CHUO NEWS

Justice advocates respond to Arnprior mayor’s claim that systemic racism doesn’t exist Community, Justice Katie Perfitt, a racial justice advocate based in Arnprior, said that the mayor’s ability to disregard these stories of racism in Arnprior is demonstrative of how embedded it is in society. Continue Reading LRT meeting with city turns skepticism to optimism for Nepean tenants Community, Politics, Transport “The concern was that we did not get to pick our own representatives,” Trowbridge said. “There are a few of us who have stuck this fight out the entire time and have been organizing and leading. It would have been nice to pick our own representatives.” Continue Reading Curly Hair Designs owner focuses on hair academy during pandemic shutdowns Business, Community "I think the impact a lot of the time is more so emotional than anything, you know I think that the finances you can kind of [...] the wage subsidies, and the rent subsidies, there's different ways to kind of have that you know be something that helps over time," added Whitelocke. Continue Reading COVID-19 creativity: Ottawa Black artists reflect on their work in the pandemic Community, COVID-19, Culture “The most prevalent situation where my art was affected by what was going in the world was probably at the start of the pandemic,” Nim said. “When the Black Lives Matter movement skyrocketed and became fueled by everyone being stuck at home, that was when I felt most affected by what was going on outside.” Continue Reading

 

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Des chaises multicolores entourent l'enseigne d'Ottawa située sur la rue York. Photo: heritagedowntowns.comLa ville d’Ottawa offre maintenant le programme d’éclairage communautaire pour illuminer l’enseigne d’Ottawa. Photo: heritagedowntowns.com

JHAMEHSA MILORD ASHFORD – OTTAWA • ON | 09-04-2021
Communauté, Culture

La ville d’Ottawa vient de lancer un programme d’éclairage communautaire. Les œuvres de bienfaisance, les organismes à but non lucratif, les organismes sportifs et autres organisations locales admissibles peuvent demander d’éclairer l’enseigne « OTTAWA » aux couleurs de leur choix.

“Le programme d’éclairage a été lancé parce que, nous avons reçu plein de demandes de différents organismes depuis deux ans, des organismes qui voulaient avoir l’occasion de soit promouvoir des campagnes de sensibilisations ou faire des activités de bienfaisances, des événements, des festivals,” déclare Kim Copeland, gestionnaire de projet pour le domaine public à la ville d’Ottawa.

Options de couleurs pour le programme d'éclairage communautaire offert par la ville (photo: ottawa.ca)

Options de couleurs pour le programme d’éclairage communautaire offert par la ville. (Photo: ottawa.ca)

Ceux qui font une demande ont le choix entre 25 couleurs pour chacune des lettres.

Cette enseigne a été installée à l’occasion du 150e anniversaire du Canada en mai 2017. L’enseigne est maintenant devenue un point d’intérêt pour plusieurs dans la communauté et surtout pour les touristes.

Si vous êtes intéressé, consulter les lignes directrices et les critères d’admissibilité avant de présenter votre demande relative à l’éclairage de l’enseigne OTTAWA.

D’après Copeland, l’enseigne commencera à être illuminée dès le 28 juin.

Voici l’entretien de CHUO avec Kim Copeland, gestionnaire de projet pour le domaine public, à la ville d’Ottawa :

La ville d’Ottawa lance un programme d’éclairage communautaire

Jhamesha Milord Ashford

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Un jeune homme est photographié sur la pancarte publicitaire de counselling connect. (photo: Instagram @counsellingconnect)“Counselling on Connecte” offre des services en santé mentale, en dépendances et autres services thérapeutiques aux personnes et familles francophones de l’Ontario.

JHAMESHA MILORD ASHFORD – OTTAWA • ON | 08-04-2021
Communauté, COVID-19, Santé

L’organisme Counseling on connecte offre des sessions de consultations virtuelles gratuites pour les résidents d’Ottawa et ses environs.

Avant l’arrivée de la pandémie, les gens se donnaient rendez-vous sur place, mais l’organisation a dû augmenter l’accessibilité de leurs services.

Avec les restrictions actuellement imposées, l’isolement se fait difficile. « Counselling Connect est là pour aider à continuer de connecter avec les clients », déclare Papa Ladjiké Diouf, le directeur clinique, pour le centre CAP, un organisme francophone, en partenariat avec Counseling on connecte, qui offre des services en santé mentale, en dépendances et autres services thérapeutiques aux personnes et familles francophones de l’Ontario.

Depuis mai 2020, plus de 6,000 personnes ont pris rendez-vous avec l’organisme.

Counseling on connecte offre une gamme de services pour aider tout un chacun, par exemple il y a des :

  • Sessions de consultations pour la santé mentale des adultes et personnes âgées de 21 ans et plus
  • Sessions de consultations pour la santé mentale des adolescents, jeunes adultes et familles entre l’âge de 12 et 20 ans (et pour les plus jeunes enfants)
  • Sessions de consultations pour la toxicomanie et le jeu compulsif
  • Sessions de consultations pour les personnes LGBTQ+
  • Sessions de consultations pour les personnes afro-caribéennes et noires
  • Sessions de consultations pour les autochtones

Si vous êtes intéressé, prenez un rendez-vous ici.

Voici l’entretien de CHUO avec Papa Ladjiké Diouf, le directeur clinique, pour le centre CAP :

L’organisation Counseling on connecte offre des sessions de counseling virtuel pour les gens d’Ottawa

Jhamesha Milord Ashford

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Chateau Laurier is seen on a cloudy day in Ottawa.Discussions on development plans at Chateau Laurier have underscored the need for strengthened federal protections for National Historic Sites. Photo by Lauren Roulston.

Lauren Roulston – OTTAWA • ON | 02-04-2021
Community, Culture

Ottawa city council carried a motion for Mayor Jim Watson to write a letter to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, urging for the strengthening of National Historic Sites.

Spearheaded by Coun. Mathieu Fleury and seconded by Coun. Catherine McKenney, the motion came after multiple discussions and calls from organizations and was unanimously carried on Feb. 24, 2021.

Recurring discussions over the years for the plans to build on Chateau Laurier underscored the lack of power the government had in protecting the site.

The building’s owner returned with multiple revised plans for a new addition to the historic structure to meet the demands made by the city council.

“We looked at all of the provisions and authorities relating to that and felt that they were failing us a bit, they were falling short,” says Fleury.

“Council certainly on that point agrees that National Historic Sites do need proper protection and proper oversight by the government who named it a national site,” he adds.

There were six different renditions of the Chateau Laurier addition plan remade to meet the approval of the city, National Capital Commission and Parks Canada after being granted a heritage permit.

Under the National Capital Commission, the federal government felt that Chateau Laurier was important enough to design guidelines for any possible additions to it according to David Flemming, former president of Heritage Ottawa.

“If [it’s] important enough to be designated as part of our cultural history there should be some protection,” Flemming says.

“When the additions were proposed they just felt that they couldn’t intervene and that it was a municipal affair so they just bailed on it which was unfortunate,” he adds.

Flemming says when a National Historic Site is owned by someone other than the government the federal government has no control over it.

“Ultimately, National Historic Sites are nationally identified… but there doesn’t appear to be oversight or any keep to that important designation,” says Fleury.

There are about 740 National Historic Sites in Canada with about one-third being owned by the government, according to Fleury.

“So we have about 500 of those sights across Canada nationally protected, but there’s no oversight, no approval regime for what they need or if there are changes to those properties, and that has significant impacts,” he says.

Fleury says he does not doubt that the publicly-owned sites are properly maintained, safeguarded or invested in.

“I question those that are in the private sphere, and this is an example of that,” he says of the Chateau Laurier discussions.

The Mayor’s letter to Minister Jonathan Wilkinson was sent on March 1. It outlined the city council’s resolution to strengthen the protection of National Historic Sites.

Fleury says this is an important consideration for the Minister as they’re responsible for Parks Canada which carries the importance of “where we’ve come from as a country and where we’re going.”

“We don’t want to abandon those nationally renowned sites who have a range of local interest but they also have a national interest as well,” he says.

Heritage Ottawa has sent letters to ministers over the years to advocate for the National Historic Sites which have not been met with their requested federal and legislative protections.

“In all the efforts that the federal government’s put into national parks they’ve sort of ignored historic parks,” says Flemming.

He believes this issue isn’t a priority for the government and they lack the political will to take action.

“I mean they haven’t done it up to now, it’s been an obvious oversight. We’ve been bugging them for years about it, they just haven’t moved on it,” he says.

The city has not heard anything yet since sending the mayor’s letter.

Fleury says the protection of National Historic Sites is central to his role as a representative and elected official in Ottawa.

“Wherever you go in the world, the history of that region, that country, reflects the identity of residents who are there today,” he says.

“Those sites are of national importance and need to be protected for generations to come to speak of our history as a country and to showcase the evolution as well of not only the architecture but the meaning of what happened in those buildings of national significance,” he adds.

Here is coun. Mathieu Fleury and David Flemming speaking with CHUO:

City council urges federal government to strengthen protection of National Historic Sites

Lauren Roulston

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An image of a shelf of food in a store.Although larger groups like the Ottawa Food Bank do not seem concerned by the increased need, smaller community groups said they feel people should know that food insecurity might be on the rise. Photo by Aaron Doucett on Unsplash.

GABBY CALUGAY-CASUGA – OTTAWA • ON | 01-04-2021
Community, Health

Ottawa Street Medics (OSM) and Ottawa Food not Bombs have been concerned about the growing need for food in Ottawa.

Over the last weeks, OSM has reported an increase in requests for food. Daniel Bailey, founder of OSM, explained what the situation has been for his community group.

“The demand has been completely overwhelming,” Bailey said. “We can show up to any shelter and in front there will be around 20 starving people.”

Jen Bongondo, an organizer for Ottawa Food not Bombs, said she also noticed an increase in need for food.

“There has been an increase in meals and fresh produce,” Bongondo said. “And the need for that has definitely been highest we’ve seen since we started.”

The Ottawa Food Bank said in an email statement that there is not a food shortage in Ottawa.

“We have heard anecdotally that service in the food bank network in Ottawa has intensified a bit at the moment, but it’s not necessarily something that has been reflected in our tracking at this time,” the food bank stated. “The feedback that we’re hearing reflects that families and individuals are currently requesting more food than the usual allotment. There could be a few reasons for this – but all speculation at this point.”

Bailey said that unhoused and impoverished people have told him the reason there is a need for more support is because people are prioritizing their other bills and living costs over food costs.

“We are running into lots of people who have never experienced this before,” Bailey said. “People with kids who have gotten their hours cut because of COVID-19 simply cannot make ends meet.”

Bongondo said she feels that although the requests for food have not yet overwhelmed the Ottawa Food Bank, smaller community groups have been feeling the pressure. She said this fact alone should be enough to get people to care.

“People aren’t numbers, they aren’t just a cell in an Excel sheet,” Bongondo said. “Ourselves and OSM are in the community…we are seeing the real-world impact.”

“We can’t just look at food insecurity as a statistical thing,” Bongondo continued. “It is a real-life issue that is impacting real people on a daily basis.”

Bailey said there are two ways to help those in need. On a small scale, people can go into their community and provide support.

Bailey said the larger solution is to pressure the government to provide more support for Canada’s vulnerable communities. He referenced a graph showing the number of active COVID-19 cases in Canada. During the period that the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) was available, Canada reached its lowest number of active cases during the pandemic.

 

A white graph with a blue line demonstrating the numbers of active cases of COVID-19 in Canada. The lowest numbers were in July, during the period that CERB was available.

Graph of active COVID-19 cases in Canada over time. Data from Health Canada.

“The larger answer is to pressure our government at every level to do better,” Bailey said. “We can do things like provide housing and pressure for legislation for landlords to create rent control so people don’t have to pay all of their money every month just to live.”

Ottawa mutual aid networks overwhelmed by increasing requests for food

Gabby Calugay-Casuga

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