compete against the rising economic strength of countries such as India and China, which have younger workforces.

Rapid Transit Plan

As Ottawa continues to grow, it must plan its rapid transit service as part of an integrated transportation system to meet the communities' current and future transportation needs in a sustainable way. This requires a strategic plan for rapid transit that would improve transit service for existing riders, attract new riders, and prevent the increased auto use based upon some key principles of an effective rapid transit system.

On April 25, 2007, Council received a report that outlines how this work will be carried out in conjunction with the review and update of the Official Plan (OP) and Transportation Master Plan (TMP) that will be completed in 2008. It will incorporate new information related to the new planning horizon year of 2031, and revised population and employment and travel demand projections. It will also take into consideration the recommendations put forward by the Mayor's Task Force on Transportation.

Some of the key issues that will be examined as part of this work will include:

A key milestone will be the presentation and confirmation of the preliminary vision, goals and definitions for rapid transit by the Transit Committee in late 2007, following public consultation on these issues.

Canada Post Literacy Awards

The Canada Post Community Literacy Awards discover and acknowledge the achievements of Canadians who have made a special effort or an important contribution to literacy. Today, the program continues to celebrate the achievements of both adult learners and those who have helped them learn to read and write.

You are invited to nominate a deserving individual and/or educator from your community for a 2007 award. Nominees must be 18 years of age or older, Canadian citizens, or have Landed Immigrant or Refugee status. The deadline for nominations is midnight, May 25, 2007.

For more information, eligibility, submission criteria and nomination forms, please visit www:canadapost.ca/literacy awards.