McKenney and Sutcliffe spar over campaign finances and arson unit probes attempted theft at ATM: Top five stories this week

The two top contenders for mayor spar over campaign finances, a Windsor man is accused of making anti-Semitic threats against an Ottawa doctor and the arson unit investigates an attempted theft at an ATM.

CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at the top five stories on our website this week.

Catherine McKenney and Mark Sutcliffe sparred over financial plans for the city of Ottawa during the CTV News Ottawa mayoral debate this week.

“I’ve actually looked through your budget quite carefully and it has a significant hole in it,” McKenney said during the debate. “When you calculated for inflation, you, in fact, left it off half the city budget. You know that this leaves a multi-million dollar hole in your plan, correct?”

“There are no holes in my plan,” Sutcliffe said. “Catherine McKenney’s plan is to take $90 million out of our reserves; those are emergency funds that should be there in the future…..We’re breaking the piggy bank.”

McKenney, Sutcliffe and former mayor Bob Chairelli took part in the hour-long debate, discussing property taxes, spending plans, housing, OC Transpo and bike lanes.

McKenney says Sutcliffe’s financial plan only accounts for inflation on property tax revenue, not on user fees and funding from upper levels of government, which accounts for half of the city’s revenue.

In a statement after the debate, Sutcliffe’s campaign said its financial plan “focuses on how budget pressures impact the property taxpayer”, adding government grants rise with inflation and user fees are “normally adjusted for inflation and growth.”

A Nanos Research poll for CTV News Ottawa finds public transit is the mostly frequently mentioned issue for voters in this election campaign, followed by property taxes and affordable housing.

The same poll fond 75 per cent of respondents ranked improving OC Transpo reliability as an important issue for the next mayor, followed by fixing roads at 74 per cent addressing the cost of living at 73 per cent.

A Nanos Research poll for CTV News Ottawa finds Catherine McKenney and Mark Sutcliffe are the top two contenders for mayor of Ottawa in the Oct. 24 municipal election.

As patients face long waits to see a doctor in emergency departments in Ottawa, one family says they waited 12 hours for their son to be seen at CHEO.

Vanessa Brydges told CTV News Ottawa’s Natalie van Rooy they slept overnight in the ER waiting to see a doctor.

“It’s just very difficult when you have to wait 10-12 hours and are sitting there, trying to figure out what’s going on with your child,” Brydges says. “Every parent there is just as stressed out as I am.”

Brydges says her son was projectile vomiting and had a fever.

CHEO has warned parents and children may see longer-than-normal wait times in the emergency department due to patient volumes and staffing challenges.

“We keep breaking our own records, which isn’t anything that we want to do,” said Tammy DeGiovanni, CHEO’s clinical services senior vice-president and chief nurse executive.

On Oct. 7, CHEO announced it was “throwing everything we have at delivering the safest care and the best possible experiences” for patients and their families, including hiring new staff.

The steps included:

  • Adding more than a dozen positions in the Emergency Department, including pre-triage rapid assessments and physician assistants
  • Introduce new online tools so families can better navigate their care and access it more easily
  • Improve the wait time modelling on its website so people can better know what to expect before visiting CHEO

CHEO is also working to free up medical professionals with critical care training to return to patient-facing needs and expanding staff at the Kids Come First and East Ottawa Kids clinics.

A Nanos Research poll for CTV News Ottawa finds Catherine McKenney and Mark Sutcliffe are the top two contenders for mayor of Ottawa in the Oct. 24 municipal election.

Ottawa police issued an arrest warrant for a Windsor, Ont. man after anti-Semitic threats were made against an Ottawa family doctor.

Louis Metzelos, 58, is facing charges of hate-motivated harassing communications, harassment by repeated communication, mischief, and intimidation of the health service in connection with multiple threats made by phone, police said Thursday.

Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth says she has been the target of anti-Semitic messages and death threats for her work administering COVID-19 vaccines and advocating for public health protections during the pandemic.

Dr. Kaplan-Myrth said this is the first time a Canadian is charged under Canada’s new late against intimidation of a health care worker.

Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth is pictured at her clinic, Common Ground Collaborative Care, in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. (Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The Ottawa Police Arson Unit is investigating an attempted theft at a TD Bank kiosk on Merivale Road.

Emergency crews were called to the 1900 block of Merivale Road, south of West Hunt Club Road, at approximately 4 a.m. Wednesday.

A damaged ATM could be seen in the area.

“The incident is being investigated by the Ottawa Police Arson Unit, due to a device used by the suspects once inside the business in an attempt to commit a theft,” police said.

Employees at Top Cut Barber, next door to the ATM, reported some damage inside the business, including a mirror on the ground and some items pushed away from the wall.

A TD Bank Green Machine was damaged during an attempted theft on Merivale Road Wednesday morning. (Peter Szperling/CTV News Ottawa)

A Para Transpo driver was one of 26 people charged with stunt driving on Ottawa roads over the Thanksgiving long weekend.

Police issued 425 tickets during its “Operation Impact” last weekend, including 117 for speeding and 21 tickets for red light violations.

Police said one of the drivers charged with stunt driving was driving a Para Transpo vehicle.

“OC Transpo’s top priority is the safety and security of our customers and our staff. We are aware of the situation and are taking it seriously,” Manager of Bus and Para Transit Operations Chad Maahs said in a statement to CTV News Ottawa.

“As soon as we were apprised of the incident, we took immediate action and started an internal safety review and continue to work closely with the Ottawa Police.”

A ParaTranspo vehicle is seen driving through a residential neighbourhood in Ottawa on September 23, 2020.

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