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Hundreds fight for Kanata Golf and Country Club





Nearly 500 people braved the frigid cold to fight for the Kanata Golf and Country Club.

Kanata-North Councillor Jenna Sudds held a community meeting Monday evening at the John Mlacak Centre.

“This has come as a big shock to the community,” said Sudds.

“This is tremendously valued, beyond just the golf course.”

In December, ClubLink, the largest golf course operator in Canada, announced their plans to turn the golf course into a real estate opportunity, partnering with local developers Minto Communities and Richcraft Homes.

“Ottawa is a vibrant, growing city and we believe there is an opportunity to better utilize this 70 hectares of land to meet the interests of the community,” said ClubLink in a press release.

“Golf courses are struggling across the country and particularly in saturated markets like Ottawa.”

“I can respect that golf perhaps isn’t doing well everywhere, but this particular course is doing well,” said Sudds.

Sudds says according to a land agreement signed in 1981, the owner is not allowed to redevelop the land.

“There is an agreement that formed the basis of how Kanata Lakes were developed, referred to as the 40 percent agreement,” said Sudds.

CTV News attained the agreement, which contains a provision stating:

“In the event that Campeau desires to discontinue the operation of the golf course and it can find no other persons to acquire or operate it, then it shall convey the golf course (including lands and buildings) to Kanata at no cost, and if Kanata accepts the conveyance, Kanata shall operate or cause to be operated the land as a golf course subject to provisions.”

Former councillor and Kanata Mayor Marianne Wilkinson helped write and establish the agreement.

“It stood up,” said Wilkinson.

“We’ve been using this agreement ever since then.”

Wilkinson says ClubLink is testing the waters, but the contract is clear.

“It has to be a golf course, if you can’t run it yourself, you have to sell it to someone else and get someone else to do it as a golf course,” said Wilkinson.

“If you don’t want to do it as a golf course, you can give it to the city for free.”

The proposal has been met with backlash from concerned residents.

Diane Bondy lives on the golf course and is worried how altering the greenspace will change the quality of life.

“We’re all devastated this is happening,” said Bondy.

“It will affect our infrastructure, it will affect our traffic.”

ClubLink has made no official planning proposal or application to the city.

The golf course makes up about 30 percent of the 175 acre Kanata green space.


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Record one million job losses in March: StatCan





OTTAWA — More than one million Canadians lost their jobs in the month of March, Statistics Canada is reporting. The unemployment rate has also climbed to 7.8 per cent, up from 2.2 percentage points since February.

Canada’s national statistics agency released its monthly Labour Force Survey on Thursday, using March 15 to 21 as the sample week – a time when the government began enforcing strict guidelines around social gatherings and called on non-essential businesses to close up shop.

The first snapshot of job loss since COVID-19 began taking a toll on the Canadian economy shows 1.1 million out of work since the prior sample period and a consequent decrease in the employment rate – the lowest since April 1997. The most job losses occurred in the private sector and among people aged 15-24.

The number of people who were unemployed increased by 413,000, resulting in the largest one-month increase in Canada’s unemployment rate on record and takes the economy back to a state last seen in October, 2010.

“Almost all of the increase in unemployment was due to temporary layoffs, meaning that workers expected to return to their job within six months,” reads the findings.

The agency included three new indicators, on top of the usual criteria, to better reflect the impact of COVID-19 on employment across the country.

The survey, for example, excludes the more commonly observed reasons for absent workers — such as vacation, weather, parental leave or a strike or lockout — to better isolate the pandemic’s effect.

They looked at: people who are employed but were out of a job during the reference week, people who are employed but worked less than half their usual hours, and people who are unemployed but would like a job.

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Employee at Ottawa’s Amazon Fulfillment Centre tests positive for COVID-19





OTTAWA — An employee who works at Amazon’s fulfillment centre on Boundary Road in Ottawa’s east-end has tested positive for COVID-19.

Amazon says it learned on April 3 that an associate tested positive for novel coronavirus and is currently in isolation. The employee last worked at the fulfillment centre on March 19.

Two employees told CTV News Ottawa that management informed all employees about the positive test in a text message over the weekend.

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, Amazon spokesperson Jen Crowcroft wrote “we are supporting the individual who is recovering. We are following guidelines from health officials and medical experts, and are taking extreme measures to ensure the safety of employees at our site.”

The statement also says that Amazon has taken steps to further protect their employees.

“We have also implemented proactive measures at our facilities to protect employees including increased cleaning at all facilities, maintaining social distance in the FC.”

CTV News Ottawa asked Amazon about the timeline between when the company found out about the positive COVID-19 case and when employees were notified.

In a separate email to CTV News Ottawa, Crowcroft said “all associates of our Boundary Road fulfillment centre in Ottawa were notified within 24 hours of learning of the positive COVID-19 case.”

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Ottawa facing silent spring as festivals, events cancelled





This is shaping up to be Ottawa’s silent spring — and summer’s sounding pretty bleak, too — as more and more concerts, festivals and other annual events are cancelled in the wake of measures meant to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The province has already banned gatherings of more than five people, and on Monday officials announced city parks, facilities and services will remain shut down until the end of June, nor will any event permits be issued until at least that time.

“This leaves us with no choice but to cancel the festival this year,” Ottawa Jazz Festival artistic director Petr Cancura confirmed Monday.

This was to be the festival’s 40th anniversary, and organizers announced the lineup for the June 19-July 1 event the day after Ottawa’s first confirmed case of COVID-19. 

The Toronto and Montreal jazz festivals had already pulled the plug because of similar restrictions in their cities, so Cancura said the writing was on the wall.

“We have a few contingency plans to keep connecting with our audience and working with our artists,” Cancura said.

People holding tickets to the 2020 festival can ask for a refund or exchange for a 2021 pass.

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