Ottawa Latest News
Focus shifts to Ontario’s local public health units as Health Canada approves COVID vaccine for kids
The City’s Community and Protective Services Committee today recommended Council approve its portions of the Draft Budget for 2022, which represents a $1.4-billion total gross operating budget.
To better serve Ottawa’s growing population and address increasing emergency call volumes, the City would invest $1.3 million to hire 14 new paramedics and purchase the emergency vehicles needed to support them.
The City would invest $17 million to develop more affordable and supportive housing, which includes approximately $15 million in capital and $2 million in development charge exemptions for residents in greatest need. This brings the City’s total investment in housing and homelessness to $51 million in this current four-year Term of Council.
The budget invests close to $27 million to ensure that non-profit providers can deliver social service supports to Ottawa residents facing the greatest need. The City would also commit $760,000 for a dedicated team to continue work on the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan, including four new full-time staff.
The budget makes a commitment to care for residents of the City’s long-term care homes by adding resources for staff to deliver three hours of daily personal care per resident, along with $7.2 million to renovate the homes and to replace furniture and equipment.
The City would invest in its parks, recreation and cultural facilities, with $25.5 million earmarked to renew and enhance this infrastructure across Ottawa. Most recreation and cultural facility rental fees, admissions, memberships and program registrations would increase by 2 per cent.
Council will consider the Draft Budget on Wednesday, December 8.
Ottawa Public Health today released more details on its plan to offer COVID-19 vaccines to children ages five to 11. The plan will come into effect after Health Canada authorizes the vaccine for this age group and the Province of Ontario delivers the vaccine supply.
The plan ensures first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine will be available to 77,000 eligible children ages five to 11 living in Ottawa, within four weeks of the vaccine authorization and delivery. By vaccinating our younger residents, we strengthen the entire community’s immunity from COVID-19 and its highly transmissible variants.
Vaccine appointments for children ages five to 11 are not yet available. More information for this age group, including how to book appointments through the provincial booking system, will be coming soon. Clinic locations and hours will also soon be available at OttawaPublicHealth.ca/ChildCOVID19Vaccine. To support children's access to the vaccine, most appointments available through Ottawa Public Health will be protected in the booking system for five to 11-year-olds.
Neighbourhood vaccination hubs and community clinics
Ottawa Public Health will continue to offer immunizations through the existing 10 neighbourhood vaccination hubs, and increase the number of its community clinics from four to seven, operating seven days a week:
- Coming soon – Nepean Sportsplex Curling Rink - 1701 Woodroffe Avenue
- Coming soon – former St. Patrick’s Intermediate School - 1485 Heron Road
- Coming soon – Rideauview Community Centre - 4310 Shore Line Drive
- University of Ottawa – Minto Sports Complex - 801 King Edward Avenue
- JH Putman School – 2051 Bel-Air Drive
- Eva James Memorial Centre – 65 Stonehaven Drive
- Orléans Ruddy Family YMCA-YWCA – 265 Centrum Boulevard
New after-hours school pop-up vaccination clinics
Ottawa Public Health will introduce 73 after-hours school pop-up vaccination clinics on a rotating schedule over a four-week period, with capacity to immunize up to 10,000 children per week.
These school clinics are intended to serve residents of the community where they are located, and appointments are not required. Please check Ottawa Public Health’s website regularly for information about school pop-up clinic locations and hours of operation.
Vaccination clinics with community partners
The Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health, in partnership with Ottawa Public Health, will host a clinic for First Nations, Inuit and Métis community members at Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre.
Vaccine clinics are family-friendly
Ottawa Public Health is mindful that some children may be anxious and have a fear of needles. Immunizers understand and are trained to help your child have a comfortable experience. Children can bring their favourite stuffed animal and listen to music. Numbing spray is also available to reduce pain at the site where the vaccine is given, and privacy options will be available. There will be child-friendly signage and fun stickers will be given out. Consent by a parent or guardian will be required for COVID-19 vaccination for children aged five to 11. Children will not be vaccinated if their parent or guardian are not present.
For children requiring accessibility support, parents and guardians can go online and complete an accessibility request form once appointments are made available through the provincial booking system.
For more information about COVID-19 vaccines for children aged five to 11, please visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca/ChildCOVID19Vaccine. You can also connect with us through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The Transit Commission today adopted OC Transpo’s 2022 Draft Budget.
To keep transit affordable for low-income residents and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) recipients, OC Transpo’s 2022 Draft Budget includes a continued freeze on EquiPass fares and the Community Pass at 2018 levels.
The 2022 Draft Budget includes:
- A 2.5 per cent general fare increase, to come into effect the month after RTG makes 15 trains available for full revenue service on O-Train Line 1.
- A fare freeze for customers who use the EquiPass (monthly or single-ride) or the Community Pass.
- New no-charge passes for emergency shelter clients.
- No service expansion.
- Savings of $11 million resulting from the continuation of the temporary service reductions which began in mid-2021.
- Inflation and a cost-of-living adjustment.
- $5.2 million in annualized costs to cover Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) costs, provide legislated breaks for federally regulated staff and to cover the cost of the September 30 federal holiday.
- An increase of $3.9 million for maintenance of fare control and other software supports.
The Transit Commission carried a motion that Council direct the Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer, General Manager of Transit Services and General Manager of Community and Social Services to review the Transit Fare Working Group’s recommendation that the next Council consider a fare freeze for the Community Pass, the Access Pass, and the EquiPass for the entire Term of Council, and that staff report back as part of the 2018-2022 Term of Council Governance Review.
Additionally, the Commission carried a motion that Council direct the Mayor and Transit Commission Chair to write to the Federal government requesting operational funding through the federal gas tax or other channels to reduce the user share of the cost of public transit, in order to reduce or eliminate user fees and encourage transit use.
The 2022 Draft Budget will be tabled for consideration and approval by City Council on December 8.
The Transit Commission also received an update on O-Train Line 1, which returned to partial service on November 12.
Staff confirmed that Line 1 service will gradually increase as RTG continues to increase the number of trains available for service, with full service expected to be in place by the end of November. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, 11 trains are required for full service to meet current demand.
Staff also confirmed that in October, bus ridership was at 41% and Para Transpo ridership was at 59% of pre-pandemic levels. Para Transpo service levels continue to be sufficient to meet current ridership demand. In October, all trips were fulfilled, and 9.1% of trips in minibuses were shared.
Hunt Club Road will be reduced to one lane in each direction between the Airport Parkway and Daze Street starting the morning of November 19 until mid-February 2022 for Stage 2 LRT construction of the Hunt Club rail-over-road bridge. To safely accommodate construction activities, this section of Hunt Club Road will be closed nightly from 10 pm to 6 am on November 20 and November 21.
The following Airport Parkway ramps will also be closed until mid-February:
- The southbound off-ramp to eastbound Hunt Club Road
- The northbound on-ramp from eastbound Hunt Club Road
- The northbound off-ramp to westbound Hunt Club Road
- The southbound on-ramp from westbound Hunt Club Road
Additional Airport Parkway ramps will be closed for short periods to complete construction activities. Details for closures will be communicated prior to work beginning.
Motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes. Signage will be in place to advise pedestrians and cyclists of routes through the work zone.
The Stage 2 O-Train South extension will extend the existing line from Greenboro Station to Limebank Road, and will link to the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport.