Posted by Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward Councilor
The school is back in session, and despite the pandemic, the Kitchissippi department is returning to its busy and vibrant self.
The new provincial rules regarding vaccine certificates for higher-risk indoor settings came into force on 22 September and will help facilitate a safe and healthy environment as we try to regain a sense of normalcy. If you have questions about the new rules or need help finding a place to get vaccinated, feel free to contact my office.
It has also been a busy month in the council, with a few new bylaws being adopted and coming into force over the next few weeks.
The first is the introduction of a regulatory structure for the towing industry, which was recently approved by the Council. The legislation provides for a licensing system for all participants in the industry and sets standards for pricing and conduct for drivers, operators and vehicle storage facilities. These are incredibly important, much-needed steps to ensure consumer protection. The committee also adopted my proposal to ask staff to review the need for changes to the “traffic and parking regulations” to deal with the many problems associated with trailers staying near sensitive users that have been reported in Kitchissippi and throughout the city.
The second major piece of legislation that has seen movement this month is the adoption of the e-cargo statute, which provides a regulatory framework to address the province’s legalization of e-cargo bikes. This law will ensure that the new bicycles can safely ride with pedestrians, drivers, cyclists and public transport.
Major courier companies have explored the prospect of using trial-based e-cargo bikes in urban areas of Ottawa. The use of e-cargo bikes for commercial deliveries is an attractive perspective as they are a zero-emission mode of transportation. E-cargo bikes are also significantly quieter compared to the larger vans and trucks currently deployed for “last mile deliveries.”
The Environment Committee met on September 21 and saw approval of a proposal that would have the Council’s request that the Government of Ontario phase out gas-fired electricity by 2030 in favor of alternative production methods.
In addition, a proposal was approved that aims to create more opportunities for local and sustainable energy alternatives. These proposals are intended to meet the city’s strategy for energy development, which I strongly support and will vote in favor of when they come to council on 13 October.
Finally, I sent a query on July 7 to Coun. McKenney regarding the large amount of illegal use of fireworks in Section 15 and Ottawa in general. We received a response from city staff and they did not recommend any further legislative action at this time. However, based on the data they provided, staff determined that the increased use of fireworks was in part driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. As we begin to return to normal activities, I expect the use of fireworks will return to more acceptable levels. That said, I intend to work proactively with law enforcement at times when fireworks are common to limit the amount of prohibited use.