CJRO News September 21 to September 27, 2020
Hello, bonjour, and welcome to CJRO News on Carlsbad Radio. I’m Candice Vetter reporting remotely.
First off, Ontario residents age 80 and over can now book second Covid vaccinations. If a second shot is already booked it may be able to be moved up. Adults 70 and over will be able to start doing the same thing as of June 14th. If booking through the provincial online booking portal the previous appointment is supposed to be automatically cancelled. After that date other age groups will be invited to participate on a first in-first out basis. Public Health organizations are suggesting a 12-week gap between doses is possible.
The province also wants to start vaccinating youths between age 12 and 17 in June, with second doses in August.
Covid numbers are declining significantly with the vaccine rollout well underway, but about 15 per cent of those new cases are in children or teens.
Members of seven local community associations within the eastern rural part of Ottawa were stunned to find out that the community share of the money paid by Amazon for not including parkland in their development was given to projects in Orleans.
When former CSCA president Denis Labreche questioned the City of Ottawa regarding receiving a portion of those funds for Carlsbad Springs park improvements he was told funds had already been spent. Amazon paid cash-in-lieu-of-parkland of $212,000. Of that 40 percent was supposed to go for use anywhere within the City, and 60 percent was to be spent in the ward where the giant development was set up. Community associations nearby, particularly in Carlsbad Springs where the facility is, expected that money would be divided between them, or that they would be consulted with, or that they could apply for money for specific park improvement projects. Instead the City arbitrarily decided to spend the funds on the Orleans Sports Field, Rancourt Park fencing, Bilberry Park improvements, covered picnic tables at Marcel Lalande and Millennium Park, and others in Orleans.
Labreche said he felt “betrayed” by the process, and several other community associations representatives expressed similar sentiments. This is not the first time that Carlsbad Springs residents have been betrayed. Between proposed mega-dumps, refusal to order a human health study, ward changes without consultation, dividing the communities, and no representation for months, not to mention being stonewalled when trying to get information over the last nine years, something I’ve personally experienced, many east rural residents are furious.
We will be following this story closely, as it seems funds meant for local communities have to be watched with an eagle eye.
Amazon is also in the news again for another reason. An employee of the distribution centre on Boundary Road has reported to CBC that it is an unsafe workplace and has had at least 35 alerts about Covid cases, some of them multiple since last summer. The company has not publicly admitted these, and Ottawa Public Health does not publicize names of businesses with Covid outbreaks, so companies don’t need to reveal their status to the public. I have requested replies from Ottawa Public Health and from the Ontario Ministry of Health and hope to hear back later this week.
In another blow to rural Ontarians and Francophones, the Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians suddenly and without warning revoked the accreditation of the Vet Tech program at Boreal College in Sudbury and in Ottawa, three weeks from graduation.
The explanation the association gave CBC was that only 30 percent of Boreal students wrote the national exam in recent years, and the lack of hands-on experience with large farm animals has been reduced due to Covid. This means 20 new graduates will not be allowed to write the exam and will not be able to practice. They won’t be able to be hired as vets, and are already being turned down for jobs. With the shut down of Kemptville College a few years ago this means students in Eastern Ontario now have even fewer options. It’s a further blow to Sudbury as well, since Laurentian University has become insolvent. I attempted to call the vet tech association but they are not accepting voice mail at all. An email had not been replied to by news time.
As part of Let’s Bike Month, Let’s Bike Ottawa is giving out over 42,000 worth of daily prizes. Sign up at LetsBike.ca .
The Ottawa Food Bank is asking gardeners to donate extra produce they’ve grown. The food bank has their own eight-acre farm but always needs more. Go to ottawafoodbank.ca for a location hear you, or take it directly to 1317 Michael St., Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
I’m Candice Vetter for CJRO News. Are you a veterinary student? If yes, I’d like to hear from you. CJRO, 107.7 and 107.9. Last on the dial first for local news. Keep well.