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February 12, 2022

Occupation

Good morning, Kitchissippi.

I have little news to share this morning about the occupation that you haven't already read in the media. I cannot begin to share the anger and frustration that everyone is feeling that this has been allowed to continue. As I continue to press, so long as the occupiers are allowed to lay siege almost unmolested in the central business district, the effects of this occupation will radiate far and wide.

Almost every day, I'm hearing about verbal assaults on residents wearing masks on the streets in our ward, including recently at a school. A woman walking home was accosted by a truck with occupation regalia who then followed her before she took refuge on an OC Transpo bus. At one of our schools, a driver of another pick-up with occupation regalia accosted parents. There are incidents on streets both quiet and busy in our ward. These are terrifying for people who experience them.

The closer you get to the Hill, the more prevalent these incidents are, but it's important to understand that this occupation has ramifications that are city-wide.

Below, I've got a note from the Hintonburg Community Association asking for help in that neighbourhood with some mutual aid. I and my team are available to help should others wish to help along the same lines in their neighbourhood or block. No one is seeking confrontation, but we have seen how presence is a valuable way to support each other. I've been pleased to participate in efforts in the ward and in Centretown; it is a concrete action that we can all take that will help.

I'd like to thank my team back in the office who are carrying on the usual ward business. Lisa, Tom, Steph and Ben continue to work on your day-to-day issues, and are getting my attention and focus on those when they can. Please forgive a very brief and largely repetitive newsletter today. Our liaison at the City was very helpful at working with residents and me last weekend on an emerging supply camp, and I thank residents who raised it with me by email, which is always the fastest way to reach me. I'll continue monitoring for emerging issues that you send me. I apologize in advance: if you're writing to me with more general notes about the occupation, it may be some time before I'm able to reply. Please know that I am at least scanning it all.


Pop-up office hours February 16
My next scheduled pop-up office hours will be on Wednesday, February 16 from 1-2:30 pm. Pop-up hours are an opportunity to drop in without an appointment to chat with me one-on-one about whatever's on your mind. Email me at jeff.leiper@ottawa.ca for the Zoom login details.

Occupation and Hintonburg
The following is from the Hintonburg Community Association:
***
In the last week we have heard some very troubling reports of residents in Hintonburg being harassed on the street and feeling unsafe. We were made aware of incidents Thursday & Friday at our primary schools. 
Since Tuesday the Hintonburg Community Association has started some evening walks in the community and Friday we had a presence near each of our primary schools. We are providing extra eyes on the street and a quiet presence on the street at certain times of the day with our Walks for Safety.
If you have some time to help for an hour or so over the next few weeks, we would appreciate your help. Please contact the HCA at info@hintonburg.com.
If you witness or are aware of any illegal activity being committed by convoy participants or organizers, please report them to the following: Police  613-236-1222, x7502 (dispatch); x5015 (Hate crime hotline); x7300 (file a report); ottawapolice.ca. Call 311 for any by-law issues.

Committee of Adjustment February 2
The Committee of Adjustment's Panel 1 agenda on February 16 has several Kitchissippi applications. Visit the committee agenda here for further details on these applications.

  • At 661 Keenan, the owner is seeking to re-construct their two-car garage with a second-storey addition. They're seeking variances associated with the rear-yard setback and yard projection.
  • At 41 and 43 Hampton, the owner is seeking a severance and variances to divide the property and build a semi-detached dwelling with one unit on each of the new parcels. The variance is to permit a reduced lot area of 223 square meters where the zoning by-law requires 225 square meters. 
  • At 325 Hinchey, the owner is seeking to build a secondary dwelling unit above grade within an existing duplex as an expansion of the existing legally non-conforming building. The construction would include the addition of a dormer to the top floor of the building.
I have decisions from the most recent meeting but will include those in a subsequent issue of the newsletter due to some time constraints this morning. If there's an address for which you're watching specifically, please drop us a line and Steph can get you that outcome. 

Phase 3 of Transportation Master Plan consultation
Work continues on the Transportation Master Plan that will be the fundamental framework for how the Official Plan's transportation goals are achieved. Multiple draft policies are now online and residents are invited to fill out a number surveys by February 18 besides providing feedback directly by email. There will be a public open house organized for early this year: stay tuned. Find more details, the drafts and the surveys here.

138 Forward site plan open house 
We're hosting an open house to look at the plans for a four-storey, 18-unit apartment building to be constructed at 138 Forward on February 17. See those details here.

Parkland dedication consultation 
The City is required to update its parkland dedication by-law (which requires cash or land from developers). The City is hosting an open house to look at potential changes on Wednesday, February 16 from 6-7:30 pm (note that this time and date has changed). Get more details here.

30 Railway open house February 16
The City is evaluating the site plan for a three-storey, 8-unit apartment building that will be constructed at 30 Railway. We're organizing an open house on February 16 to look at that in more detail. See more here.
 
Venus Envy pop-up tonight
Venus Envy is one of Ottawa's favourite sex shop's promoting healthy, fun and inclusive sexuality. They're unable to operate in the downtown occupation zone right now on the cusp of Valentine's Day. Little Jo Berry's has come to the rescue. Venus Envy will be holding a pop-up shop from 6-10 pm at Little Jo's, 1305 Wellington West. Maybe Natalie and I will see you there as we support an amazing local business devastated by inaction against the siege. See a little more on the Facebook page here.

Garden sharing network
Garden Sharing Network - Westboro is an initiative launched by the Westboro Beach Community Association and seeks to connect people in Westboro Beach and surrounding communities who have land but cannot garden with those who desire to garden but do not have access to land. Click here to find out more.

Garden sharing may be right for you if:

  • You have passion for gardening but no access to land;
  • Have a yard and want to put it to use but lack the skill, time, or expertise to do it yourself;
  • Have a desire to get to know your neighbours and build community; and/or,
  • Enjoy fresh produce grown directly in your community. 
Please visit the WBCA website or the Garden Sharing Network - Westboro to find out more. 

Wellington West 2k challenge
This is fun! The Wellington West BIA, with sponsor Run Ottawa, is challenging residents to walk or run the length of Welli or 2k every day from February 14-28 with a chance to win prizes. See the full details here.

Wild Emotions - A Workshop for Parents
Saturday, February 26 - 10am Little kids can have BIG feelings! What to do with all those explosive emotions? Heather Shumaker guides you through understanding attitudes toward negative feelings and gives a host of practical tools so you can help children understand, accept and express their big feelings appropriately. Parents, grandparents, and other adult care-givers of young kids are all welcome! This workshop is being hosted by First Unitarian. Register in advance to receive the Zoom link. 

At City Hall

Special City Council
Meetings at City Hall have been suspended for the next couple of weeks as we focus on the occupation. City Council will meet for another special meeting on Monday to get updated on the crisis.

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