Councillor’s View – Canada 150 Maple Tree Grove Project


Dear Residents,


I would like to take a moment to share an exciting project taking place this Spring/Fall in commemoration of Canada’s sesquicentennial anniversary.


As announced in the City’s 2017 Council-approved budget, each of the 23 wards within the City of Ottawa will be planting a grove of 150 native Canadian Maple Trees to celebrate one of our Country’s most prominent natural symbols.


The maple leaf has is one of the few national flag emblems of a living entity, as such it has always meant a great deal to me personally as it embodies the living spirit and vitality that comprises our great country of Canada.


Stittsville’s selected location can be found on the pathway link at 46 Beverly Street.


The grove will consist of a combination of 50 Red Maple, 50 Silver Maple, and 50 Sugar Maples and trees will stand at about 5-7 feet tall. Planting should take place before the end of May.


Each grove will be adorned with a stone site marker, engraved to commemorate the 150th anniversary celebrations.


Residents are invited to read more about the project and for your benefit, I have attached a Frequently Asked Questions PDF available here.



For a full list of locations receiving the groves across the City, please visit


I, for one, am thoroughly excited for Stittsville to be a part of this outstanding project and am excited to see the final result of added greenery to our beautiful community once it is complete.




Councillor’s View – Lebreton Flats and the Future of the Canadian Tire Centre

Hello Residents,


Prior to this week’s City Council meeting, Mayor Jim Watson formally announced that he will be seeking a mandate from Committee and Council to allow the City of Ottawa to enter into negotiations with RendezVous LeBreton Group (RLG), the National Capital Commission (NCC) and other government partners on the redevelopment of LeBreton Flats.


The decision was made to ensure that the best interests of the City and its taxpayers continue to be represented in the redevelopment of this significant land area, including a more viable transit system, an increase in environmental sustainability and a more prosperous and vibrant core.


In this memo, the Mayor also announced plans to work with the Ottawa Senators organization, businesses, residents, and the City’s West-End councilors including myself to ensure that appropriate options are being developed to help make up for the potential economic loss to Stittsville, Kanata and the West End of Ottawa, should the Canadian Tire Centre be relocated.


While the ongoing project of the Lebreton Flats redevelopment will no doubt become a large contributing milestone in the future of our City, I must confess that losing Stittsville’s own Canadian Tire Centre in its current location would certainly prove to be a disappointing moment for our West-end residents and myself, included.


The Ottawa Senators hockey team is a prominent attraction existing within the West-end area. For many of us, they have become a part of our everyday life and have mutually benefitted our economic foundation.


It is sad to consider losing one of Stittsville’s most beloved landmarks but I do remain optimistic that whatever may eventually occupy the space of the Canadian Tire Centre will be a positive boost to our west-end economy.


I look forward to working with the Mayor, my Councillor colleagues, and the Senators organization going forward and as always, I will happily share any updates with our community as they arise.




Councillor’s View – Vimy Ridge 100th Anniversary


Dear Residents,


As this week is the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, I thought that I would take this opportunity to share some of the battle’s historical background in defining its importance in Canadian history.


The battle of Vimy Ridge was an iconic military engagement which took place in the Pas-de-Calais region of France during the First World War.


Four divisions of Canadian combatants fought to take the area of Vimy against three divisions of the German Sixth Army. Canada won the assault but at a price; almost 3600 Canadian soldiers were killed in the battle.


Many historians mark Vimy not just as a significant battlefield victory but as a turning point in Canadian history. It was the first time that the four Canadian divisions, comprised of men from all regions of Canada, fought together united.


The soldiers’ taking of the heavily fortified German stronghold played a major role in the victory of the war and the Battle of Vimy Ridge was celebrated as one of Canada’s greatest military achievements. In 1922, the French Government built a memorial on the highest point of the Vimy Ridge and dedicated it to the memory of the Canadian Expeditionary Force members killed during the war.


The Vimy Pin was also created in more recent years as a way for Canadians to show their pride and honour the memory of our fallen World War 1 soldiers. With all proceeds going to the Vimy Foundation, the pin displays the two iconic columns of the Vimy Memorial with four vertical coloured bands, representing the four Canadian divisions involved in the battle.


I would like to take a moment to thank all of our Canadian men and women who proudly serve this country at risk to their own lives – the veterans and soldiers who have served in conflicts and wars around the globe. Thank you for your great service to this country and for all you do to keep us safe.


This April 9-12, I encourage all residents to take a moment of reflection to remember the sacrifices of our brave Canadian veterans. 100 years may have passed but our veterans will continue to live on in our hearts throughout history.


Understanding Development with the Stittsville Planning Primer

This week, I hosted a City Planning Primer in Stittsville with the City of Ottawa Planning Department.  Typically these are held for the public at City Hall on a Saturday and weekday but I knew that this location or time may not have been ideal so I requested staff come to Stittsville.


The Primer covered a condensed presentation of Planning Primer I and II. There was a large amount of detail presented at the meeting and I would like to thank everyone who was able to attend the session. This information provides a complete overview of the detailed planning process. The City also offers specific topics of Planning Primers and I would be very interested to hear if there are topics residents would like to be interested in having presented in Stittsville.


Development Statistics

At the meeting, I presented some development statistics illustrating the growth Stittsville has experienced.


Stittsville is one of the fastest growing communities in Ottawa. Back in February, Statistics Canada released the population and dwelling counts from the 2016 Census. While the biggest population increase in the city was in Barrhaven, the Stittsville area also saw considerable growth.


Between 2011 and 2016, the south and west parts of Stittsville grew by more than 25 per cent. Those communities saw an increase of almost 400 dwelling units and the population increased by nearly 1,400 people. Stittsville also saw similar growth along its northern edge. That area grew by more than 22 per cent, with very similar increases in terms of population and number of dwelling units.  In these two areas alone, Stittsville added almost 3,000 people and about 800 households over a five year period.


Like any City, Ottawa is constantly growing and changing.  The City’s land-use planning process has a big role to play in how the various communities like Stittsville take shape over time.  Those changes need to take account of multiple factors, like the population growth we saw in Stittsville over the last year.


Planning Documents 

There were a number of documents and policies discussed and I have provided links below to these items that were discussed. If residents have any additional questions please feel free to contact me for more information. I am also available to meet or discuss any development concerns over the phone as well.


For resident who are interested in this subject but were unable to attend the session I encourage to review the presentations from the evening below.


Another great resource to use is the video and information on the City website on How Planning Works


Planning Hierarchy:

The Planning Hierarchy

Land Use Policy


o   Lot Development

  • Approval Authority

o   Planning Committee & City Council

o   Delegated Authority


For information on specific developments please visit the Planning & Development section of my website and also you can find information on the City’s Development Application Website

I would like to thank Councillor Harder and City staff, Derrick Moodie, Carol Ruddy, and Justyna Garbos for all of their assistance in making this presentation a reality. More importantly, I would like to also thank all the residents who took the time to participate in the Primer and learn more about City Developments. More notes from the meeting will be shared with the community e-newsletter in the weeks to come so please stay tuned!

Councillor’s View – Stittsville Planning Primer

Dear Residents,


I hope that you will be able to join me at the Stittsville Planning Primer being held on Thursday, April 6th to learn more about the planning process in relation to development in Stittsville.  Planning and development in Stittsville is a vast topic and we are experiencing development throughout our community.


I feel it is important to share planning information with the community as frequently as possible so that residents have a greater understanding of the development process and also know what to expect with new developments.  The City runs Planning Primers at City Hall a few times a year so that residents throughout the City can learn more about the development process.  I think these sessions would be of interest to Stittsville residents but I also know that residents in Stittsville are not interested in travelling to City Hall to attend information sessions and that is why I requested the City provide a Planning Primer in Stittsville.


The Stittsville Planning Primer will cover the information presented at the City Planning Primers with a specific focus and examples to Stittsville developments. The Planning Primer is the perfect opportunity for residents and community associations to learn about the necessary background in understanding the development process. It is a great means of keeping our community educated and up-to-date on all things that are going on in Stittsville.


A full detailed invitation with agenda is available for review here.


The event will take place from 6:30-9:30 (the presentation will begin at 7:00) Thursday, April 6th at the Goulbourn Recreational Complex Hall A and will provide a condensed introduction with materials covered in the City’s Planning Primer 1 and 2. For those unable to attend, I will be happy to share the information discussed in next week’s newsletter.


Seating is limited and will be provided on a first come, first serve basis. For accessibility accommodation requests (such as wheelchairs, mobility challenges, etc), please email me at by March 31, 2017.


In advance of the Primer, I would also like to take a moment to provide residents with some information pertaining to how planning is conducted within the City of Ottawa. This week, I encourage residents to review some background information on what is a Consent to Sever or a Minor Variance.


For more information on Planning and Development Applications, you can also review that here.


Councillor’s View – Hair Donation Ottawa

Dear Residents,


This year on April 30th, I will be continuing my annual tradition of shaving my hair in support of cancer research with Hair Donation Ottawa.


Cancer is a disease which affects all of us; whether directly or indirectly, we all know someone whose life has been permanently altered by this tragic condition. But thanks to advances in medical technology, we can all contribute to change that.


Before research began receiving funding from institutes such as the Canadian Cancer Society, it was understood very differently than it is today. What was initially thought of as one disease is now more generally considered as 200 distinct disease each brought upon by different causes and thereby requiring different treatments. Likewise, in the 1970s, only half of those diagnosed with the disease could expect to live for another five years. Now, that number has risen to more than 2/3.


I am proud that this is my sixth year participating in a hair donation campaign in support of various cancer research organizations and my fourth with Hair Donation Ottawa.


My goal for this year is to raise $500 in support of cancer research; however, as with any charitable institution, I would welcome the idea of surpassing that goal!


I would like to invite residents to share their generosity with this excellent campaign by sponsoring my hair donation at this link. I would also like to encourage residents to take this opportunity to start their own campaigns. Every little bit of funding helps to bring Canadians one step closer to preventing cancer from taking another life.
The event takes place on Sunday, April 30th from 9:00-5:00 PM at the Algonquin College Salon and Spa “A” building, Room #A112 and Mayor Watson has graciously offered his barbering talents for my head shaving at 1:00 PM.


I would like to thank Helene Hutchings and Perry Pavlovic with Hair Donation Ottawa for all of her hard work in creating this campaign which has now raised over $370,000 for cancer research since launching in 2011. I would also like to thank Mayor Watson for offering his time as well as the entire community of Stittsville for all of their donations of support over the years in benefit of this charity.


Donations can be made by clicking here. Thank you for supporting cancer research.



Councillor’s View – Waste Management

Dear Residents,


There’s been a lot of conversation in the community surrounding the Province of Ontario’s recent decision to allow waste from Quebec to be processed at the waste management facility on Carp Road.


I would like to take a moment to reaffirm my own commitment of opposition to the expansion of the Carp Road landfill. This issue stretches back over a decade and in the year 2017, it is important to recognize that there are better ways to handle waste.


The start of this discussion dates back to 2003 when Waste Management (WM) came to the Province with the proposition of expanding the landfill double in size. Along with the community, I expressed my voice vehemently against this proposal.


In 2006, WM revised their application to the community and to the Province. During the discussion of the proposal, the community of Stittsville stood together to the tune of approximately 1000 residents, attending a meeting at Jean Paul II elementary school to strongly voice their opposition to the proposal. Residents  passionately expressed their concerns in opposition to decisions that negatively impact our environment and directly affect our communities. WM proceeded to do an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the expansion and even during those meetings, there was opposition from the community.


During the EA process, City Council recommended 6 items to be included in the EA that were not accepted by WM.

One of those conditions was the City’s recommendation to not accept waste from outside of Ottawa except for Lanark County. Instead, the EA included that the waste on this site could be accepted from all of Ontario. It is on this basis that WM was granted approval of the EA by the province.


It was last year that WM came back with the proposal to  amend the approved service area to also accept waste from Quebec, particularly the Outaouais, Abitibi-Temiscamingue and Laurentide areas, despite the clear limitations set forth by the EA. The City of Ottawa provided comments in September of 2016 to the Province’s Ministry of Environment expressing our dissatisfaction with the amendment.


I share residents’ frustration in the Province ignoring the conditions of the EA. The industrial, commercial and institutional waste (IC and I) which this landfill will be accepting is under the jurisdiction of the Province. It is important that residents also make sure our MPP, Jack Maclaren, is aware of your concerns as he is your provincial elected representative by emailing him at

I have been in discussions with the City’s legal department as well as the Mayor’s office and the City Solicitor to see what can be done. As the Province’s ruling did not take into account the City’s stance, I felt that it was important that the City stand by our initial decision in opposing the amendment to the EA.

I can now affirm that the City is providing a leave to appeal to the Province. Based on the above decision, the City is reaffirming our position. You can read the entirety of the City Solicitor’s memo to Council here.

As your City Councillor, I have worked intensively on ensuring that our garbage is handled in a way that reflects 21st century ideals. As Sweden and other European countries have shown, waste when looked at as a resource and not a liability can be a revenue generator. In 2009, I even went so far as a tour in Sweden to review their practices which I then reflected in a report to the City’s Planning Committee you can review here.

I am optimistic that the appeal process yields positive results and I will continue to update the community as things progress.




Councillor’s View – LRT Phase 2 Approved

Dear Residents,


This week at City Council, Council approved the Stage 2 Light Rail Transit (LRT) plan to build rail farther and faster to communities in Ottawa’s east, west, and south corridors.


This is exciting news as it means that LRT will continue to benefit our Ottawa communities not just in the near future but for many future generations to come. Already, there are talks in the air surrounding just what Phase 3 of LRT will entail and our children’s generation growing up in Ottawa will experience a world-class transit system that will hopefully keep public transportation a primary affordable, efficient, and environmentally-conscious means to get around.


The Trillium Line South extension is anticipated to be completed in 2021, the Confederation Line East including Trim by 2022 and the Confederation Line West to Moodie by 2023.


I am especially thrilled at how this extension of Stage 2 to Moodie will benefit our Western communities. It is my hopes that this early shift further west from the previous phase 2 stop of Bayshore will also mean that the communities of Stittsville and Kanata can hope to see LRT sooner than the current 2031 estimated date and as early as 2023.


It is this anticipated surge of West-end ridership that inspired me to present an additional motion to Council this week requesting that a study be conducted for a Moodie Drive Park and Ride. I want to ensure that Stittsville is not ignored for the time being and that hopefully a Park and Ride at Moodie will encourage residents in the West to demonstrate to the City just how high of a demand there is to extend our transit service further West.


As we all know, populations are growing at an exponential rate in our communities with Stittsville’s population expected to double within the next few decades. It is essential that we build LRT with these projections in mind and plan a transit service which will be able to accommodate those needs and alleviate vehicular traffic before it becomes too difficult to manage.


Several related infrastructure works, such as widening of Highway 417 between Highway 416 and Maitland Avenue, are being bundled with Stage 2. This will improve construction integration, reduce detours, save money and reduce impacts to the community.


I will continue to investigate possible ideas to benefit our residents including additional Park and Ride feasible locations and invite any thoughts regarding the LRT project and Stittsville’s transit service be emailed to me at




Councillor’s View – Public Information Meeting on Opioid Recap

Dear Residents,


On Monday, February 27th, in my capacity as Chair of the Board of Health, I had the distinct pleasure of co-hosting a public information session along with my fellow west-end councillor colleagues, Allan Hubley, Eli El-Chantiry, Marianne Wilkinson, and Scott Moffat on the recent trend of illicit and dangerous opioid drugs such as Fentanyl that have made their way to Ottawa.


The meeting was very well attended with over 250 concerned parents, residents, and City officials joining together with the shared goal of bringing education to the forefront and protecting our communities from potent opioids that have already taken too many lives.


We were joined by representatives from Ottawa Public Health (OPH), Ottawa Police Services (OPS), Ottawa Paramedics, Youth Services Bureau (YSB), and many other community partners, who all provided unique insight and resources for individuals and families.


I was excited to see so many residents coming together with optimistic attitudes to learn despite these unfortunate circumstances and one of the major takeaways from the meeting was just how much energy and passion is coming out of our communities. It is that same energy which we, as public health ambassadors, must now capture and channel into tackling this emerging issue.


As mentioned at the meeting, illicit fentanyl has been detected in Ottawa and it poses an increased risk of overdose in very small quantities.  It is tasteless, odourless, and near impossible to visually distinguish when mixed in other drugs.


Many parents have expressed challenges in speaking with their children about drug use, as well as a desire for schools to increase their messaging on this topic. For these reasons, I, along with Ottawa Public Health, will enhance our current work in the schools to reach youth and other outreach activities to reach parents, including messaging on our Parenting in Ottawa website, to support parents in talking to their children about drug use, and to connect them to resources in our community.  In addition to this, I will continue to work with Ottawa Public Health to champion the StopOverdoseOttawa campaign to continue to educate the public, including parents, on how to prevent overdoses from happening in our communities.


I also heard concern regarding the lack of contiguous data on the subject. With data regarding overdoses being collected and reported from multiple different agencies and in different time frames, and specific details being omitted from public knowledge due to the request for privacy by affected families, it is difficult to present information that is ‘real-time’ across multiple channels. Once again, I will bring this concern forward with Ottawa Public Health to see what can be done to remedy these challenges while respecting the privacy of those who are managing their own difficult encounters with these opioids.


With respect to any additional treatment resources, it is important to remember that the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) has a coordinating role. However, I have been advised that Detox beds are available at the Queensway Carleton Hospital and the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre for individuals looking for withdrawal management services. There may also be some capacity in facilities that are more centrally located or further east.


Learning the signs of symptoms of overdose and having a naloxone kit available can save a life while waiting for paramedics to arrive.  Naloxone kits are available free of charge at local pharmacies.


We need to work together as a community to properly prevent this issue from escalating any further. I welcome any additional resident insight with experiences regarding Fentanyl and other illicit opioids. Please share your ideas with me at You can also learn more about Fentanyl and its risks at


I would like to thank my councillor colleagues for helping to host this event as well as our community partners, Dr. Isra Levy with OPH, Deputy Chief Steve Bell with the OPS, and Mr. Anthony Di Monte, General Manager of Emergency and Protective Services on behalf of Ottawa Paramedic Services for their contributions, and every community member who took the time to attend.


Thank you.


Councillor’s View – Opioid Use

Dear Residents,


As Chair of the Board of Health, I would like to take a moment to expand more on a topic which has been circulating for some time – the misuse of illicit opioids such as fentanyl.


Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid 50 to 100 times more toxic than morphine. Doctors typically prescribe fentanyl in a patch form as a painkiller used to treat patients suffering from severe chronic pain. Fentanyl is not a drug to be taken without doctor supervision; however, there are many variations of fentanyl being made illegally and sold on the streets which is referred to as illicit fentanyl.


This week, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and the Ottawa Police Service issued an alert to warn residents about counterfeit prescription medications found in the city. In Ontario, and locally, illicit fentanyl has been detected in counterfeit pills manufactured to resemble prescription pills like Percocet.

Illicit Fentanyl is usually found in a powder form and mixed/laced with other drugs such as heroin, cocaine, or crack or pressed into pills and sold as things like oxycontin, Percocet, speed, or ecstasy/MDMA.  Using illicit fentanyl alone or when mixed with other opioids, alcohol, benzodiazepines, or stimulants like cocaine, it significantly increases the risk of accidental overdose.  Moreover, there is no easy way to tell if a drug has been laced with fentanyl as it is tasteless, odourless and impossible to distinguish to the untrained eye.

Some of the street names for fentanyl or for fentanyl-laced heroin as listed on the American National Institute on Drug Abuse include China Girl, China White, Apache, Dance Fever, Friend, Goodfella, Jackpot, Murder 8, TNT, and Tango and Cash.


Naloxone is a medication that can temporarily reverse the effects of an overdose related to an opioid such as fentanyl, heroin and morphine. An overdose is a medical emergency. Anyone suspecting an opioid overdose should call 9-1-1 immediately and administer naloxone using a take-home kit.  Take-home naloxone kits and training are available free of charge from many local pharmacies. Learn to recognize the signs of an overdose and how to intervene with naloxone- this can save a life while waiting for paramedics to arrive.



I urge residents who may indulge in illegal or designer drugs to exercise extreme caution, particularly in this day and age. The drug has found its way to Ottawa streets and could potentially be found in any drug you may get from an unknown source. Just because someone trusts their dealer does not mean that they know where the drug they are selling may have come from.


Please, stay safe either by avoiding these drugs or if you do choose to use do not use alone and carry naloxone.