This week, City Council approved the hiring of 10 additional police officers to deal with gun violence in Ottawa. The officers are expected to be in place in the fall.
Growing concern regarding the increase in gun violence across the country has resulted in the announcement of a federal government grant program, with funding of $100 million nation-wide anticipated to begin in April 2019.
Council also approved a motion to immediately proceed with studying the conversion of the Southwest Transitway to Barrhaven from bus rapid transit to light rail transit service.
While I support the notion of proceeding with an environmental assessment (EA) to support future transit infrastructure in Barrhaven, I as well as my west-end councillor colleagues felt that it was important to reaffirm Council’s support for the next planned phase of LRT in Ottawa to move west into Kanata and Stittsville. That is why earlier last week, I reached out to Mayor Watson on behalf of my colleagues to reiterate that as the Kanata LRT EA has already been completed/approved by Council and there is a demonstrated need for improved OC Transpo service to Ottawa’s west communities, that the West remain a priority as LRT moves forward into Phase 3.
This was his response:
As you know, the Kanata LRT EA was received by Council in April 2018, preparing the way to link the Confederation Line to this community in 2031, as currently stated in the City’s Long Range Transit Affordability Plan. The EA for LRT to Barrhaven, which is also one of Ottawa’s fastest growing communities, will bring this neighbourhood on par with Kanata and Stittsville in terms of conducting the due diligence required to one day extend the O-Train to this community. I believe this is a matter of ensuring fairness between Ottawa’s communities, which is something I always strive to accomplish, to maximize our transit investments to the benefit of as many residents as possible.
Let me be clear: my wish is for the Kanata and Barrhaven extensions of LRT to be done concurrently as part of Stage 3. I will remind you that we have managed to deliver results for the communities of Orléans, Riverside-South and the west end, as far as Moodie Drive, as part of Stage 2. That is my commitment going forward, and I will be advocating for this outcome with our other funding partners when future rounds of federal and provincial infrastructure funding are announced.
Thank you for your ongoing support on the development of Ottawa’s growing LRT project.
Please feel free to share this response with your constituents.
I am happy to hear that this step forward for Barrhaven’s LRT EA will not affect the future of LRT in Stittsville and Kanata. In a perfect world, every community in Ottawa will have LRT accessibility within the next decade, however, with that said, I will continue to push toward ensuring the west receives LRT extension as early as possible as I understand how important it is for Stittsville residents to receive fair and reliable OC Transpo service.
Council also approved an addition to the Château Laurier hotel, a national historic site. The approval follows two years of public discussion and several iterations of the design.
Larco Investments has proposed a contemporary, seven-storey addition to the rear of the hotel. In revising the design, Larco considered more than 3,000 public comments, along with input from planning and heritage staff, and from the City’s Urban Design Review Panel. The approved design is lower in height than previous versions and uses limestone and bronze to reflect the materials of the historic hotel.
Today’s approval requires that City planning staff work with the applicant to add more limestone to the addition’s exterior, make the north façade less uniform, and introduce patterns and geometric proportions drawn from the historic building.