Latest Voting Log

September 13

ZONING BY-LAW AMENDEMENT- AMENDMENTS TO ACCOMMODATE RECONSTRUCTION IN AREAS AFFECTED BY THE MAY 2017 FLOODING

Voted in favour; approved at Council

To help minimize delays and costs around flood recovery, the Committee approved Zoning By-law changes to eliminate the need for minor variances when repairing or rebuilding structures damaged during May floods. These changes will make it easier for owners who may wish to rebuild at a higher point on their lot.

 

REVIEW OF LOCAL RULES AND PRIORITIES UNDER THE HOUSING SERVICES ACT, 2011

Voted in favour; approved at Council

A set of principles was established as part of the process that led to the 56 local rules. These seven (7) guiding principles were that local policies must: 1. Be clear and easily understood by all applicants; 2. Be equally applicable to all applicants; 3. Provide access to rent-geared-to-income housing for all eligible applicants; 4. Address the need to relieve economic hardship and disadvantage; 5. Consider the length of time a household has been on the waiting list; 6. Have regard to the Ontario Human Rights Code; and 7. Be consistent with provincial priority rules and other legislative requirements.

 

September 27

ONTARIO EARLY YEARS CHILD AND FAMILY CENTRES

Voted in favour; approved at Council

Council approved a plan to implement a new Early Years system in Ottawa as the Government of Ontario boosts funding for the service. The provincial government is merging four provincially funded Early Years programs into a unified system called the Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centres. The service will be implemented by January 1, 2018 and managed by municipalities. The new system will be easier to navigate and access for parents and caregivers and will provide consistent Early Years programming.   

Under the approved plan, there will be a one-year transition period for 2018. During this time, existing service providers will have their funding extended as the City analyses data about needs, continues discussion with community groups and puts management and policy into place.

These important changes will allow parents to have access to any child care centre because as the subsidy will now follow the child. Further, the subsidy waiting list should be significantly reduced with the additional funds from the province.

 

2016 DRINKING WATER QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM ANNUAL MANAGEMENT REVIEW REPORT

Voted in favour; approved at Council

Council received a report on the City’s drinking water that says Ottawa continues to deliver some of the highest quality and safest drinking water in the world. For the fifth year in a row, a third-party accreditation body rated the City’s drinking water systems as 100 per cent in conformance with the quality management system. Ottawa has excellent tap water so spread the word and avoid buying bottled water. Your pocketbook will thank you.

By adopting new procedures, the City has also decreased the amount of time residents are without water service during watermain breaks.

 

Pay Day Loan Motion

Voted in favour; carried at Council

As many of you know, I have been heavily involved in the push for control over Pay Day Loan locations. As a result of provincial Bill 59, municipalities now have the authority to control the location and number of the Pay Day Loan establishments. This motion directed staff in the Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department to add to their 2018 Work Plan the preparation of a report recommending regulations for payday loan establishments for consideration by Planning Committee and City Council.

 

October 11

MOTION: PERMANENT SIGNS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY BY-LAW 2016-326

Voted in favour; carried at Council

This motion asked by-law to report back on how illuminated window signs should be regulated. There are many flashing window signs in our neighbourhood and we want to ensure clear parameters. With work from our business community and residents, we were able to clarify the intent of the recent changes to the Private Property Bylaw. There was confusion as to the enforceability of the illuminated signage rules.

 

October 25

COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP CAPITAL PROGRAMS SUMMARY OF FUNDING ALLOCATIONS

Voted in favour; approved at Council

This annual report included a summary of funding allocations to community organizations. In 2016, this funding was used to get a ping pong table at Sandy Hill Community Centre and improve the play ground at Viscount Alexander school. It is important for us to support community improvement projects, as these funds go a long way in improving the lives of our residents.

 

ZONING BY-LAW AMENDMENTS – 266 AND 270 BYRON AVENUE

Voted against; approved at Council

Council approved a zoning amendment in Kitchissippi Ward to permit two four-unit apartment buildings on Byron Avenue. Each property already houses a three-unit dwelling. The developer then decided to add a fourth unit to the basement of each building. This type of sneaky decision only increases mistrust in the planning process and so I voted against this proposal.

 

November 8

The 2017 Draft Budget was released. For more details on the budget please visit https://ottawa.ca/en/city-hall/budget-and-taxes/budget/budget-2018.

ZONING BY-LAW AMENDMENT – 991 CARLING AVENUE

Voted against; approved at Council

This report permitted a temporary parking lot for a period of three years at 991 Carling Ave. This address is in Kitchissippi ward and is next to the Ottawa Hospital. I voted against this report because in the past I have seen “temporary” parking lots being extended many years past the agreed upon end date. Once the temporary zoning use is in place it is very hard to remove it. We have similar issues in our area including at the Notre Dame Cathedral Parking Lot.

SUSSEX DRIVE SPEED REDUCTION BETWEEN BOTELER STREET AND RIDEAU GATE

Voted in favour; approved at Council

I put this report forward to reduce the speed limit along Sussex Drive between Boteler Street and Rideau Gate from 60 to 50 km/hour. This request was put forward by members of the community to improve safety along this corridor.

 

November 22

CITY OF OTTAWA PARTICIPATION IN THE NATIONAL CAPITAL COMMISSION’S COMMERCIALLY CONFIDENTIAL NEGOTIATIONS FOR THE REDEVELOPMENT OF LEBRETON FLATS

Voted in favour; approved at Council

Delegated authority was given to Mayor Jim Watson and City Manager Steve Kanellakos to participate in the National Capital Commission’s commercially confidential negotiations to redevelop LeBreton Flats. While not a direct partner in negotiations with the National Capital Commission and RendezVous LeBreton Group, their participation could help advance the City’s interests.

It is crucial that this vacant land in our City’s downtown be properly planned and developed. The City has two LRT stations in the area and its location is very prominent. The diversity of use is essential to ensure that this community thrives. Diversity should include spaces for seniors, families, low-income residents, and commercial opportunities.

 

OFFICIAL PLAN AMENDMENT AND ZONING BY-LAW AMENDMENT – 325, 327, AND 333 MONTREAL ROAD, 334 MONTFORT STREET AND 273 STE. ANNE AVENUE

Voted against; approved at Council

After a three-day Planning Committee meeting where we heard from more than 150 members of the public, council approved the relocation of the Salvation Army shelter from George St to Montreal Road. Obviously, we are very disappointed with this decision. The proposed model is outdated, and the mainstreet zoning goals do not permit the shelters on our mainstreets. It’s a shame that these policies weren’t respected.

A group of concerned businesses owners in Vanier has rallied together and are bringing this case to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). We are confident that the case will be overturned by the OMB. We recognize that the status quo in the ByWard market is not an option. We will continue to work hard to look at viable options for the investment that is much needed by the Salvation Army. This approach does require the Salvation Army to be ready and open to cooperating with the community.

 

December 13

Budget 2018

Voted in favour; approved at Council

This year’s budget will bring many benefits to our neighbourhood, including $20,000 for the renewal of pathway and baseball diamond in Riverain Park, and $1.5 million to improve lighting along the LRT (between UOttawa and Hurdman stations). However, we were disappointed by the lack of funding for Energy Evolution (the City’s climate change action plan) and the lack of new bus routes/ additional capacity for Vanier. For these reasons, I dissented on the Transit, Transportation, and Environment budgets.

On the other hand, we were happy to see the new EquiFare single-ride fare, which provides low-income residents with a new affordable single-ride fare option. The EquiFare is available as of January 1st.

 

HOTEL AND SHORT TERM ACCOMMODATION TAX

Voted in favour; approved at Council

A four percent Municipal Accommodation Tax will be added on short-term overnight accommodations, including hotels, motels, inns, bed and breakfasts and online platforms such as AirBnBs. However, bed and breakfasts can apply for an exemption if the establishment is occupied and operated by the owner, and it is classified in the residential property tax class. Revenue will go toward Ottawa Tourism and their work in hosting events that draw tourists to our capital city.

 

BUILDING BETTER REVITALIZED NEIGHBOURHOODS – NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION STRATEGIES FOR HEATHERINGTON AND VANIER SOUTH – OVERBROOK

Voted in favour; approved at Council

As part of the Building Better Revitalized Neighbourhoods initiative, Vanier South now has a long-term vision for neighbourhood revitalization. Developed in consultation with community stakeholders, the proposed initiatives include road improvements, neighbourhood beautification, improved programming for children and youth, new urban parkland sites, improved cycling facilities, better bus stop accessibility and support for the creation of community hubs.

We are in favour of the attention given to St Laurent Boulevard as part of this work. However, we were disappointed with the lack of attention for Vanier South. We’d like to see more attention given to the future of McArthur Avenue due to McArthur being the home of two elementary schools and the Boys and Girls Club. We are also interested to see how zoning tools can be considered to encourage renewal of properties along other streets in the area, such as Blake Avenue.

 

APPLICATION FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION AT 51 SWEETLAND AVENUE, A PROPERTY DESIGNATED UNDER PART V OF THE ONTARIO HERITAGE ACT AND LOCATED IN THE SWEETLAND AVENUE HERITAGE CONSERVATION DISTRICT

Voted in favour; approved at Council

The house at 51 Sweetland Avenue collapsed in July when heavy rains caused unstable conditions while the house was undergoing renovations and foundation repair. This report allows the house to be rebuilt according to its previous character, using reclaimed materials salvaged during the demolition process. Rebuilding the exact same building with the approved addition.

 

January 31

BY-LAW – 325, 327, AND 333 MONTREAL ROAD, 334 MONTFORT STREET AND 273 STE. ANNE AVENUE

Voted against; approved at Council

Council approved a new by-law limiting the authority of the Committee of Adjustment to grant minor variances for the Salvation Army mega-shelter on Montreal Road. I voted against this because limiting the authority of the Committee of Adjustment would in effect give more authority to the Planning Committee and I do not believe the Planning Committee has the best interests of Vanier at heart and of our mainstreets. The Committee of Adjustment has built a better track record of protecting the policy goals of our mainstreets.


APPLICATION TO DEMOLISH THE PARKING GARAGE, CHÂTEAU LAURIER, 1 RIDEAU STREET, A PROPERTY DESIGNATED UNDER PART IV OF THE ONTARIO HERITAGE ACT

Voted in favour; approved at Council

This report approved an application to demolish the garage of the Château Laurier. The garage is structurally unsound and the hotel plans to demolish the upper four storys, leaving a surface parking lot for guests. The building application for the new addition will come forward in February. We look forward to the public consultations.

 

MOTION – INCLUSIONARY ZONING – SUBMISSION TO ONTARIO MINISTRY OF MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS AND MINISTRY OF HOUSING REGARDING PROPOSED REGULATION

Voted in favour; carried at Council

Inclusionary zoning is a tool for fostering mixed-income communities by creating affordable housing units in new development projects. This motion allowed the City’s comments to be submitted to the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Ministry of Housing during their consultation.

I’m strongly in favour of inclusionary zoning. For more details on my ideas please see the letter that I submitted to the province personally.