OTTAWA — Fallout from the Panda Game celebrations in Ottawa, commuters wait for word on Confederation Line service resuming and photo radar coming to more Ottawa school zones.
CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at five stories to watch in Ottawa this week.
PANDA GAME FALLOUT
All eyes will be on the investigation by the Ottawa Police Service and Ottawa Bylaw and Regulatory Services into the post Panda Game celebrations in Sandy Hill.
Approximately 2,000 people descended on Russell Avenue and surrounding streets Saturday evening following the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees 19-17 win over the Carleton Ravens in the Panda Game.
“You could hear people start cheering and there was just a group of people that for whatever reason decided it was a good idea to flip a car over,” Steve Higham, who lives on Russell Avenue.
Higham said it was a “good three hours” before police moved in.
Police say a car was overturned and one person was assaulted during the incident, while paramedics transported seven people to hospital.
“Police are reviewing evidence and will be laying any applicable charges under the Reopening of Ontario Act, Liquor Licence Act, City By-laws as well as any criminal charges under the Criminal Code of Canada,” said police on Sunday afternoon.
WEEK THREE WITHOUT LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT
Ottawa begins a third week without Light Rail Transit service, as the Confederation Line remains out of service following the derailment on Sept. 19.
An LRT car derailed near Tremblay Station, damaging the train, the track and rail infrastructure.
OC Transpo and the Confederation Line shutdown the two-year-old transit system shortly after the derailment, and there has been no word on when the service will resume.
On Sunday, City Manager Steve Kanellakos said Rideau Transit Maintenance is still working on a timeline for the return to service, denying suggestions it will be out of service until February.
Kanellakos is also looking for a new firm to conduct an independent safety review of the city’s LRT system after questions were raised about the independence of the first firm hired.
STV Inc., which was hired to conduct a review of the LRT system, had provided consulting services during LRT construction, leading critics to suggest their review would not be truly independent.
While transit riders wait for word on when LRT service will resume, members of Ottawa’s Finance and Economic Development committee will receive an update on the city’s contract with Rideau Transit Group and Rideau Transit Maintenance.
In March 2020, the city of Ottawa issued a notice of default to Rideau Transit Group.
COVID-19 IN OTTAWA SCHOOLS
COVID-19 outbreaks have been declared at two more Ottawa schools as a new school week begins, while two schools have been ordered closed due to COVID-19.
Now, officials will be watching to see if cases continue to rise in Ottawa schools.
As of Sunday, there were COVID-19 outbreaks at seven schools in Ottawa:
- École élémentaire catholique Marius-Barbeau
- Kars on the Rideau Public School
- St. Benedict Elementary School
- École élémentaire Francojeunesse
- École élémentaire catholique Sainte-Anne
- École élémentaire publique Jeanne-Sauve
- École élémentaire publique Seraphin-Marion
St. Benedict Elementary School and École élémentaire catholique Marius-Barbeau were ordered closed last week due to cases of COVID-19 spreading outside of classroom cohorts.
Ottawa’s medical officer of health said late last week that public health is looking at ways to limit the number of close contacts children and youth have at school each day, warning mixing of cohorts at lunch and recess are leading to cases of COVID-19.
“What we are seeing is that there’s more mixing of students than there was last year. When I say mixing of students, I mean the groups that children and youth are part of are called cohorts and now those cohorts are sometimes mixing at recess or mixing at lunch, and this is leading to greater exposures,” said Dr. Vera Etches on Friday.
PHOTO RADAR COMING TO MORE SCHOOL ZONES
The Transportation Committee will vote Wednesday on a proposal to expand Ottawa’s photo radar camera program to 15 more school zones over the next 15 months.
A one-year pilot of the automated speed enforcement (ASE) system at eight locations in Ottawa resulted in 101,778 tickets issued for speeding between July 2020 and July 2021, netting $5.4 million in revenue.
A report for the Transportation Committee recommends the city of Ottawa install 15 new cameras in Community Safety Zones by the end of 2022, with an additional 15 to 25 cameras a year set up on Ottawa roads during the next term of council.
“The ASE pilot project has proven successful at reducing traffic speeds with a 200 per cent increase in compliance with the speed limit and a 72 per cent decrease in the percentage of high-end speeders at the pilot sites,” said staff, noting the goal of the automated speed enforcement is to reduce traffic speeds where the cameras are installed.
OTTAWA 67s RETURN TO THE ICE
The Ottawa 67s return to the ice Thanksgiving weekend for the first time in 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 67s open the new Ontario Hockey League season Friday night in Kingston, before playing at TD Place on Sunday, Oct. 10 against Kingston.
Under Ontario’s COVID-19 guidelines, all fans must be fully vaccinated to attend games at TD Place Arena this season. The OHL is requiring all players to be fully vaccinated to play.
The 2019-20 OHL season was cancelled in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the 2020-21 season was cancelled.
EVENTS HAPPENING IN OTTAWA THIS WEEK
Special Ottawa Planning Committee meeting – 9 a.m.
Ottawa Senators vs. Toronto Maple Leafs – 7 p.m. at Canadian Tire Centre (TSN 1200)
National Capital Commission Board of Directors meeting
Ottawa Finance and Economic Development Committee meeting – 12 p.m.
Ottawa Transportation Committee meeting – 9:30 a.m.
Ottawa Redblacks at Toronto Argos – 7:30 p.m. (TSN 1200 and TSN)
Ottawa Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee meeting – 10 a.m.
Ottawa Senators at Montreal Canadiens – 7 p.m. (TSN 1200 and TSN 5)
Ottawa 67s at Kingston Frontenacs – 7 p.m. at Kingston’s Leon’s Centre (TSN 1200)
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