By Carleton MPP Goldie Ghamari
One of the things I like the most about representing Carleton is that it is, in my opinion, the most beautiful riding in the province.
One of the hidden gems in Carleton that showcases the beauty of the area is Rideau River Provincial Park.
Although the park has a Kemptville address, it is located on the north side of the Rideau River. The river is the boundary between the City of Ottawa and the Municipality of North Grenville, meaning the park is located in Ottawa and in the Carleton riding.
On Sunday morning, I was able to join the Ontario Minster of the Environment, Conservation and Parks for a tour of Rideau Provincial Park. Mark Read, the Assistant Superintendent, Ontario Parks, gave us a tour of the park and introduced us to many of the young employees working there for the summer. He also showed us the beautiful trails at the park, and showed us the different amenities available to campers and visitors, such as the canoes and paddleboards that are available for rental. Mark is extremely passionate about parks and the outdoors, and having someone with his knowledge and dedication is a great asset for the park.
The beach in front of the main front is clean and the water is fairly shallow, making it an ideal destination for young families. It is on a particularly wide stretch of the river, and the water and landscaping make it one of the most beautiful attractions in the Carleton riding. The Rideau Waterway is an historic UNESCO site.
The campsite is popular, with many level, shaded campsites available.
If you are a boater, there is a boat launch at the park, and it is a popular spot for fishing.
Mark said the cost for day passes is usually $15.50, but there is a complete listing of the fees on the park’s website at www.ontarioparks.com/park/rideauriver. There are discounts for seniors and for disabled persons. Camping fees are also included on the site.
There are still a few weeks of summer left to enjoy, and we were told that the fall foliage is beautiful at the park.
For more information on Rideau River Provincial Park, visit their site or call them at (613) 258-2740.
Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act
The Ontario government introduced legislation that would give the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa more responsibility to deliver on shared provincial-municipal priorities, including building 1.5 million new homes over the next 10 years.
Mayoral powers to veto by-laws approved by council and bring items for council consideration would only apply for matters relating to provincial priorities, which will be set out in regulations. For example, building 1.5 million new residential units by 2033, or the construction and maintenance of infrastructure that supports new housing, including transit, roads, and utilities.
Thirty-five per cent of Ontario’s projected growth to 2031 is expected to happen in Toronto and Ottawa. Addressing housing supply issues in these communities is critical.
If passed, the Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act, would give the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa the ability to move priority projects forward and get more homes built faster. Proposed changes include:
- hiring the Chief Administrative Officer and municipal department heads, and create and re-organize departments
- appointing chairs/vice-chairs for identified committees and local boards, and establish new identified committees
- bringing matters for council consideration related to provincial priorities
- vetoing bylaws approved by council if they relate to matters of provincial priority
- proposing the municipal budget
This legislation is an important tool to get more homes built faster, and is one of a number of initiatives being taken by the Ontario government to address the housing shortage.
These proposed measures would allow council to have the ability to propose amendments to the municipal budget. Council would also be able to override the mayor’s veto of any budget amendments and by-laws related to provincial priorities with a two-thirds majority vote.
If passed, the proposed changes are intended to take effect on November 15, 2022 — the start of the new municipal council term.
To help communities across Ontario build more attainable homes, Ontario is also launching the Housing Supply Action Plan Implementation Team (HSAPIT). HSAPIT will provide advice on market housing initiatives, including building on the vision from the Housing Affordability Task Force, More Homes for Everyone and other government consultations. Ontario is committed to supporting municipalities and remains focused on improving planning policies and cutting red tape to get homes built faster. The government is leading by example, and encourages other government partners to join us by taking concrete steps to help all Ontarians find a home that meets their needs.
After the success of More Homes, More Choice and More Homes for Everyone, Ontario has committed to creating a housing supply action plan every year over four years, starting in 2022-23.
With the harvest season upon us, now is a great time to get out and support your local farmers in Carleton at one of several farmers markets operating.
Not only do these markets support our local farms, but they also give all of us a chance to enjoy fresh, locally-grown produce and other products made right here in Carleton.
Every weekend, we have the opportunity to enjoy the Manotick Farmers Market, which runs every Saturday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Watson’s Mill; the Metcalfe Farmers Market at the Metcalfe Fair Grounds every Saturday from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.; the North Gower Farmers Market every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.; the Stittsville Farmers Market at Village Square Park Sundays 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.; and the Richmond Market, which takes place every second Sunday and has two dates left (Sept. 4, 18) in the east parking lot of the Richmond Memorial Community Centre.
Renewing Photo Cards
The Ontario government is making it more convenient for people to keep their government-issued identification and permits up to date. Holders of Ontario Photo Cards can now sign up for free reminders by email, text, or phone call 60 and 30 days before it is time to renew, providing a convenient way to get notified when the photo cards are set to expire. All Ontarians are also encouraged to sign up for free digital renewal reminders for health cards, driver’s licences and licence plates.
It is important for Ontarians to keep their licence plate, driver’s licence, health card, or Ontario Photo Card up to date to ensure seamless access to critical services and avoid fines or penalties. It’s easier, faster, and more convenient to renew now than ever before. Customers can renew online at Ontario.ca/Renew in minutes. Those who need to visit a ServiceOntario centre in person can book an appointment at Ontario.ca/Appointment to make the visit quicker and hassle-free.
Signing up for digital reminders is quick and easy online at Ontario.ca/Reminders or by calling ServiceOntario at 1-800-387-3445 (TTY: 1-800-268-7095).
My office is open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm. If you require assistance on any matter, please contact me at any time. My staff and I will be happy to assist. Even if it’s not a provincial issue, I’ll make sure to connect you with the proper office.
Your voice at Queen’s Park