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Ottawa Bylaw issues tickets for seven illegal gatherings during first weekend of 2021

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OTTAWA — Ottawa Bylaw officers issued charges for illegal private gatherings at seven Ottawa residences over the New Year’s weekend.

Between New Year’s Eve and Monday, Jan. 4, Ottawa Bylaw and Regulatory Services (BLRS) issued 14 charges and six verbal warnings related to provincial orders and city of Ottawa bylaws about social gatherings and other activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, Bylaw Services Director Roger Chapman said tickets worth $880 each were issued for social gatherings at seven private residences. 

During Ontario’s province-wide shutdown, no indoor organized public events and social gatherings are allowed, except with members of the same household. A maximum of 10 people may gather for an outdoor social event, if they comply with public health advice on social distancing.

Chapman says three non-essential businesses open during the COVID-19 lockdown received $880 tickets under the Reopening Ontario Act from Ottawa bylaw officers between Dec. 31 and Jan. 4. 

Ottawa Bylaw officers issued three $240 tickets to people failing to wear a mask under Ottawa’s Temporary Mandatory Mask Bylaw, and one $880 ticket for a mask violation under the Reopening Ontario Act.

“Between Dec. 31 and Jan. 4, BLRS received 261 service requests related to Provincial Orders and the Temporary Mandatory Mask Bylaw, many of which were requests for information and clarification surrounding the restrictions, particularly the new rules that took effect on December 26, as part of the province-wide shutdown,” said Chapman.

Under Ontario’s province-wide shutdown, non-essential businesses must remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, except for curbside pickup.

Ottawa Bylaw Public Information Officer Alison Sandor told CTV News Ottawa Friday morning that a gym was charged for opening during the COVID-19 lockdown. Gyms and fitness centres are not allowed to open during the four-week shutdown.

Between Christmas Eve and Monday, Dec. 28, Ottawa Bylaw issued 21 charges related to provincial orders about social gatherings and other activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nineteen charges were issued for a private gathering at a restaurant on Carling Avenue. Ottawa Bylaw did not release the name of the restaurant.

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When Ontario declared a COVID-19 health emergency last spring, the first instinct of Ottawa entrepreneur Peter O’Blenis was to preserve cash.

“We basically stopped our discretionary spending,” said O’Blenis, the co-founder and CEO of Evidence Partners, which makes software for accelerating the review of scientific and medical literature, using artificial intelligence. “We cut investments in things meant to help us grow.”

It was a defensive posture born of experience. O’Blenis had 12 years earlier nearly been crushed by the global financial crisis. Another looked to be on the way.

In 2008, O’Blenis and his colleagues, Jonathan Barker and Ian Stefanison, hit a brick wall with their first venture, TrialStat, which helped hospitals manage patients’ electronic data. While TrialStat had secured $5.5 million in venture financing just a couple of years earlier, the founders had burned through most of it during a rapid expansion. When the financial world collapsed, so did their firm.

The trio played things far more conservatively with Evidence Partners, which has relied almost exclusively on customer revenues to finance expansion.

The caution proved unnecessary. Like so many other businesses, O’Blenis underestimated the government’s willingness to keep the economy afloat with easy money. Nor did he anticipate that COVID-19 would prove a significant catalyst for the firm’s revenues so soon.

Evidence Partners is hardly the only local firm with technology particularly suited for the war against COVID-19. Spartan Bioscience and DNA Genotek adapted existing products to create technology for identifying the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. Ottawa-based units of Abbott Laboratories and Siemens Healthineers make portable blood analyzers that diagnose patients afflicted by the virus.

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Shepherds of Good Hope wants to expand ByWard Market operation with eight-storey housing complex

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The Shepherds of Good Hope plans to build an eight-storey building near its current shelter for the homeless in the ByWard Market that would include supportive housing for up to 48 people, a soup kitchen and a drop-in centre.

The organization says it wants to be part of the solution to the housing crisis that has fuelled a rise in homelessness in Ottawa.

People would be moved out of the emergency shelters and into their own tiny apartments in the complex, which would include a communal dining hall and staff available to help with mental health, addiction and medical problems, said Caroline Cox, senior manager of communications for the Shepherds.

Some residents in the neighbourhood are opposed, saying services for the homeless and vulnerable should not be concentrated in one area of the city.

“I was flabbergasted,” said homeowner Brian Nolan, who lives one block from the development proposed for 216 Murray St., where currently a one-story building houses offices for the Shepherds of Good Hope.

Nolan said that, in the 15 years he’s lived in the area, it has become increasingly unsafe, with home and car thefts, drug dealing, loitering, aggressive and erratic behaviour, urinating, defecating and vomiting on sidewalks and yards and sexual acts conducted in public on his dead-end street. Before he lets his son play basketball in the yard, he checks the ground for needles and his home security camera to see who is nearby.

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Carleton University Hosts the Forum Lecture: Towards a Feminist Post-COVID City

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evehe Carleton University Forum Lecture: Towards a Feminist Post-COVID City given by Leslie Kern launches Ottawa Architecture Week. Urban geographer, author and academic, Kern will discuss how the pandemic has highlighted long-standing inequalities in the design, use and inclusivity of urban spaces. The talk will share some of the core principles behind a feminist urban vision to inform a wider vision of justice, equity and sustainability.

When
: Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.
Registration: https://alumni.carleton.ca/event-registration-architecture-forum-series-with-leslie-kern-2/.

About the Speaker

Kern holds a PhD in Women’s Studies from York University. She is currently an associate professor of Geography and Environment and director of Women’s and Gender Studies at Mount Allison University.

Kern is the author of two books on gender and cities, including Feminist City: Claiming Space in a Man-Made World (Verso). The book discusses how our cities have failed in terms of fear, motherhood, friendship, activism, the joy and perils of being alone, and also imagines what they could become.

Kern argues, “The pandemic has shown us that society can be radically reorganized if necessary. Let’s carry that lesson into creating the non-sexist city.”

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