Nominations for the 10th Annual Stittsville Appreciation Awards Now Open!

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Bust out the red carpet and get your thinking caps in high gear because the nomination period for the 10th Annual Stittsville Appreciation Awards is now OPEN!

 

It’s easy to show someone in our community your appreciation whether they be a neighbor, a friend, or even a family member! This is your opportunity to bring their special contributions and achievements to light and recognize the excellence that exists within Stittsville!

 

Nominations must be received by Sunday April 8th!

The Roger Griffiths Memorial Citizen of the Year is awarded to an individual who best exemplifies community involvement and participation. The Senior of the Year is awarded in recognition of a senior citizen who has made a significant and long-standing contribution to our community. The Youth of the Year is presented to an individual who contributes leadership, volunteer service, serves as a peer example, and has overcome personal challenges or responds in an emergency situation. The Business of the Year is awarded to a Stittsville business that has contributed significantly to our quality of life. For further qualifications on these awards, I encourage you to visit my website.

 

Nominate someone in all four categories or as many as you like! The choice is yours!

 

Winners will be announced at the Appreciation Awards celebrations, which will be held on Tuesday May 17th commencing at 7:00pm at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex.

 

Nomination forms will be reviewed by a pre-determined selection committee so remember to be as descript as possible in your nomination and don’t leave anything out! Strong applications rely on content so you do not have to be the world’s best writer to show someone your appreciation.

 

I encourage everyone to fill out the attached nomination form and email it to me at Shad.Qadri@ottawa.ca or print the form for either drop off at my ward office in the Goulbourn Recreation Complex or mailed to 110 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 1J1. Please include a detailed, written submission outlining why you are nominating a particular individual or business.

Stittsville Receives Funding for a Public High School

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This morning, I was pleased to join Member of Provincial Parliament, the Honourable Bob Chiarelli, at Stittsville Public School for a very special announcement regarding a public high school in Stittsville.

 

The need for a public high school in the community has been a talking point for a long time. First appearing on the radar in 2003, later gaining momentum in 2006 as Stittsville’s burgeoning youth population continued to grow.

 

At that time, it was felt that the high school would need to be built by 2010 in order to meet the needs of Stittsville’s population growth. However, due to a lack of funding, that did not occur.

 

Stittsville’s population is now approximately 34,000, up 15,000 from when the need was initially established (that’s a growth of over 75%). There is no other community of this size in Ontario that does not have a public high school. That number is expected to grow to over 70,000 within the next 20 years.

 

In 2016, a community-led effort by Stittsville residents Jennifer Smith and Jenny Guth in collaboration with my office, collected signatures on a petition to make the funding of a Stittsville Public School the number one priority on the OCDSB Capital Funding Priorities list. With the help of some very committed individuals like Leonard Baak, that goal was achieved and a strong case was presented to the Provincial government in late 2016.

 

Now, after much determination and hard work from many of our residents over the years, I am thrilled to share that the province of Ontario will at last be providing funding for a Stittsville Public High School!

Getting a public high school in Stittsville has been one of my top priorities as a City Councillor since being elected into office.

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I was proud to be in attendance at Stittsville Public School this morning as MPP Chiarelli made the announcement confirming that $37.4 million of funding would be provided by the province to build a school in the Fernbank area. The new structure is expected to accommodate an estimated 1,353 pupils.

 

This is exciting news for the community as this is an institution that our community has been waiting for a very long time. It is the result of many dedicated individuals working very closely with school boards, the community, and of course, our provincial representatives.

 

I would like to provide my sincere thanks to MPP Chiarelli for helping to finally make this request a reality. I would also like to thank Jennifer Smith, Jenny Guth, OCDSB trustee, Lynn Scott, and everyone else who has assisted in this process over the years gone by as well as Jim Watson as Mayor of the City for his support on this file and MPP Lisa Macleod for supporting the efforts of our community.

 

The Fernbank site, located north of Fernbank Road, west of Robert Grant and will be south of the Cope Road extension, and a number of other school sites were identified through the Fernbank Community Design Plan as potential locations for future schools, which are shown on the demonstration plan .

 

It is located within the CRT development lands and the development applications for this location have been draft approved and should be registered later this year. In the draft plan of subdivision for this property, the school is noted as the Block 654 Institutional.

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Today, more than 500 high school students bus out of Stittsville every day to attend South Carleton (15km away), while others switch to another school board so they can remain in Stittsville. No parent should have to choose between switching school boards and sending their children so far away every day.

 

The new facility is presently slated to open in 2021 with many of the details to be worked out over the coming months. As updates arise, I look forward to sharing this information with residents in my electronic newsletter.

 

I would lastly like to thank all member of the community for your patience and support as Stittsville moves forward with this important new project in sight. You have all helped to make this future a reality. Thank you.

A Sad Farewell to Our Community Newspaper

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At the end of November, our village received the sad news that a longstanding and valued member of our community would soon be leaving us: the Stittsville News. This paper has been an important part of our lives for over 60 years, publishing its first-ever four-page issue on December 12th, 1957.

Since 1975, the distribution of the weekly community-focused newspaper was overseen by the guidance and expertise of editor-in-chief, John Curry, with support and involvement of his mother, sister, and nephew who each helped to maintain the circulation lists and produce the addressed paper bags in which the paper was originally mailed to subscribers. Throughout the years, other notable local residents became involved with the paper such as the late Barb Fairbrother who handled office duties for almost 20 years.

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Rarely an event went by in Stittsville or Goulbourn that was not covered and photographed by John Brummell. Mr. Brummell, a good friend of Mr. Curry’s, came on the team originally as a volunteer back in 1993 to later retire from the paper just last year.

As a paper focusing on local news, these journalists always represented the community by highlighting the names of individuals in all photographs – helping to make even the most bashful of us, local celebrities – and creating a link for future residents to connect with their past.

It was through the support and dedication of this team and that of the community and its many groups and organizations that the Stittsville News became a household name.

The Stittsville News has been an integral part of our community’s history; from documenting community announcements to promoting and sharing the accomplishments of our individuals and our families, the paper has kept us informed and updated on matters that affect us from both the local and City perspective while always providing our morning rituals with an uplifting local story.

In a time of fast growing technology and social media advancement, let us not forget the wholesomeness and the grass roots of the local community paper; a paper that touched many of our lives; a paper whose clippings are tucked away in between the pages of parents’ scrapbooks celebrating their children’s accomplishments or special announcements. Although today’s electronic medium may provide the same information, it will never be able to match the intimate storytelling of a physical paper in hand. However, the memories our local paper has provided will always hold a special place in our hearts. For this, I thank John Curry and John Brummell along with all those both past and present who have been a part of the making of the Stittsville News a memorable part of our community history that will most certainly be missed and fondly treasured for many years to come.

Keep Informed on Important Community Updates

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As we move into a new year with changing technologies for news, information, and community updates, I would like to encourage all residents of Stittsville to keep informed by subscribing to my channels.

My weekly electronic newsletter is disseminated every Friday straight to your email inbox. This comprehensive guide includes local community events, important updates involving the surrounding Ottawa area, as well as useful information regarding City news including OC Transpo, Light Rail Transit, Service Ottawa, City Council & Committee updates, and more! To subscribe, please visit shadqadri.com/contact or email me at Shad.Qadri@ottawa.ca and provide your name, email, phone number, and home address and I will be happy to add you to my distribution list.

Don’t like email updates but still want to keep informed? You can also visit shadqadri.com as a resource for your community information. Simply scroll through my most recent articles ordered chronologically or use the search bar to find previously shared information. You can also find ward maps, infographics, directories for local services/community associations, and more!

Want updates delivered straight to your social media timelines? Follow me on Twitter at @ShadQadri or on Facebook at facebook.com/ShadQadri where I share valuable updates regarding Stittsville and the Ottawa area in real time.

And don’t forget to bookmark Ottawa.ca and myservice.ottawa.ca as a valuable resource for organizing and submitting your general service requests. Such requests include bylaw enforcement, winter road or sidewalk maintenance, garbage and recycling collection, reporting a pothole, noise complaints, and more! You can also dial 3-1-1 or email Service Ottawa at 311@ottawa.ca.

As your Councillor, I also always appreciate speaking with residents directly. Our ward office is located in the heart of the Goulbourn Recreation Complex (1500 Shea Road) during regularly scheduled office hours. If our office is open, please do not hesitate to stop by to ask a question or just to say ‘hello’! You can also call us any time at 613-580-2476. If no one is available to take your call, please leave a voice message with your name, phone number, and email address and someone will be happy to get in touch with you as soon as possible.

 

I hope that residents find this information useful and I look forward to connecting with you soon!

Lest We Forget – Remembrance Day Reflections

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It is once again the time of year where red poppies are worn proudly upon the hearts of Canadians everywhere. Of course, it is Remembrance Day.

It is a sad time but a time that also harkens feelings of joy, of nostalgia, and of respect toward the veterans of this incredible country who have devoted their lives in service to this land, its people, and what we stand for.

“Lest we forget.”

The term “Remembrance Day” as it is presently known was first coined in 1931 – 86 years ago. It has now been 72 years since the end of the last world war and those who lived to witness the atrocities committed are becoming fewer and fewer.

Now, more than ever, it is important that we look back to our history to learn from the past and honour the noble sacrifices made by our veterans in order to build a better future for us and our children.

On November 11th, Canadians will come together – whether it be at home, at work, or at an organized memorial site – in a moment of silence to remember the sentiments behind these sacrifices.

I encourage all residents and all citizens of our nation to take the time out of their busy lives to stand together in a silent moment of reflection to remember the heroes of our past who have fought for our rights and freedoms, the heroes of our present who are still fighting to keep us at peace, and the heroes of tomorrow who aspire to creating a world in which fighting is no longer necessary.

I invite all residents to join me tomorrow at the Stittsville Cenotaph following the Remembrance Day Parade organized by the Stittsville Legion.

Participants will line up at the Stittsville Legion at 1:30 and leave at 1:45, marching up to the Cenotaph by the Johnny Leroux Arena (10 Warner-Colpitts Ln).

Afterwards at approximately 2:45, all attendees are invited back to the Legion (1480 Stittsville Main St) for food and live music as we acknowledge our brave veterans who have fought and are still fighting for our country.

Thank you, and please remember to wear your poppy in support.

Committee Votes to Protect Shea Road Woods

As mentioned in last week’s column, this week, Planning Committee discussed and approved an agreement that would see the City acquire about five hectares of Shea Road Woods, a popular local greenspace in Stittsville’s Fernbank Community south of Abbott Street East and east of Shea Road near Holy Spirit Parish.

 

This is great news for the community as the woods – deemed Stittsville’s “unofficial dogpark” – are a beautiful green space in which residents often take their dogs for long walks to soak in some of our community’s natural beauty.

 

City Council committed to acquiring this important natural area in 2009, to ensure area residents have access to high quality outdoor recreational space. The agreement with CRT Developments would see the City pay cash for about one third of the property. The remaining two thirds would be transferred in exchange for another parcel of land that was to be developed as a City park.

 

As part of subdivision agreements, Ottawa requires each developer to design and build parks on behalf of the City. As part of a subdivision next to the Shea Road Woods, CRT Developments had already planned a 3.28-hectare park. In exchange for the Shea Road Woods property, the City would allow that land to instead be developed with low-density housing. There would be no net loss of recreational park facilities within the Fernbank Community as CRT Developments would pay for parks facilities next to the Shea Road Woods.

 

The City would pay cash for the remaining 1.72 hectares, at an estimated cost of $1,577,573. Funding for that purchase would come from the Environmental Resource Area Acquisition Reserve Fund, which Council established to help acquire and protect natural features like Shea Road Woods.

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I would like to thank all residents for their overwhelmingly positive response to this item leading into Planning Committee. Your comments certainly made a lasting impression on the Committee members and truly shed a light on how important residents feel about preserving our natural areas.

All existing comments sent to Planning Committee will be circulated to members of Council for discussion and final approval at the November 8th City Council meeting.  If there are residents who did not have an opportunity to submit comments earlier they can email those to Caitlin Salter-MacDonald, Program Manager, Committee & Council Services at Caitlin.Salter-MacDonald@ottawa.ca .

 

As this item progresses, I will be certain to share any updates in my weekly newsletter.

Hopes Rising

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This week, I had the pleasure of joining 9 of my Councillor colleagues in support of the Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation’s Hopes Rising Campaign for mental health services for adults of all ages in west Ottawa.

 

The Hopes Rising campaign donations will support a new, therapeutic environment to deliver the best in holistic mental healthcare for patients and families at Queensway Carleton Hospital as well as enhance emergency programs and services for people in a mental health crisis and, help strengthen connections to community mental health support services.

 

Together with Councillors Harder, Wilkinson, El-Chantiry, Taylor, Chiarelli, Egli, Moffatt, Qaqish, and Hubley, we have set a goal to raise $500,000 toward mental health resources through various fundraisers in this year-long campaign.

 

Funds raised will go toward renovation of the mental health unit in the hospital which provides acute mental health services to over 400,000 in West Ottawa; the unit has not had any major enhancements since opening over 40 years ago.

 

I would like to thank all representatives of the Hopes Rising campaign, the campaign chairs: Erin and Chris Phillips, and all of my councillor colleagues for embarking on this great initiative.

 

To donate, please visit www.Ambassadors.qchfoundation.ca.

 

For more information on Hopes Rising, please visit: www.hopesrising.ca.

Stittsville Public School Outdoor Classroom Opening

This afternoon, I had the pleasure of joining Stittsville Public School as they launched their outdoor classroom!

 

Principal Catherine Donnelly highlighted the importance of this special new feature at the school.

 

She noted how an outdoor classroom provides students an opportunity for learning to apply education in a natural setting and indeed there are many benefits to explore. The space provides a science lesson about habitats you can see firsthand and inspiration can be found in writing when outside.

 

This classroom was possible due to support from the SPS council and fundraising efforts. This is a great initiative to see what can be done by the school community when we work together.

 

Funding was also provided by the OCDSB, TD Bank’s Friends of the environment foundation and City’s Community Environmental Projects Grant Program.

 

As I said at the event, this classroom is “an outdoor textbook” in which we can learn about the world around us. I hope these students and future generations to come continue to flourish in the pursuit of learning.

October 6th BBQ in the Park

ATTENTION ALL BARBEQUE LOVERS! Please join me in kicking off Thanksgiving Long Weekend on Friday, October 6th, 2017 with a community BBQ!

 

The event will take place at Village Square Park (at the corner of Stittsville Main Street and Abbott Street) from 11AM-4PM with food being served between 12PM-3PM.

 

Tim Horton’s will be on site with their mobile café, and there will be ample fun and games for children, teens, and families. This is a great opportunity for youth of all ages to spend some time outdoors connecting with their peers and having some fun! Seeing as October 6th is a P.D. day for both local school boards, my hope is to see as many youth attend the event as possible!

More details will be shared in my electronic newsletter in the weeks leading up to the event so stay tuned! Stittsville, I look forward to seeing you on October 6th and enjoying a hamburger and/or hotdog with you!

Stittsville Planning Tour with General Manager of Planning, Infrastructure & Economic Development

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This week I had the opportunity to tour Stittsville with Stephen Willis who is the General Manager of Planning, Infrastructure & Economic Development at the City of Ottawa.  Stephen Willis is one of the eight General Managers at the City of Ottawa who reports directly to the City Manager, Steve Kanellakos. Previously a consultant with the National Capital Commission (NCC), Stephen possesses a great deal of expertise and insight and I was honoured to familiarise him with our community firsthand.

 

As a resident in a suburban community, Mr. Willis is well of aware of the typical challenges a growing community faces. I invited Mr. Willis out to Stittsville so that I could show him first hand the growth of Stittsville and the challenges we face as a result of that growth. This was also a great opportunity to highlight the uniqueness of Stittsville and demonstrate how development has impacted our communities.

 

Our tour began on Stittsville Main Street with a discussion of sites currently under construction as well as potential future development sites.  We discussed how the Stittsville Main Street Community Design Plan provides an important plan for the future of the street.  From there, we visited a number of existing neighbourhoods as well as developments under construction.  We discussed some of the lessons learned through growth that the City is addressing with policy changes recommended by the City’s Building Better and Smarter Suburbs initiative. I also raised a number of concerns related to infrastructure items that are important to the community including those relating to planning such as parking, new parks, pedestrian and cycling pathways as well as the need for educational and health care services in Stittsville.

 

I would like to thank Mr. Willis for taking the time to join me on this tour of our community. While planning processes is one thing on paper, I am a firm believer that seeing and experiencing communities firsthand is the best way to understand their needs. I look forward to the opportunity to conduct similar community tours with other Department Managers moving forward into the future.

 

The growth in Stittsville has a significant impact on the residents in the community and I continue to work towards resolving existing issues and ensure that we plan development properly for the future.