Submitted by Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward Councillor
Welcome to May, Kitchissippi! The spring weather is always a welcome change after our long winters. If you’re able, I recommend taking advantage of every nice day we get to enjoy the many beautiful outdoor spaces our ward has to offer.
As many of you know, the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine distribution in Ottawa is changing rapidly. For current news, keep an eye on the Ottawa Public Health website: it’s the best place to get information about vaccine eligibility and appointments, as well as any updates about changing COVID-19 restrictions. I also recommend signing up for the city’s COVID-19 vaccination information e-newsletter, so you can get updates right to your inbox.
I want to reiterate the public health advice that folks should get the first vaccine that is available to them, as soon as it becomes available. The more people who are vaccinated, the safer our community becomes. If you’re able to help any of your neighbours get their vaccine appointments, please do so. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and we will get there if we keep working together.
As the seasons turn, you may be more aware of the impacts of climate change on our communities. You can have your say on Ottawa’s Climate Resiliency Strategy and learn about what Ottawa’s climate future will look like. Head to engage.ottawa.ca/climate-resiliency to read the documents assembled by the project team and complete the survey.
I’m excited to report that our team is organizing a virtual Ward Forum, scheduled for May 12, from 6-8 p.m. The forum will be held over Zoom, and will give residents the opportunity to hear updates from their community associations and participate in a Q&A session with me, as well as hear from a special guest speaker. Email our office at firstname.lastname@example.org to register for the event, and make sure you subscribe to my newsletter to keep abreast of the latest ward updates.
I want to take a moment, in closing, to acknowledge that things are tough right now and many people are feeling like they’ve hit the wall. Please know that mental health supports are available. If you are in crisis, the Distress Centre is there to help. You can reach them 24/7 at 613-722-6914. If you’re looking for counselling, Counselling Connect provides quick connections to free phone or video counselling sessions; appointments are often available same-day or next-day. You can visit counsellingconnect.org to access these services. Stay strong, Kitchissippi, and take your joy where you can.