River Ward City Councillor Maria McRae's Report to Hunt Club Community Organization

dated 8 September 2008, delivered 6 October 2008

Welcome Back

I hope you all enjoyed the summer months. Despite all of the rain we received, I hope everyone had the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and take some time off to relax. I look forward to working with the HCCO over the next year, as we work together to address issues important to the residents of Hunt Club.

CN Canadian Women's Open

From August 11 to 17, 2008, the CN Canadian Women's Open took place at the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club. This was a fantastic opportunity to showcase Canada's Capital to the golfers and their families and fans from across Canada and around the world. Thanks to the generosity of many residents, CHEO received a donation of $ 1,000,000.

Ottawa's Transportation Master Plan Update - Airport Parkway

As you know, the City of Ottawa is currently updating its Transportation Master Plan (TMP), a city-building document that explains the need for future transit, roads, pathways and other transportation infrastructure, and provide guidance on where and when they will be built. This update, and the development of a new transit vision for Ottawa began in July of 2007.

Over the past year, extensive public consultation and planning exercises have provided input on transportation and transit trends and issues, residents' priorities and potential solutions. A new transit vision for Ottawa and four transit options were developed based on this information and the need to address the city's main point of congestion, the downtown. On May 28, 2008, City Council adopted 'Option 4' - a city wide light rail network that builds from the core out through a downtown tunnel - as the new Rapid Transit Network for Ottawa. Council also provided direction for further extensions of light rail to the east, west and south as population growth warrants and funding becomes available.

Over the summer, further detail has been added to the transit network and options for the staging and construction of the complete network have been developed. Work has also been underway on the road component of the TMP. As road expansion is needed to support efficient mobility throughout the city, a prioritized set of road improvements has been developed.

I want to bring to your attention the staff recommendation regarding the twinning of the Airport Parkway from Brookfield Road to Hunt Club Road during Phase 1 from 2009 to 2015. Please reference the web link below: http://www.ottawa.ca/residents/public_consult/beyond_2020/tmp/transit/phase3/south_east_sect or_en.html Any associated infrastructure regarding the widening of this roadway such as noise berms, cycling paths, etc. will be addressed during the Environmental Assessment phase.

I encourage you to contact me directly, by phone at 613-580-2486, or by e-mail at Maria.McRae@ottawa.ca, to express your opinions on the City's Transportation Master Plan.

Integrated Road Safety Program (IRSP)

In 2003, the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Police Service strengthened their commitment to road safety by initiating the Integrated Road Safety Program to reduce traffic fatalities or serious injuries by 30% by the year 2010. In 2004, as part of the strategy, a campaign-based Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) was initiated where, on a monthly basis, two initiatives are launched that target specific traffic offences. Following are the statistics for the STEP program for the summer of 2008: Month Initiative Result June 2008 Motorists Exceeding Set Speed Limits in Construction Zones and Impaired Driving 4,017 charges for speeding and 641 tickets issued for running stop signs July 2008 Pedestrian Safety and Drivers Who Make Unsafe Lane Changes 27 charges laid against both pedestrians and motorists -pedestrians for disobeying "Don't Walk" signals and failing to use crosswalks and drivers for failing to yield to pedestrians 131 charges for unsafe lane changes August 2008 Cycling Safety and Drivers Who Run Red Lights Not yet available

September Initiative This month, the City of Ottawa's Integrated Road Safety Program (IRSP), through its Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP), is focussing its attention on motorists that violate school bus traffic controls and fail to stop for stop signs. Over the past five years, 43 collisions occurred on Ottawa roads involving school buses, some of which were due to school bus traffic control violations, resulting in 18 injuries. Also notably, in 2007 alone, 1,666 reportable collisions occurred at Ottawa's stop sign-controlled intersections. These collisions resulted in eight deaths and 588 injuries - 27 of them life-threatening. .

The penalties for a driver passing a stopped school bus with its upper red lights flashing include fines ranging from $400 to $2,000 and six demerit points for a first offence. A second offence yields the driver a fine between $1,000 and $4,000, six demerit points and a possible jail sentence of up to six months. Furthermore, the province recently reinforced school bus safety by now making it possible for vehicle owners to also be charged for school bus traffic control violations. Fines for vehicle owners range from $400 to $2,000. In addition, a police officer does not need to witness the vehicle passing a stopped school bus with its upper red lights flashing for charges to be laid against the vehicle owner. Citizens who witness such occurrences can contact the police and provide the make, model, colour of vehicle; license number; location, date and time of the incident; and, if possible, a description of the driver.

Fall Cleaning the Capital

Mark your calendars for the official launch of the City's Fall Cleaning the Capital Campaign on:
Date: Thursday, September 18, 2008
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Place: Richelieu Vanier Park 300 Des Peres Blancs Avenue

Residents of all ages are invited to participate in the City's 2nd Fall Cleaning the Capital campaign between September 15 and October 15, 2008. Fall Cleaning the Capital is a great opportunity for high school students to get a head start on their Community Involvement Program volunteer hours, and for families, friends, schools, neighbourhood groups or organizations and businesses to band together on a community cleanup project to help keep Ottawa clean, green and litter-free.

It's easy to get involved. Pick a cleanup location. For fall, cleanup efforts are encouraged in areas where litter has accumulated over the summer months. It can be a park, a woodlot, ravine, shoreline, bus stop, pathway, schoolyard or any public property requiring tidying up. Suggested spots to target include along fence lines, in open spaces with tall grass, along trails, and around drainage ditches and catch basins. While cleaning up open areas that are maintained and mowed by the City, such as in our parks, please leave the leaves. Leaves will be mulched by City staff to return their nutrients to the soil.

Once you have selected a cleanup location, registration is quick and easy. Register your project online at Ottawa.ca/clean or by calling 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401). Register on or before September 14 for a chance to win early bird prizes. Registration is ongoing until October 15, 2008 - the last day of the campaign.

Cleanup starter kits are available upon request (while quantities last) and include disposable vinyl gloves, garbage bags and leaf-and-yard waste bags to assist your cleanup project. Garbage, recycling and leaf-and-yard waste resulting from your fall cleanup project can be put out on your regularly scheduled collection day.

As a result of both the Spring and Fall Cleaning the Capital campaigns last year, close to 60,000 participants completed 1,031 registered cleanup projects. With your help, we can be bigger and better in 2008!

City Adopts New Online Resource for Volunteers

Residents of Ottawa can now access all volunteer positions within the various branches of the City by using a new online resource developed specifically for volunteers. This volunteer referral system powered by MyVolunteerPage.com is a Canadian-based product that helps connect individuals with organizations in need of volunteers.

In Ottawa alone, 300,000 volunteers donate nearly 487 million hours of service equivalent of 23,397 full time employees, representing a dollar value of invested capacity to our City of $730,000,000 in service delivery.

City staff will now be able to manage their volunteer needs in 'real time' providing residents with the most up-to-date details. Individuals can also apply online for any position that is of interest to them.

For information on volunteering with the City of Ottawa, visit the Volunteer Opportunities webpage: http://www.ottawa.ca/residents/volunteerservices/volunteer_ottawa_en.html. Volunteer inquiries are also welcome by calling the City's Volunteer Hotline at 613-580-2624 or by e-mail at volunteer@ottawa.ca.

In addition to volunteer opportunities with the City, I host a number of community events and am grateful to the residents who assist me at these events. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering at any of my events, I encourage you to contact my office at 613-580-2486 for more information.

Home Ownership and Down Payment Assistance Program

The City of Ottawa has received an allocation of $2.025 million from the Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program to provide down payment assistance to 205 low and moderate-income households on the purchase of their home. The Affordable Housing Unit (AHU) in the Housing Branch is the Service Manager responsible for administering the Canada-Ontario Home Ownership Assistance Program. There is a strict eligibility criteria that must be met in order to apply for this program. If you or someone you know would be interested in this program, I encourage you to call my office at 613-580-2486 for more information.

Waste Diversion: City Partnership with Businesses and Institutions

While waste generated by local stores, offices, manufacturing works, schools and health care facilities is not managed by the City of Ottawa, it has a significant impact on the environment within the City. Many municipalities including the City of Ottawa, have developed pro-active programs to encourage diversion of waste from businesses and institutions away from disposal in our landfills. Diversion 2015 is the City's Draft strategy outlining how we in Ottawa intend to proactively address the disposal of waste from businesses and institutions. The draft strategy, Diversion 2015, makes recommendations that will help the City move forward with aggressive diversion in the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors and outlines how the City proposes to address them. For more information about the Diversion 2015 I encourage you to visit www.ottawa.ca, or to call my office at 613-580-2486.

OC Transpo: Smart Cards

On August 27, 2008, the City and Province announced joint funding for a new $21-million Smartcard fare system for Ottawa's transit riders. With the City's contribution of $14 million already earmarked by Council, the Honourable Jim Watson, Ontario's Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, announced that the Province would provide $7 million for the project, which is slated to begin implementation in mid-2010.

Once fully installed in 2011, the system will allow transit riders to ditch their passes in favour of contact-free Smartcards, which riders will wave at a card reader as they board the bus, O-Train and future rail lines. Transit users will be able to configure their cards as any one of a number of period passes (monthly, annual, Ecopass, semester, etc.), or casual riders will be able to load the cards up with money and have the fare deducted from the card every time they use transit. Customers will also have the convenience of purchasing their fares from their home, office or "on the go" through the Internet, telephone or pre-authorized debit payment. Customers who do not have a Smartcard will still be able to pay their fare with cash.

The introduction of Smartcards will also allow riders to continue seamless transfers between the Societe de transport de 1'Outaouais (STO) - which has had a Smartcard system since 1998 - and OC Transpo's transit system. Card readers on Ottawa's buses, O-Train and future rail lines will be able to read STO Smartcards. Alternatively, their readers will be able to read OC Transpo cards, thanks to a $1.8-million technology upgrade the STO will undertake as part of their partnership agreement with the City.

Fall and Winter Recreation Guide - Now Available

In the City of Ottawa's new Fall 2008/Winter 2009 Recreation Guide, you'll find thousands of courses, programs and activities for all ages designed to help you get active, learn new skills, or just have fun. The 200-page Recreation Guide offers Ottawa's widest selection of recreation programs at affordable prices and convenient locations. With a greater number of programs taking place at more facilities than ever you are sure to find a perfect fit for you. Be sure to check out the new and exciting additions to this year's guide including Snowshoeing, Mambo, Pottery Wheel Workshops, and our intensive Hockey Conditioning boot camp.

This year you will also find individual English and French guides with detailed listings of programs available in each language. Mon guide francophone des loisirs Automne-hiver 2008-2009 contains a complete inventory of French language programs. The guide can be picked up at your neighbourhood recreation facility, which is the Hunt Club Riverside Community Centre located at 3320 Paul Anka Drive, City's Client Service Centre, library, participating retail outlets, or viewed online at www.ottawa.ca/recreation.

Registration for aquatic programs began August 12, 2008. Registration for all other programs began on August 14, 2008. For quick and convenient registration simply follow the Guide's touch-tone telephone instructions or direct your browser to www.ottawa.ca and click the 123 Go Register Icon.

Councillor Maria McRae's Family Safety Day

I am pleased to invite River Ward Residents to join me on Family Safety Day. This is a perfect opportunity for your whole family to enjoy a number of activities geared towards improving safety awareness. Event details are as follows:
Date: Saturday, October 25, 2008
Event: FREE CPR and AED Training
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (You must register to participate)
Information Displays and Activities 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Drug Abuse and Smoking Cessation Seminar 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
BBQ Lunch (nominal cost) 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Location: - Hunt Club Riverside Community Centre 3320 Paul Anka Drive
This will be a fun and exciting learning experience for the whole family. This event will be split into three sections: BBQ lunch will be made available to you and your family between 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. at a nominal cost.

Maria McRae's Annual Autumn Tea For River Ward Seniors

Friday, October 24, 2008, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Hunt Club/Riverside Community Centre 3320 Paul Anka Drive (at McCarthy Road)
Entertainment Refreshments and Snacks
Door Prizes
Seniors Information Table
R.S.V.P. Please call 613-580-2486 to reserve your ticket(s)