Councillor’s Corner: Strong turnout for BudgetSpeak 2020

Submitted by Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi ward councillor

The year is almost over, but that doesn’t mean things are slowing down! Read on to see what’s happening as we wrap up 2019.

I’d like to thank residents of Kitchissippi for attending our BudgetSpeak 2020 event at the beginning of November. We had a record-breaking turnout of residents from across the five urban wards and we heard from participants that they want to see more funding provided for social services organizations, greater effort made to address the ongoing housing crisis, and an increased focus on finding sustainable ways to keep our population moving that don’t rely on single-occupancy vehicles. Thank you for giving me a strong mandate to advocate for those at budget meetings.

As we get deeper into winter, the City’s roads services staff are poised to respond to winter weather conditions 24/7. Snow clearing and road salting vehicles are deployed to major roads – like Highway 417 and the transitway – with the first flakes. At 2.5 cm of accumulation, they start working on the downtown core and the winter cycling network. Secondary roads and sidewalks get cleared after 5 cm of accumulation. At 7 cm or more, most residential roads and bus stops get plowed. This schedule maximizes efficiency and ensures that our infrastructure is cleared as quickly as possible following a winter storm. You can help with these operations by leaving at least 15 metres of space between your car and a snow vehicle, clearing your catch basin if you’re able, and placing your garbage and recycling bins just inside your driveway on collection days so they’re out of the way of the sidewalk plow.

Our final pop-up of 2019 will be at Mamie Clafoutis (400 Richmond Road) on December 10 from 8:30 to 11:30 am. I look forward to seeing you there for a warm drink and good conversation, no appointment necessary.

With December comes the time to reflect on the past year with gratitude and look to the new one with hope and determination. There’s no doubt that this year has been eventful for Ottawa – we’ve seen a lot of big changes and growth. We hit a population of one million, made the biggest service change in the history of OC Transpo and began the process to refresh our Official Plan.

These changes don’t come without their challenges: we have to ensure that our public transit is reliable and accessible, that we do everything we can to address our housing crisis, and work hard to ensure that our communities are resilient. I continue to be a strong advocate for the residents of Kitchissippi Ward every day in matters both big and small. I feel proud of the work we’ve done together this year to make Ottawa more awesome, and I look forward to continuing in the New Year. Stay cozy, Kitchissippi.

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