June 14, 2006

City Council Meeting Highlights

New O-Train plans unveiled to City Council and the Public

Today, Mayor Bob Chiarelli announced the City has reached a proposed contract with The Siemens/PCL-Dufferin Team to construct the new North-South Light Rail Transit (LRT) expansion.


This contract will deliver a new and expanded O-Train system by 2009. The North-South Light Rail Transit line will be built with over 95% of the funding secured from the provincial and federal governments, transit development charges and through a process that assures best value for money for Ottawa residents.

The proposed contract and design represents years of Council decisions and public consultations and provides a new North-South transportation link from University of Ottawa to Barrhaven Town Centre.

The fixed price for the construction and design of the base LRT project is $654.2 million. The total cost of the project is $744.2 million. If approved by Council, the extension to Barrhaven will cost $24 million.

With $400 million of the funding coming from the federal and provincial governments, the City will fund its portion through development charges and gas tax supported debt. The project is scheduled for construction this fall.

Details of the proposed contract and the N-S LRT system;

  • The Siemens-PCL/Dufferin Team will design, build and maintain the new LRT system for 15 years.


  • The route will extend from the University of Ottawa and run through the downtown core down Slater and Albert streets to Carleton University and into Riverside South ending at the Barrhaven Town Centre


  • 29.4 km route, 22 electrified LRT vehicles and 23 stations


  • Three new park-and-ride facilities and a new maintenance centre


  • 43,500 projected passengers each day when fully operational


  • Project is expected to create approximately 3,100 direct construction-related jobs in the local marketplace and another 5,500 jobs indirectly throughout the 40-month construction phase

About 85% of the work on the system will have Canadian content.

Besides the direct jobs created by the project, studies and experience in other cities have shown that new rail systems generate economic investment. It is expected that hundreds of millions of dollars in new investment will locate near the line.

The public can view and comment on the design plans at a series of open houses held across the City over the next two weeks. Council will vote on whether to accept the contract with The Siemens-PCL/Dufferin Team on July 12-14. 

Rideau Street Safety Improvements

City Council approved a zero tolerance approach to crime on Rideau Street (between William Street and Sussex Drive). Further, Councillors approved the creation of an Urban Design Task Force, led by the City, which would develop long-term proposals for this area on Rideau Street. The goal will be to identify ways to improve the area and address security concerns, while ensuring transit users are accommodated.

Permanent Memorial at City Hall will Honour Ottawa’s Fallen Firefighters

City Council approved a proposal to build a permanent memorial to honour Ottawa’s fallen firefighters. The result of over five years of planning, the Ottawa Firefighters Memorial will also provide a permanent reminder of the valuable contributions made every day by Ottawa firefighters in the line of duty. It will be located on the northeast corner of Festival Plaza outside City Hall at 110 Laurier Avenue West.

Artist Louise Carota’s concept features statues of two larger-than-life firefighters cast in metal. One firefighter carries a victim, while the other sprays real water from their metal fire hose. The water hits a glass and stainless steel structure and cascades down the other side, flowing over the words “Always Loved – Never Forgotten” engraved into a wall separating upper and lower reflecting pools of water. The names of Ottawa’s fallen firefighters will be engraved in granite plaques attached to a retaining wall. Visitors will be able to sit on benches to contemplate the Memorial and cross an enclosed bridge to view plaques, photos and other artwork depicting the contributions of Ottawa’s firefighters.

The Ottawa Firefighters Community Foundation will raise the necessary funds to cover all costs associated with the Memorial. Once the monument is in place, the yearly Ottawa Firefighters March and Memorial Service will be centered around it. The Foundation hopes to have the money raised and the Memorial built within a year.

Other items of interest

Toll-Free Calling

Today Council endorsed a plan to make all of Ottawa-Gatineau a single toll-free calling district. A common toll-free calling area will:

  • eliminate long-distance barriers within Ottawa-Gatineau and allow residents in outlying areas to staying in touch with friends and family across the whole region without extra cost


  • allow residents to have greater access to business, government services and other community organizations throughout the region


  • assist local businesses in outlying areas by expanding their customer service area to all of Ottawa-Gatineau without incurring long-distance costs and having a more balanced competitive environment with businesses in the downtown core.

As part of this plan, a uniform monthly surcharge will be applied to all telephone lines in the City for the first three years. The surcharge will be in the range 50¢ to 63¢ per month for residences and 45¢ to 59¢ per month for businesses and will be applied when toll-free service begins throughout Ottawa. Implementation is expected in Spring 2007.

Scent-free Program

City Council approved the creation of a new scent-free program for City buildings, community centres and sport centres, Light Rail Transit, OC Transpo and Para Transpo buses. The scent free program will begin with a public awareness program and a scent-free policy in the City’s corporate buildings and transit operations, informing the public to be considerate of others who may have reactions or sensitivities to scented products, and urge people to observe the program by using the many unscented products available. Several areas within the City of Ottawa already encourage staff not to use scented products such as in the Ottawa Public Health Branch, and the Real Property Asset Management Branch has undertaken a scent-free cleaning products pilot project within select City buildings including City Hall.

Carp Road Waste Management Facility Draft Environmental Assessment

Council passed a motion to revise the current draft Terms of Reference of the Environmental Assessment by Waste Management of Canada Corporation for the Carp Road Waste Management Facility in West Carleton. Council directed extensive revisions to the current draft to provide greater clarity and detail regarding the rationale for the landfill expansion, as well as possible alternatives.

Council has requested that the Minister of the Environment hold on further review of the draft Terms of Reference until the regulatory compliance status of the Carp Road site and operations of Waste Management has been confirmed. Council further requested that the Minister allow the public no less than 180 days to respond to any amended proposals to the Terms of Reference put forward by Waste Management.

To reduce the amount of household waste now going to landfill the City has launched a multi-year information campaign. The goal of the first phase of this campaign is to keep 40% of Ottawa's waste out of landfills — that would be a 7% increase from the 33% diverted now. Through information and education, the City wants to encourage residents to 'rethink' the ways in which they currently deal with their household garbage — from how much they generate, to making more informed choices about disposal. Residents will be asked to resist the urge to buy unnecessary or disposable products, and to make better use of the City's recycling programs, such as blue and black-box recycling, Take it Back!, composting programs, and household hazardous waste depots. The second phase of the campaign, scheduled to begin in 2009, will announce and promote the launch of a citywide organics collection and composting program, which is expected to significantly increase Ottawa's waste diversion.

For more information: City of Ottawa Corporate Communications 613-580-2450

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