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June 10th - Council receives update on 1st phase of City reopening & ratifies collective agreement

The City is taking a cautious, phased approach to reopening, with safety as the top priority. City Council today received an update on the City’s plans for the first phase, which will resume programs – like public transit, recreation and child care – that offer strategic support to help reinvigorate and grow Ottawa’s economy.

Council ratified the tentative agreement reached with the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 279. The terms of this agreement recognize the valuable work of union members in ensuring that Ottawa remains vibrant and sustainable. The agreement provides labour stability within the City’s critical public transit operations for the next five years, while respecting Ottawa taxpayers.

Electric kick scooters are coming to the City’s roads, bike lanes, pathways and footbridges. Council approved piloting their use and rental in Ottawa until the end of October. The pilot will begin after contracts are in place with e-scooter sharing companies. Sharing companies will follow Ottawa Public Health guidelines to sanitize e-scooters and provide in-app education about hand washing, physical distancing and how to ride and park safely and courteously. If the pilot is a success, it can be extended for four more years.

To advance anti-racism and race relations initiatives, Council appointed Rideau-Rockcliffe Councillor Rawlson King as the Council Liaison for Anti-Racism and Ethnocultural Relations Initiatives.

The City has $14.7 billion in overall equity, according to the consolidated financial statements for 2019. Council approved these statements, which were audited by an external accounting firm. The City ended the year with $17.1 billion in tangible capital assets like roads, infrastructure, buildings and land, and a net debt of nearly $2.5 billion.

Council approved two motions to support local economic recovery and accommodate physical distancing. The first creates new outdoor retail spaces in front of storefronts. The second waives enforcement of various zoning provisions for temporary patios and outdoor retail spaces on private property until a temporary Zoning By-law is in place. The Planning Committee and the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee will consider a temporary zoning amendment on Thursday, June 25 and Wednesday, July 8, respectively.

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©2019 by Jan Harder.