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Gun violence in southeast Ottawa

There has been a disturbing trend toward increased gunplay in my part of town. These are almost exclusively gang-related incidents where dealers are taking potshots at other dealers if they see the competition infringing on their territory.

Gang-related or not, there needs to be a stronger response from all community leaders, not only the Ottawa Police. And this needs to happen quickly, before a stray bullet hurts or kills a bystander like this 15 year old in Vancouver.

It’s really only a matter of time.

But like I noted, what should happen in addition to a stronger police response (whatever that exactly looks like) is a full community response to the crisis; and yes, this is a crisis. By “full community”, I mean the OPS, the City of Ottawa, the area Community Associations and the School Boards. Four distinct bodies that need to work toward common ends that will stop this trend in its tracks.

And yes, I include the School Boards as one of these four entities.

Speaking about the number 4, Ottawa has four, count ’em four, Boards within its borders. Yes. Four.

But I’ll leave that for another time…

Anyway, all of these Boards, but primarily the largest of them – the OCDSB and the OCSB – have a stake in the mitigation of this emerging crisis. They too have a responsibility to work with the CAs, the police and the City representatives and elected officials.

So, let’s get moving on this! And yes, I’m looking at you too, OCDSB and OCSB, because while we have been hearing about useful sessions with the communities hosted by the OPS and City Councilors, there has been nary a peep from our local Trustees.

At least nothing I’ve been told about…

 

 

 

 

 

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Muzzling elected officials…

… is a worrisome development and one that has been codified by the Ottawa Carleton District School Board (OCDSB).

Trustee Blackburn is outspoken, no doubt. And sometimes, like all of us, she likely says things that she wishes she could take back. But Donna alone is responsible for what she says and how she says it and if her bosses (the voters of her zone in Barrhaven) do not agree, they will turf her out in 2018.

She is a fine representative of her constituents and works harder than any other Trustee I have seen. Some may not like her style or her politics, and that is fair, but it does not warrant what is, in essence, the passing of a motion of censure.

Go get ’em, Donna!

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Helping out Clifford Bowey PS…

… in the Aviva Fund competition.

Hi all – PSA time: Clifford Bowey PS has moved into the Aviva Fund Semi-Finals! I like to think that our school community last year helped Vincent Massey win this competition – and a new playground!

Please visit the site and register and VOTE – one vote per day is allowed.

Spread the word and let’s help this very special school build a new accessible playground.

https://www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf21580

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Ottawa City Council candidates worth voting for!

I have already endorsed some of these candidates in past posts, but being that it is only a few days till E Day, I thought I’d go over some of them again.

Jean Cloutier will be a fine representative for Alta Vista on Council. Jean and I have worked together at the Canterbury Community Association for about 4 years. He and the rest of the Board has made this particular volunteer experience a positive one. He is extremely hard-working and he knows our community inside and out. Other candidates in the Ward have run good, strong and clean campaigns, notably Clinton Cowan and Hussein Mahmoud. I thank them for sticking their necks out there. Running for a political office is a very humbling experience but they have stood up for their community and should be thanked.

But Jean has demonstrated that he is a leader. He has taken the reins in the community and has guided good policies, initiatives and programs. He has set an example in the community through his leadership and have inspired others (like yours truly) to do likewise. I look forward to working with him in his new capacity as City Councillor.

Riley Brockington is a colleague and a former OCDSB Trustee who gave me lots of advice and motivation when I ran for OCDSB Trustee in 2010. He knows his community well and was a leader on the Board. His involvement on the Board speaks well to his ability to build bridges. Anyone who knows anything about the School Board knows that a variety of personalities and agendas are at work around that table, and he knows how to make them speak as one voice. He will do likewise at the Council table.  He will serve well in River Ward.

In Somerset Ward, Martin Canning is your best choice. He is the former City Environmental Advisory Committee Chair and has been involved deeply in his community and the City in a myriad of ways.  He is running a uniquely enviro and community-focussed campaign in Somerset. Martin is well-grounded and will work hard for the people of the Ward. He has a great team and he’s also a top shelf guy. If you’re in the candidate-rich Somerset Ward, You can’t go wrong by ticking the box beside his name.

I’d also like to nod my head to Donna Blackburn, who is running for re-election as OCDSB Trustee in Zone 3, Barrhaven-Knoxdale Merivale. Because my own Trustee in Zone 6 was more or less invisible for the past several years, I have turned to Trustees like Donna, (or John Shea or Mark Fisher) when I have had Board-related questions. She clearly cares and works hard for the schools in her Zone. I wish she was running in my Zone!

Plus, I wish Jim Marshall, all the best in his quest for a seat at the Council table in my old home town of Parry Sound. He is a man who exemplifies integrity and hard work… The folks in P Dot will be well-served.

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Citizen article on OCDSB playstructures

Great piece on the state of playstructures in Ottawa Carleton District School Board schools.

I’m hoping the Board steps up in the fall and ups its funding commitment to playstructure renewal projects. I, as a parent and member of school council, would like our school’s volunteer efforts to focus on other things aside from playstructures. Yes, they are an important part of our children’s physical development, but there is SO much more!

BTW, a h/t to not only Trustee Fisher, who is bringing the issue to the forefront, but to Trustee Blackburn who contacted me to clarify and elaborate on some points. This is how Trustees serve their constituency!

I wonder what my Trustee is doing… Oh. Yeah.

Too bad she doesn’t live in the riding. She might have a chance at increasing the Dipper traditional 13-15 percent vote share!
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Whew, I’m glad our OCDSB Trustee is safe and sound…

… because the schools around Alta Vista and its neighbourhoods haven’t seen her since the 2010 election.

But here she is, shilling for the OCDSB Chair running for the NDP nomination in Ottawa Centre.

Whew. Folks have been worried.

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A plea to the OCDSB…

… even if the teacher’s action tomorrow is declared illegal, do NOT reverse yesterday’s decision to close all elementary schools. And here is why:

Ya know, folks, in my life I have seldom seen such a sequence of utterly stupid decisions-making.  Both the Ontario government and the teachers unions have shown such awful judgement on each step of this trek into Stupidville! It truly boggles the mind.

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OCDSB elementary school closure

The Director of Education has just announced that all OCDSB elementary schools will be closed on Friday.

All Ottawa peeps in the English public system should plan accordingly.

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OCDSB Trustee to seek the…

… Ottawa-Centre Dipper nomination.

Trustee Jennifer McKenzie has announced her intention to seek the nomination for the Ottawa-Centre NDP candidacy. Trustee McKenzie will continue in her role as trustee and in her capacity as Chair of the Board.

I commend her for stepping up, takes guts. Although I have to question the timing given that there is a major Accommodation Review happening in her Zone right now. The folks who elected her really need that involved presence during this review. I work with some of her constituents who have children in one of the schools in the review, and they are very concerned that they will be losing an important voice at the Board table.

Will she be able to adequately represent her constituents’ interests while in what will be a tough nomination fight?

I guess we’ll see.

 

 

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To all those decrying…

… the ONE day walkout by elementary teachers today.

Suck it up.

This is democracy in action, regardless of whether or not you believe that teachers (or anyone else for that matter) should have the right to strike. Under the current law, they DO have that right. This. Is. A. Fact. Look it up.

Go ahead, my conservative friends, knock that one down!

And it is only ONE day! I remember that back in 1982ish my brother having to move way from home to complete his Grade 13 because the West Parry Sound School Board teachers struck for MONTHS!

As I am typing this (oh, btw, I’m home with the kids today – and don’t begrudge the teachers one bit), I am listening to a Barrhaven mother being interviewed on CBC who is expressing her worry about her children having to be exposed to picket lines!

I’m serious! She is worried about her kids being exposed to democracy!

Of course, she is from Barrhaven… 🙂

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