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Office of Councillor Jeff Leiper
March 20, 2020

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Welcome to the Kitchissippi Ward newsletter!


Good morning, Kitchissippi. I had a busy weekend, spending time Sunday on a videoconference with some colleagues and senior transportation staff to explore how we can make some streets local-traffic-only to provide safer spaces to get outdoors, speaking with some of the larger commercial landlords in the ward to understand how they're approaching business closures, in correspondence with the Mayor's office and Treasurer on relief measures the City could be exploring, and generally sharing information and answering emails. I also spoke with By-law about how they might be able, since they're on the roads, to provide distancing information to people who might be in line-ups.

It looks like Team Kitchissippi and I will be slowly getting on top of some of our non-Covid 19 files this week as we start to find our groove in this second week of self-isolation, though residents should expect that we will be slower than usual.

Dr. Etches' speaking notes

Yesterday afternoon, Dr. Etches was available to the media as part of their regular media briefings. Councillors and the public have been provided with her introductory written speaking notes, provided here. Of note is her focus on eliminating non-essential trips out of the home.

Good afternoon, everyone. Bonjour.

We are here today to report that Ottawa Public Health now has laboratory confirmation of community spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ottawa.  We have 27 laboratory confirmed cases (either confirmed or indeterminate) reported in Ottawa today.  5 have no known travel history, link to someone who traveled or close contact with a confirmed case.  We are starting to see cases among healthcare workers.  Based on modelling data, there could now be up to 4000 cases of COVID-19 in our community. Because most cases are mild and undetected, I want to emphasize the importance of everyone treating all interactions with others as a potential source of transmission of COVID-19. 

At this time, I am asking that ALL people ensure they are practicing social distancing.  I am happy to clarify what this means, as some people think it means continuing to visit with friends. 

Gatherings of 1 is the best, not 50, not 10. 

Our efforts are needed as a community. The actions you take will affect not only you, but your loved ones, and our most vulnerable. While we appreciate that people are thinking of their loved ones – grandma and grandpa, friends and family – now is not the time to visit them in person.  Find other creative ways through video chats, or telephone calls to connect with your loved ones.  

Now is also not the time for non-essential excursions.  We are working with the City to provide greater clarity on what we consider non-essential vs essential businesses here in Ottawa. What I want to emphasize is that people should not visit non-essential businesses including, but not limited to, clothing and, hair and nail salons, tattoo parlours, gyms and fitness facilities, car dealerships and repair facilities, banquet halls and conference centres. 

Many people are returning home from travelling during March Break and people may need to get groceries and essential items. But this is the time to self-isolate and ask family or friends to pick up your groceries for you. Not everyone may have received this message though we have provided airports with greater messaging. We have detailed guidance about what self-isolation means on our website. Visit ottawapublichealth.ca/Coronavirus. 

Social distancing is important for everyone at this time, but especially important for our older adult community (55+).   

Here are some ways that you and your family can should practise social distancing: 

·         Talk to your supervisor, manager, or employer about the possibility of working from home where possible 

·         Avoid visiting elderly friends or relatives. Use the telephone, video chats or social media to stay connected unless the visit is absolutely essential 

·         Avoid all non-essential trips in the community 

·         Keep the windows down if you have to go into the community for an essential trip via taxi or rideshare 

·         Cancel group gatherings 

·         Hold virtual meetings or get-togethers  

·         Spend time outside and in settings where people can maintain a 2-metre (6 feet) distance from each other 

You can still go outside to take a walk, go to the park, or walk your dog. If you need groceries, go to the store. We simply recommend that while outside you make sure to avoid crowds and maintain a distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from those around you.  

It is important for residents to continue to follow normal precautions to help stop the spread of germs: 

·         Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer 

·         Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just cleaned your hands 

·         Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or into your arm, not your hand 

If you need help with this or need other social supports, our community partners are working together through the City’s Human Needs Task Force. Organizations like: 

·         The Good Companions are offering Seniors Centre Without Walls, where seniors can dial in and partake in a virtual centre with activities.  

·         The Ottawa Food Bank and community food banks are all working hard to ensure food is still available to those that need it.   

·         Call 2-1-1 to find out more and get connected to these wonderful community partners.  

I would like to remind residents just how important it is that we continue to support each other in our community through this situation, and to seek out accurate updates. Please continue to visitOttawaPublicHealth.ca/Coronavirus 

Je voudrais rappeler aux résidents à quel point il est important que nous continuions à nous soutenir mutuellement dans notre communauté face à cette situation, et à rechercher des mises à jour précises. Veuillez continuer de visiter le site: SantePubliqueOttawa.ca/Coronavirus 

Note from our OCDSB trustee

Thanks to Justine Bell, our new Trustee for the Ottawa Carleton District School Board in zone 10, Somerset-Kitchissippi, for sending this update.

Dear Zone 10 Somerset/Kitchissippi parents,

Here is the message I sent your school councils this evening.

It has been just over a month since I was sworn in as your School Board Trustee for Zone 10 Somerset / Kitchissippi. It has been an honour and an eye opening experience – a lot has happened in that time that directly affects students.

With life significantly changing for you and your families with our state of emergency because of Covid 19, I wanted to reach out to let you know that I am here for you. I may not have all the answers yet, but will do my best to listen, find out and respond. I have been so impressed by our dedicated school board administration, our teachers and educators, and my trustee colleagues as they all continue to work behind the scenes (and bring me up to speed).

Like most of you on a Sunday evening, I normally would be preparing to go to work and making lunches. Instead, I am at home writing you from my kitchen table. My partner Guillermo is trying to clean up (a never ending endeavour) and my almost five year old daughter Shanti has just danced up a storm in the living room with all of her toys! We are doing well, and we understand that isolation is challenging and uncertainty can be scary.

I encourage you to look at the official resources that our Director of Education emailed you this week and to consult the OCDSB website for updates. On this site you will also find information on the work underway by the Ministry of Education and educators to find new ways to support students during this unprecedented time.

In times like this, we have a great opportunity to demonstrate good citizenship and be innovative. I know that my little one is watching my every move in this strange time. It is ultimately because of my hopes for her generation’s future that I applied for this position. I want to do all I can so that she, her classmates and all students in Ottawa can thrive, acquire valuable skills, and demonstrate good citizenship. An essential part of this endeavour is hearing from you and getting to know your communities. I would welcome any opportunity to meet with your school councils when the time is right.

I look forward to that time and to co-creating a culture of innovation, caring and social responsibility with you.

Please forward my message to your councils.



School Trustee
Zone 10 Somerset/Kitchissippi
Phone: 613-858-2275

Building Brighter Futures Together

See the Board's coronavirus updates and information here.


For more, visit our site at KitchissippiWard.ca.

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110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1

Jeff Leiper, Councillor, Kitchissippi Ward

110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1
KitchissippiWard.ca / Facebook / Twitter