COVID-19 – LATEST NEWS

The councillor column header.

Vaccination update: To date, more than 57,600 doses of vaccines has been administered in Ottawa. 

The Government of Ontario is responsible for the distribution of these vaccines across the province. The Ethical Framework for COVID-19 vaccine distribution guides how the provincial government prioritizes and distributes vaccines across Ontario.

The City’s Emergency Operations Centre and Ottawa Public Health are doing everything possible to ensure Ottawa residents who want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine will be able to access it as quickly and efficiently as possible, dependent on vaccine supply and in alignment with the provincial framework.

For the latest vaccination information, go here to visit the Government of Ontario’s web page on getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Please also review the below chart which outlines the phases of vaccination roll-out as vaccine supplies are available.

A poster representing the different phases.
Courtesy Coun. Eli El-Chantiry

As of Monday, March 8, residents born in or before 1941 or adult recipients of chronic home care and who live in the areas listed below, can call to book a vaccine appointment. To confirm if you are eligible for vaccination, please visit Ottawa Public Health’s Eligibility Screening Tool

A poster for the high priority list.
Courtesy Coun. Eli El-Chantiry

Bookings will soon be available for health care workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine: Ottawa Public Health announced on March 8 that vaccine supplies will allow health care worker vaccination to proceed to the “very high priority” group starting in the next few days. Health care workers are being prioritized according to the Provincial Guidance for Prioritizing Health Care Workers for COVID-19 Vaccination. The “very high priority” category is broad and includes health care workers in Ottawa in the following settings and roles:  

  • Birth centres  
  • Community-based specialists 
  • Death investigation professionals 
  • Dentistry 
  • Gynecology/obstetrics, midwifery 
  • Nurse practitioner led clinics/contract nursing agencies 
  • Otolaryngology (ear, nose, throat) 
  • Pharmacies 
  • Primary care 
  • Respirology (respiratory therapy) 
  • Walk-in clinics 

On Wednesday, March 10, Ottawa Public Health will be launching an online pre-registration portal that will enable frontline health care workers in any of the above settings to register as a “very high priority” health care worker for vaccination. This information will be shared on Ottawa Public Health’s website, Twitter, Facebook and additional communication channels. Where a health sector has been named, all frontline and patient-facing workers in that sector are included (e.g., custodial, security and reception staff). Where a non-health setting has been named, only workers providing a health service or direct patient care are included. Non-regulated professionals as identified by the Province who are frontline, patient-facing staff at community-based health care provider offices can register as “very high priority” health care workers using the pre-registration portal. For more detailed information on this latest announcement, CLICK HERE.

Virtual town hall for health care workers:Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches and The Ottawa Hospital will be hosting a virtual town hall for health care workers on Tuesday, March 9 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. The event will be live streamed on Ottawa Public Health’s YouTube and Facebook pages. Health care workers are encouraged to send their questions in advance to COVID19Vaccines@ottawa.ca. For additional information and updates specific to health care workers, visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca/HCWvaccine

ICE FISHING HUT REMOVAL

Ice fishing huts in our region must be removed from waterways by Monday, March 15. The removal of huts does not indicate the end of ice fishing in our area. This is a safety measure to ensure all huts are removed before thawing occurs.

WILDLIFE SPEAKER SERIES – ZOOM EVENT ON MARCH 31

As part of the Wildlife Strategy, the City of Ottawa initiated a Wildlife Speaker Series to increase residents’ knowledge and appreciation of wildlife and promote coexistence through understanding and respect. The next event in this series is taking place as follows:

Windows of Opportunity: Making Our Homes Safer for Birds
Wednesday, March 31, 7pm
Join online via
Zoom
Speaker: Willow English, Safe Wings Ottawa

Windows allow natural daylight into our homes and workplaces, and may provide breathtaking views of the world outside. Unfortunately, most birds do not recognize windows and other transparent or reflective surfaces as a solid barrier. Many thousands of birds are injured and killed every year in Ottawa from collisions with buildings and other structures. Light pollution at night is also detrimental to migrating birds and other wildlife. We can all help to reduce these risks. The City of Ottawa recently developed Bird-Safe Design Guidelines for use when planning and reviewing new buildings. This Wildlife Speaker Series event will help residents recognize and reduce the risks to birds around their homes. We hope you can join us!

Safe Wings Ottawa is a local organization of dedicated volunteers working to raise awareness and make our city safer for birds. They were key supporters in the development of the City’s guidelines, and continue to provide advice to residents, building owners and managers who want to reduce risks to birds. They also monitor bird collisions in the city and provide rescue services to injured birds.

Willow English is a PhD candidate in biology at Carleton University working on Arctic-breeding shorebirds. She has been volunteering with Safe Wings since 2017, monitoring buildings and doing outreach in the community. She has worked on avian research projects across Canada, Hawaii, Alaska, Germany and Belize. Through her career and volunteering, Willow is working to make the world a better place for birds.

WESTERN OTTAWA COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTRE – BOARD MEMBER RECRUITMENT

The Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre (WOCRC) offers health and social services and programs to benefit individuals of all ages in far west Ottawa. The Centre is currently looking for candidates who reflect the full diversity of the communities we serve to fill vacancies on the Board of Directors for their 2021-22 year. If you are devoted to your community and want to help the WOCRC provide accessible services for your family, neighbours and larger community, please click here for details and then send your application to careers@wocrc.ca by March 15, 2021.

SEASONAL LOAD RESTRICTIONS FOR HEAVY VEHICLES SERVING OTTAWA

Beginning on Monday, March 15, seasonal load restrictions will be in effect. Commercial vehicles or trailers with a gross vehicle weight in excess of five tonnes or 11,000 pounds per axle will be prohibited on roads where restriction signage is posted, and on all truck routes identified as restricted on the Urban Truck Routes and Rural Truck Routes lists. These restrictions also apply to all non-truck routes. During the spring thaw period, some roads cannot withstand heavy-vehicle loads. Every year, the City monitors thaw progression by using the forecast temperature data to calculate the Thaw Index. When the Thaw Index reaches its threshold value, load restrictions are imposed. Heavy vehicles that exceed weight limits on restricted-load roadways during the spring thaw period will be subject to fines. Once the pavement strength has been restored, load restrictions will be removed. Learn more about seasonal load restrictions.

AGRICULTURE & RURAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE – MARCH 4

The ARAC meeting held on March 4, was not especially long, but there were a couple of items worth noting that will come before the City Council meeting later this week on March 10.

  • Growth in Manotick – The Committee approved amendments that will allow for a proposed new planned unit development off Highcroft Drive in Manotick. Located south of Manotick Main Street, the development would offer an appropriate transition between the Village’s denser core area and existing low-rise neighbourhoods nearby. Two existing homes on the site would be demolished to make way for 10 detached dwellings on a new private road. The applicant is also proposing to cover the costs of extending water and sewer services to the site as part of the redevelopment. We approved an amendment to the Manotick Secondary Plan to permit the higher density.
  • Goulbourn Wetlands Settlements – We also approved a report that would see staff settle two outstanding LPAT appeals regarding the Flewellyn Special Study Area and the boundaries of the provincially significant Goulbourn Wetland. Last February, Committee and Council added a number of wetland areas to the Goulbourn Wetland Complex, following more than a decade of study. The owners of four properties just west of Stittsville appealed the decision. One of those appeals has already been settled. Staff are now seeking authorization to settle two more by requesting that LPAT remove the wetlands designation and related zoning from lands on those properties no longer identified as provincially significant wetland by the Government of Ontario. In addition to settling the appeal, this would bring the lands back into conformity with the Province’s provincially significant wetland mapping. Staff continue to work toward a possible settlement of the fourth appeal.
CITY COUNCIL – UPCOMING MEETING MARCH 10

Ottawa City Council is set to meet on Wednesday, March 10 at 10am. The meeting will be held virtually and residents can review the agenda here and listen in live to the meeting via the City of Ottawa’s YouTube channel.

AGRICULTURE & RURAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE – UPCOMING MEETING CANCELLED

The Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee (ARAC) meeting scheduled for Thursday, April 1 has been cancelled. The next regularly scheduled meeting is set for Thursday, May 6.