Ottawa and Green Bins Will Meet this Fall

I was wondering when this might happen, and it looks as though this is year.

The City of Ottawa is going to start distributing green bins to 22,000 households this fall and winter. They will start Green Bin pick ups next January (2010) — bi-weekly pickups in winter with weekly pickups the rest of the year. According to the City, there is a “state-of-the-art indoor composting facility” where the waste will be turned into compost. More information on the City’s Green Bin program is at

(Post and links updated November 2013)


Earth Hour – March 28

Earth Hour is an interesting notion to me. On one hand I think it is a great initiative. Right now, more than 500 cities around the world have signed up to turn their lights out for one hour. And that kind of project usually has lasting impact, as it gets everyone thinking about the issue. On the other hand, what is the impact of turning all that power back on at once? *I could insert a smilie here, if you like*

In any case, I will be one of the Ottawa people to participate. From the City: The City of Ottawa is proud to be a supporting city of Earth Hour and will be asking all residents to participate in the campaign scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 28th from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.

(Links updated November 2013)

Is Ottawa Transit an essential service? Have your say.

Happy New Year everyone! It’s been a few weeks now for the Ottawa Transit Workers’ Strike. There is a key vote coming up on Thursday. The City has an offer, and they don’t really have a back-up plan if it is rejected. I’ve seen a few blogs and articles indicating opinions that it will indeed be rejected. Here’s to hoping it’s not. I understand the transit workers have needs, but the impact their strike is having on people and the local economy is, in my opinion, not equal action. I personally believe that transportation is an essential service for any city. I came across this just today, and I’ve posted it here directly from from OttawaStart: Your daily guide to Ottawa on the web

CIRB looking for public input on whether Ottawa transit should be deemed an essential service
Posted by Sue Clark-Wittenberg

The Canada Industrial Relations Board is looking for input from the public into whether or not transit services in Ottawa are essential

The Canada Industrial Relations Board is looking for input from the public into whether or not transit services in Ottawa are essential.

People can provide input before Friday, January 9th, by

  • e-mailing: octranspo-atu@ cirb-ccri.
  • faxing 613-941-4461
  • or writing to: Canada Industrial Relations Board, Regional Director C.D. Howe Building, 4th Floor West, 240 Sparks Street Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0X8

When looking at whether or not transit services are essential, the Canada Industrial Relations Board is limited to the grounds in section 87.4 (1) of the Canada Labour Code which allow the Canada Industrial Relations Board to order a service to be provided if it is necessary, “to prevent an immediate and serious danger to the safety or health of the public.”

This will not interfere with the vote on the City’s final offer on Thursday. If drivers and mechanics vote to approve the City’s final offer on Thursday, then service will resume.

The Canada Industrial Relations Board was asked to look into this by the federal Minister of Labour. This is a shift by the federal government, which said in December that it did not want to intervene. OC Transpo is in a unique situation. OC Transpo is one of a very, very small number of urban transit systems in Canada to fall under federal labour law. The input provided to the Canada Industrial Relations Board will likely have an impact on how the federal government responds to issues that are usually addressed at the provincial level. For the City, having all or part of transit service declared essential would likely mean binding arbitration would become the way disagreements in the negotiating process are resolved. Binding arbitration means no strikes or lockouts, but it also means that both sides must live with what the arbitrator decides.

Ottawa cuts funding to Festivals – Take ACTION Now, It Can Work!

Take ACTION Now! Stop the Cuts!

Take ACTION Now! Stop the Cuts!

Dahlya Smolash, Host of Kaleidoscope on CHUO 89.1 FM in Ottawa, passed along the following notice to CHUO volunteers:

The City of Ottawa proposes to cut 100% of funding to arts festivals in Ottawa. This will adversely effect such festivals as the Writer’s Festival, Jazz Festival, Ladyfest, and many others. Similar cuts were proposed in 2004, and were stopped by a campaign called “My Ottawa Includes Culture.” The only thing that will stop these draconian cuts is a huge public outcry to city hall.

Here is a link that will allow you to give direct feedback to the City of Ottawa about the proposed 100% cuts to festival funding. All you have to do is click, add your name, and send the form. Please pass it around.
City of Ottawa Feedback Form

Here is a link to a sample letter about the cuts, with links to city councilors. Please send emails to city councilors, and pass on the link to anyone who might wish to take action.
Link on Jessica Ruano’s Blog

“There is an opportunity to speak at City Hall (instructions attached) on Dec. 2 or 3 if you want to be part of a public delegation. To book a time, you have only to phone and make arrangements.

But the most important thing is to send letters into City Hall. Please send this message to anyone you think would act on this information. Since the budget vote will take place very soon (Dec 4 or 5), we haven’t got a moment to lose!”

Other Coverage:


Links about 2004 “My Ottawa Includes Culture Campaign” and post reactions (several sources removed due to content apparently no longer available)

(Post and links updated November 2013)

Ottawa River bridge planned on Algonquin land

I’m not familiar with much of the history or logistics surrounding land claims in Canada. I do know that most of Canada is technically unceded, essentially meaning that when colonials came to Canada, they kind of just started developing and taking ownership of land. It’s like me coming to your house and moving in with you and eventually pushing you out to the garage (if you are lucky) without permission or even giving you any say.

Ottawa’s National Capital Commission (the NCC) has been working on developing another bridge across the Ottawa River. And while there is not a lot of difference between this new bridge and any other bridge built anywhere else, the land that the NCC wants to use is part of a government-recognized Algonquin land claim. And the Algonquin people were not brought to the development table.

Here’s part of the Ottawa Citizen article published today.

Algonquins seek full hearing as NCC plans Ottawa bridge
Natives lay claim to land along routes eyed for river crossing

Patrick Dare, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The National Capital Commission has been planning to build a bridge across the Ottawa River without having any meaningful discussions with the Algonquins, who claim much of the land involved as their own, says an Algonquin chief.

“They need to bring us to the table,” said Gilbert Whiteduck, chief of the Kitigan Zibi Anishnabeg First Nation at Maniwaki. “We refuse to be excluded.”

Chief Whiteduck says the NCC has spent four years and nearly $5 million on a study of new bridge possibilities on land along the Ottawa River that is claimed by the Algonquin people, including Kettle Island, the route being proposed strongly by the NCC’s consultants.

Chris Printup, a band member and researcher, said the Algonquin claim to land has long been recognized.

Mr. Printup said the federal government once collected rents for the islands on behalf of the Algonquin. He said the NCC sent information packages on the proposed bridge, but that wasn’t enough to live up to the government’s constitutional obligation to consult with native people in such circumstances.

Read the rest of the article here.