I am very passionate about the environment and the many greenspaces we have in our community, and I know many of you are as well. Join me in celebrating Earth Day tomorrow! I will be hosting a Facebook Live event at 3 p.m. with Sharon Coward, Executive Director at EnviroCentre. Tune in with the kids as we provide tips for maintaining a green lifestyle and share fun facts about the environment. Directly following this, at 4 p.m., I will be launching an interactive quiz to test your knowledge about Earth Day and our environment. A link to the quiz will be provided during the chat, so we can all complete it together. I’m looking forward to learning more about the environment and hope the discussion will inspire new sustainable measures that you can start at home and continue past this pandemic.
Kanata North Update:
- This week we celebrate Volunteer Week! We are so fortunate to have a strong sense of community in Kanata North, with many active volunteers. Many thanks to the 204 volunteers who have generously stepped up during this pandemic to help those in need. I am proud of our Kanata North community!
- Tomorrow, join your neighbours for the big community shout out. At 6:30 p.m. step outside and cheer on the front-line workers who continue to work tirelessly to protect our city from COVID-19. Use pots and pans to really show how much we appreciate them!
- COVID–19 has created uncertainty for our local business community. The Kanata North Business Association has responded and established the COVID-19 Response Program & Fund to support business resilience in Canada’s largest technology park. They will provide non-repayable $2,500 grants to qualifying commercial tenants. Apply here.
- Many thanks to all those who continue to make and donate masks. I have received a few requests to share the patterns to make sewing masks. A local volunteer has shared her pattern here. I’m happy to collect and distribute masks if needed. Happy sewing!
- Please note that new signs will be posted at the gates of the main trail access points at South March Highlands. The signs are to remind residents that the forest is closed except to walk/cycle through on the trails. Please maintain a 2–metre distance from others and keep dogs on leash.
City of Ottawa/Ottawa Public Health Update
Today, the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health provided the following updates:
- Ottawa Public Health has shared that an additional 42 COVID-19 cases were confirmed since the last report, bringing the new total to 899 laboratory-confirmed cases in Ottawa. There have now been 25 deaths reported due to the virus.
- Tomorrow at 10 a.m., you can tune into the third virtual City Council meeting. Watch live with Rogers Television or via the city’s social platforms.
- To ensure safety and property standards are being met, starting May 1, property maintenance and landscaping activities to address potential health, safety and sanitation issues will be deemed essential and therefore permitted. Landscaping and lawn care businesses that are providing services strictly for safety, security or sanitation purposes will be allowed effective May 1, 2020. These services include lawn cutting, dethatching, rolling, clearing yard and garden debris and aeration. In respect to Provincial regulations, all other activities, such as landscaping projects that are intended to beautify or are for aesthetics only, or that involve interlock, fences, decks, etc. will not be permitted until further notice from the Province.
Today, the Government of Ontario shared these updates:
- Premier Ford announced that the province will invest $11 million to help the most vulnerable. The funds will go towards delivering meals, medicines and other essentials to those in need and doubling the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payments for six months. The province is working hard with the Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) to launch a new Ontario Community Support Program to expand existing Meals on Wheels services to reach more residents across Ontario.
- The province is investing $40 million in the Residential Relief Fund to assist many organizations delivering social services to vulnerable people with COVID-related costs, such as the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) and enhanced staffing. In addition, the government is providing $148 million to municipal partners that administer social services to support the province’s most vulnerable as part of the province’s $200 million in social services relief funding in response to COVID-19.
The Federal Government provided the following updates:
- Today, the Canadian Government announced additional funding to help the most vulnerable. The Emergency Community Support Fund will invest $350 million that will be available to charities and non-profit organizations that deliver essential services to those in need. The investment will be disbursed through national organizations that can get funds quickly to local organizations. It will support a variety of measures, such as:
- Increasing volunteer-based home deliveries of groceries and medications.
- Providing transportation services, like accompanying or driving seniors or persons with disabilities to appointments.
- Scaling up helplines that provide information and support.
- Helping vulnerable Canadians access government benefits.
- Providing training, supplies, and other required supports to volunteers so they can continue to make their invaluable contributions to the COVID-19 response.
- Replacing in-person, one-on-one contact and social gatherings with virtual contact through phone calls, texts, teleconferences, or the Internet.
Tomorrow, City Council meets virtually at 10 a.m. If you are interested, you can tune into the meeting on the city’s YouTube channel here. Included in tomorrow’s agenda is an update from Dr. Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health at Ottawa Public Health, and an update from the City Manager, Steve Kanellakos.
Thank you for your continued diligence in staying home and practicing physically distancing. I know how hard this is, and I thank you.
Stay safe. Stay Home.