Barrhaven Independent December 10, 2021

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FRIDAY • December 10 • 2021

Sloly praises police for work at homicide scene, says many officers traumatized By Charlie Senack Ottawa’s Police Chief called the scene at Barrhaven’s homicide two weeks ago an “active killer event” and a “house of horrors”, as he recounted what officers endured on that fatal night. Speaking at the Ottawa Police Services Board meeting recently, Police Chief Peter Sloly went over what happened on Nov. 15, when they responded to a call on Sherway Drive, which led to the city’s 15th homicide of the year. “I’ve been to a lot of homicide scenes. I’m glad I didn’t go to that one, and I’m grateful for the members who did,” said an emotional Sloly, who paused multiple times during his verbal report. “I don’t know what’s going to happen to them (the officers) over the

course of the long haul; I’m just incredibly grateful for their resilience in that moment.” When police arrived on scene near the Walter Baker Centre at around 9:30 p.m. that snowy evening, they found 64-year-old Linda Frederick deceased, and her husband, Michael Sabourin, fighting for his life. Sloly credited one of his officers — who he described as “very young… tall, handsome, fit, and very dedicated” — for keeping Sabourin alive. He performed “life saving first aid” alongside another officer after being the first to arrive on scene. “He was able to get the information from the male victim who was still alive,” he said. “At that point, we weren’t sure if he was going to make it; We’re still not sure.” When other emergency

Ottawa Police Service officers responded to a homicide in Barrhaven last month. They are credited with helping save the life of Michael Sabourin, who was stabbed, and arresting the alleged killer of Linda Frederick without further violence. Charlie Senack

personnel arrived, the officer then entered the home where he found Fredrick deceased. The accused, 39-year-old Conor Don-

nelly, who the Independent learned is Frederick’s son, barricaded himself in the bathroom. “The negotiations with

the suspect, inside a house which can be best described as a house of horrors, took hours,” chief Sloly stated. “It took hours, immediate neighbours were evacuated, and for several hours we continued negotiations with this individual to get them to surrender safely without any other harm to themself or anybody else, including the members of the organization.” Donnelly was arrested at about 1:45 a.m. the next morning. According to Sloly, Donnelly was armed. A CBC News report has stated the accused allegedly suffers from schizophrenia. He’s been charged with one count of Second Degree Murder and another count of Attempted Murder. When the sun rose, scenes of what was a fatal night were hard to miss. A white tarp tried to cover

up the front steps of the couple’s home, where a pool of blood could be seen. A defibrillator sat nearby. Splatters of blood were also noticeable on the front door of the home and siding. It was a similar scene at the neighbouring home where Sabourin allegedly ran to call for help. Because of what they witnessed that night, Sloly said many of his officers were left traumatized. “It deeply impacted the call taker who received this call — literally a dying declaration,” he said. “And it impacted every one of the members of the emergency first responders, from police, fire, to ambulance.” The police chief also described the countless resources which had to be dedicated to their investigation.


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Old fashioned country Christmas season in full swing at the Log Farm By Charlie Senack

pioneer home set up how they would have celebrated Christmas in the 1860s.” “We have a Santa’s workshop that we set up, and of course a mailbox where kids can put their letters for Santa,” Orr added. The farm will also be selling freshly cut Christmas trees outside their gift shop alongside other holiday greenery. “We also have a large selection of different things from food we raise on the farm such as eggs and maple syrup, and a lot of handcrafted goodies and a limited supply of homemade baking as well,” states Orr. The 110-acre Log Farm is one of the oldest in the city. The Bradley family settled on the land in the mid1800’s, where Abraham Bradley and his wife Matilda raised nine children. The property, now owned by the National Capital Commission, was leased to the Orr family for 20 years

Christmas has arrived at the Log Farm. The mid-19th century farm, located at 670 Cedarview Rd just outside of Barrhaven, is busy getting into the festive holiday season. Every weekend between now and Christmas, they will be open to the public. They will also be open from 9 a.m. until noon, and 1-3 p.m. from Dec. 20-23. Larry Orr, who manages the farm alongside his family, said they aim to bring a traditional old style family Christmas to their customers. They also want to teach young children about farm life. “What we do is we have all of the animals for the kids to see, but we also have the farm site decorated for Christmas,” he said. “We have a bonfire on, we do a wagon ride, we have several different play areas for the kids, and we have the

Health Services


Restaurants 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Log Farm photo

acity, the Log farm has decided to only sell 200 tickets per session. With many kids still not fully vaccinated, the

Orr family wanted to play it safe. Before COVID, they would operate at quadruple that.

Tickets can be pre-purchased online. To find out more about the Log Farm, visit:

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Shopping 23 24 25 26 27

Independent Grocer Manotick Natural Market Shoppers Drug Mart LCBO Manotick Home Hardware

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Kids can put their letters to Santa in the mailbox in Santa’s Workshop at the Log Farm.



back in 2017. Since then, they have wanted to expand their operations. “The Log Farm for a number of years was primarily a destination for the sugar bush experience. Three years ago, 70 to 75 per cent of our annual revenue all came from the sugarbush,” said Orr. “By adding different things, we have focused on catering to young families. The farm is really about a destination for families with children under 10. Other people enjoy it of course and are welcome, but it’s really the kids who get to see what farm life is like; It is an actual operating farm.” A good portion of the farm’s visitors are from Barrhaven, with Orleans coming in second place. Orr says the pandemic has shown people that being outside is the best place to be. Despite being allowed to operate at almost full cap-




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Are you curious about what is being built around the corner? By Jan Harder Barrhaven Councillor Find what you’re looking for by going to city of Ottawa’s Development Applications Search. The link below will send you to the information available on new developments, construction, infrastructure and parks. planning-development-andconstruction/whats-happening-your-neighbourhood/ development-applicationsearch-tool The Development Application Search Tool https:// lets you search by ward. Barrhaven is in wards 3, 21 and 22. It also allows you to search by street name. Once the search is done, click on the Application # to learn more about the project with the supporting documents listed.

Slow Down Signs at the Ward Office

If you are a Barrhaven resident, send an email to mark. with your contact information to order one or more ‘Slow Down For Us’ signs for your front yard and we will schedule a time for a pickup at the ward office located beside Ruth E. Dickinson Library.

Barrhaven Business Improvement Area (BBIA)

The BBIA daily Facebook giveaways have started and they have amazing prizes all the way through until midDecember! Check their Facebook page every day for a new prize from a local Barrhaven business! Prizes will be posted daily at 7am and you will have until midnight to enter! Good luck and Happy Holidays!

Hop! A new app that makes walking to school fun

Put a hop in your step and make walking to school fun! Hop! Is a new app that encourages elementary school students in Ottawa to choose walking first. By logging their walks on Hop! Children will learn the environmental benefits of walking, and in-app

challenges will celebrate their steps and keep them motivated. Hop! Is a free, progressive web app created by EnviroCentre and OSTA – it can be downloaded and used by anyone! Start logging your child’s walks:

A Very Special 2021 Candlelight Remembrance Ceremony

The holidays are a tough time for many people in Ottawa. If you’ve lost a loved one during the pandemic, they are likely even tougher still. That’s because people who are grieving have to work even harder to stay connected with their friends and family, and to get the grief support they need. Many people have turned to BFO Ottawa for support on their journey with grief, participating in peer support programs that have been running virtually throughout the pandemic. Our trained facilitators each have lived experience, and have made the decision to help others, as they themselves were helped. This coming Sunday, December 19, from 5-6 pm, the Ottawa community will gather together to remember and honour their loved ones at BFO Ottawa’s Candlelight Remembrance Ceremony, taking place inside Beechwood’s Sacred Space. People can choose to attend the ceremony either in person or to watch it virtually from the comfort of their own homes. Everyone attending will be invited to light a candle in memory of their loved one. The Sacred Space will be basked in candlelight throughout the ceremony. There will be live music, as the photos and names of our loved ones are displayed on screen. Elaine Dean, Chair of the Board of Directors, will share her story of hope, love and grief, after the loss of her son Chris in early 2014.

BFO Ottawa offers two memorial services each year, which help support BFO Ottawa programs. A limited number of pay-what-you-can spots are available. For more information, please reach out to our office by calling 613567-4278, or by sending an email to office@bfo-ottawa. org To purchase a ticket to this uplifting community event, visit:

Home energy efficiency improvements

It’s now easier and more affordable for Ottawa residents to pay for energy improvements to their homes after today’s launch of the City’s Better Homes Ottawa - Loan Program (BHOLP). The program allows Ottawa homeowners to apply for a zero-interest loan of up to $125,000 or 10 per cent of the current value of the home to cover the cost of home energy improvements. It also gives homeowners guidance on how to decide which retrofits to implement based on cost-benefit and greenhouse gas reduction potential. Eligible projects include: • thermal envelope upgrades (basement/attic/exterior wall insulation, window/ door replacements) • mechanical systems (thermostats and controllers, air/ground source heat pumps, solar hot water systems) • renewable energy (solar photovoltaic systems) • and electric vehicle chargers. The BHOLP is part of the City’s Climate Change Master Plan. Funding is provided through the Community Efficiency Financing initiative, which is offered through the Green Municipal Fund and delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and funded by the Government of Canada. To learn more, including eligibility and application requirements, please visit

OPH third dose clinics

Following the Provincial announcement on eligibility for third doses (booster doses) of the COVID-19 vaccines,

Ottawa Public Health is expanding capacity at its four community clinics to operate seven days per week. This applies to the following clinic locations: • University of Ottawa – Minto Sports Complex • JH Putman School • Eva James Memorial Centre • Orleans Ruddy Family YMCA-YWCA Based on recommendations from the Chief Medical Officer of Health and in alignment with the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), the province will begin offering third doses (booster doses) of the COVID-19 vaccine to the following vulnerable populations if at least six months have passed since their last dose: • Individuals aged 70 and over (born in 1951 or earlier); • Health care workers; • Designated essential caregivers in congregate settings (including long-term care home and retirement home staff); • Individuals who received

a complete series of a viral vector vaccine (two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine or one dose of the Janssen vaccine); and • First Nation, Inuit and Métis adults (16+) and their non-Indigenous household members. All Ottawa residents who meet these criteria will be able to book an appointment for their third dose through the provincial COVID-19 vaccination portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900. Appointments are encouraged, as drop-in availability is limited. Eligible residents can also reach out to select local pharmacies for their third dose, using the provincial pharmacy locator to find those that provide the booster dose. Many healthcare workers and first responders will have the opportunity to receive their third dose through their employer. A third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be given at least twenty-four weeks (six months) after the

second dose. All booster doses will be mRNA vaccines. Mixing COVID-19 vaccines is safe, effective, and enables Ontarians to benefit from the protection of a booster dose. We encourage all those eligible to book an appointment and get their third COVID-19 vaccine at their local pharmacy or a community clinic. Getting your third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine does not impact your flu vaccine – COVID-19 vaccines may be given at the same time as, or before/after other vaccines. Individuals two years of age and older can visit participating pharmacies to receive their flu vaccine. Individuals aged six months and older may also receive their flu vaccine from their family doctor or nurse practitioner. Anyone aged six months and older who lives, works or attends school in Ontario is eligible to receive the publicly funded flu vaccine at no cost. For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit

Be prepared for anything These difficult times demonstrate how important it is to be prepared. That should include having a current, legal Will. And with every Will we create we provide a copy of In Case of Emergency, a preparedness kit that helps you to collect all your critical documents in one place so that you are prepared for any eventuality.

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FRIDAY, December 10, 2021 Page 5


Police budget cut will not mean less police service in Barrhaven By Carol Anne Meehan Ward 22 Councillor

You’re going to hear a lot about the Ottawa Police budget over the next few weeks. That’s because the Ottawa Police Services Board, of which I am a member, took a rare step and reduced the amount of money the Police Service was requesting in its 2022 draft budget. Depending on who you listen to, this was either a reckless decision that will adversely impact police service, or a dereliction of duty because it ignored the loud calls to freeze or cut the budget. I want to remind the residents in my Ward that I have been advocating for greater police presence in our communities. So, allow me to unpack the tough decision we board members made November 23rd. First the OPS budget was NOT cut. We reduced the amount of NEW money the Service was asking for in 2022, from 14 million to about 11 million dollars. Last year the OPS wanted

three per cent more, which the Board approved. At the same time we promised to try to reign in spending in 2022, and instructed the Police Chief to do the same. We are living in a time of historic change. Tragic events including the death of Ottawa man Abdirahman Abdi and George Floyd in the US have kick started a conversation about what constitutes good policing, in particular whether, police should be responding to mental health calls. Other cities, like Toronto, are experimenting with diverting some 911 calls to specialized teams of mental health workers, which frees up police to do more what they are trained to do. We want to do something similar here in Ottawa, but money has been a main stumbling block. Who pays? The obvious answer is some of it should come from the Police Service. With a budget of more than

$385 million, we know there is room to divert a few million dollars to an alternative mode of service. So when the Police Chief tabled the budget asking for $14 million more, we had to remind him of our pledge to commit to change. After negotiations, we settled on an increase of $11 million. Despite all the fear mongering this budget will NOT cut staffing or stop new hires, which is why I support it. Will it squeeze

the service in some areas? Yes, but efficiencies can and will be found. Chief Sloly is urging everyone in the city to be calm. While he is walking a fine line between trying to appease his members and to respond to community pressures we must remember he has stated very publicly he is committed to change. He wants to be part of it, which the Ottawa Police Servi-

ces Board applauds. That ’s why our next step is to ensure the roughly $2 million saved from the OPS budget goes directly to Ottawa’s Social Services department, which will match the funds to develop a pilot program for a 24-7 mental health response team. Our Police Board is determined to help this initiative in any way it can. We want our police officers doing the important work they

Jockvale Elementary School worked with counsellors for their students who saw the scene on their way into class that morning. Principal Robyn Darragh said “the incident occurred in a home close to our school and some students may have walked past the crime scene as it was under investigation. I have been in touch with the OCDSB Tragic Event Response Team and I wanted to share with you some advice on how to support your children during this time.”

Sloly said he has visited with the platoon that responded to the call that evening. They are the same group of people who helped save a nine-month-old baby who was abducted from their mother this summer. “I can tell you with all honesty that the platoon was involved in two calls for service that I’ve never seen in my years of policing, and they resolved both of them safely,” he said. “You can go your entire 30-year career and never have one of those calls. That is the

were trained to do. Everyone seems to agree on that, but someone had to do the tough work of kickstarting that change. I am proud the Police Services Board is leading the way. I was also gratified to hear Chief Sloly say recently he is “passionate to take on the challenge.” Change is risky - but done right everyone in Ottawa will benefit.

homicide continues from page 1 “Over the course of the next 36 hours, the aftermath of the event required even more police resources. Medical resources, hospital resources; it required the deployment of our forensic unit, criminal investigations homicide unit, victims services unit, as well as members health and wellness units to support those members that were literally in real time being traumatized by what they were experiencing and dealing with.” The Barrhaven Independent has also learned that nearby

Michael Sabourin and Linda Frederick were stabbed in the Sherway Drive home. Facebook photo

quality of policing in this city that never gets proper due in these meetings or any other meetings I’m aware of.”

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Angelo Mosca will be waiting for Joe Kapp


O’Toole needs a better plan to fight inflation Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole wants to blast Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over inflation. And the prime minister is certainly vulnerable as rising prices at the gas pump and grocery store illustrate the risks of runaway government spending. But using O’Toole’s policies to fight inflation would be like using gas to put out a fire. Statistics Canada’s latest inflation report shows consumer prices rising by 4.7 per cent. That’s the highest annual increase in nearly two decades. The Bank of Canada has printed more than $370 billion by purchasing financial assets such as government debt during the pandemic. That 300 per cent growth in the central bank’s assets is significantly higher than what occurred during the recessions of the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2008-09. Just two days after Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced her plan to run a $3 billion per week deficit in 2021, the Bank of Canada announced its plan to purchase $3 billion worth of government debt per week. That makes it seem like Trudeau is using the printing press to finance a good chunk of his deficits. And the more dollars the government prints, the less your dollars buy. O’Toole is right to criticize Trudeau for borrowing too much money. But he has a credibility problem. O’Toole just spent the entire election telling voters that he would spend about $50 billion more than the last Liberal government budget. O’Toole is also off track on energy prices. “Energy prices were up 25.5 per cent year over year in October, primarily driven by an increase in gasoline prices,” according to Statistics Canada. With taxes making up 31 to 42 per cent of the pump price, according to Canadian Taxpayers Federation analysis, one way to make life more affordable is to provide tax relief. O’Toole knows carbon taxes drive up prices. O’Toole even signed a CTF pledge promising to “immediately repeal the Trudeau carbon tax; and, reject any future national carbon tax or cap-and-trade scheme.” But O’Toole now wants to increase the current nine cents per litre carbon tax to 11 cents per litre of gas. O’Toole’s carbon tax flipflop is keeping his Official Opposition from holding Trudeau accountable on sky-high gas prices. It’d be tough to hold a press conference standing up for taxpayers when your party leader wants to soak drivers for an extra 27 cents per litre. Taxpayers expect O’Toole and the Conservatives to hold the government accountable on inflation. But O’Toole won’t have a leg to stand on in this inflation fight until he ditches his plans to raise the carbon tax and borrow more money. Franco Terrazzano is the Federal Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. © Troy Media


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Why do we love to see people fight so feud started – was in the Grey Cup. Early in the game, Fleming carried the much? ball to the outside and was tackled near We all remember the days in elemen-from the sideline. As he landed out of bounds, tary school, forming a circle around two of other the our classmates who were about to square Mosca launched himself in the air at full off, and cheering insanely, “Fight! Fight! speed and drilled the star running back, giving him a concussion Fight!” If people ever squared and knocking him out off and fought at work, it would of the game. There was probably draw the same reaction no penalty called on the among the grownups. Except play. BC fans, as well now it would be on Instagram as most fans in Canada, or Tik Tok within 30 seconds. So why are we surprised that we just were infuriated by the dirty play. In Hamcan’t look away from a clip of two 73-year- ilton, it was seen as a good, tough football play. Their coach would defend Mosca’s old men scrapping at a banquet? With this being Grey Cup Week, the clip hit, saying that the “play is not over until of the 2011 dust up between 1960s CFL you hear the leather pop.” Without Flemrivals Angelo Mosca and Joe Kapp has ing, the Lions were not able to generate been replayed many times. With Angelo much of an offensive attack and Hamilton Mosca’s recent passing, it will only add to would win 21-10. The Lions would get their shot at rethe number of times we see the 10-year-old demption the following year. Kapp and clip. When Angelo Mosca and Joe Kapp Fleming had another great year, and in the played football, it was an era of hatred. 1964 Grey Cup in Toronto, they would deThere was probably more hatred in the feat the Tiger-Cats 34-24. Fleming scored 1963 and 1964 Grey Cups than in the on a 68-yard run in which he flew past other 110 Grey Cups combined. There was Mosca. Within a couple of years, Kapp would enough hatred to make a pair of 73 year olds square off a half century after they head south to the Minnesota Vikings. To this day, he is the only quarterback to play went at it on the football field. Even 40 years after his retirement, in the Rose Bowl, Grey Cup and Super Angelo Mosca remained one of the most Bowl. But while everyone had moved on with emotionally polarizing figures in Canadian football. He was mean, he was dirty, and their careers and their lives, the memory he was reckless. In Hamilton, he repre- and emotion of Mosca’s hit had stuck in sented everything that the people of Steel- Kapp’s mind like, well, peanut butter to the town wanted in their football team. He was roof of his mouth. With the two 73-year-old tough and gritty – a blood and guts player men at the 2011 CFL Alumni luncheon, the that would intimidate his opponents. In the clip was shown. Mosca called it a “set up.” rest of Canada, he was a villain. He was Kapp grabbed a flower from his table and dirty and he bent the rules and he took put it in Mosca’s nose for him to smell. He cheap shots at his opponents. Later in his then shoved the flower in Mosca’s face and career, he became a professional wrestler threw a punch while Mosca tried to defend and had no trouble at all reinforcing his himself with a cane. Mosca was knocked down, and Kapp kicked him. role as a villain. Mosca said that he tried to be friendly Meanwhile in Vancouver, “Nutty Joe” Kapp – he got the nickname from being an before the incident and asked Kapp how he early 1960s peanut butter spokesman long was doing. Kapp told him to go (expletive) before there were nut allergies – had be- himself. Mosca asked Kapp if he still had come the darling of the West Coast. Kapp an axe to grind. Again, Kapp told Mosca to had starred at the University of California go (expletive) himself. Mosca reflected on the incident on the and had played in the Rose Bowl. When he Hamilton Spectator’s Scratching Post webarrived in Vancouver, so had football. The Lions hosted the 1963 Grey Cup at site. “It’s kind of sad. I don’t go to bed thinkEmpire Stadium, and it would mark their first appearance in the game. They were led ing about Joe Kapp every night. But Joe by Kapp and running back Willie Fleming. Kapp must go to bed every night thinkA star at the University of Iowa, Fleming ing about Mosca hitting Willie Fleming,” actually played against Kapp in the 1959 Mosca said. “I have nothing against Joe Rose Bowl and scored two touchdowns in Kapp and I don’t care about Joe Kapp.” Angelo Mosca is gone now. But somea 38-12 win. He joined the Lions the next year and became the first back in team his- how, don’t you think he will be waiting at the Pearley Gates with his cane to smack tory to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. In 1963, Fleming and Kapp turned the Kapp in the head when he arrives in the Lions into a powerhouse, finishing 12-4. after life? You’ve gotta love Grey Cup week… But the real story of 1963 – and where the


FRIDAY, December 10, 2021 Page 7




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Origins of Christmas caroling go back a millennium The festive nature of the holiday season makes it an ideal time to sing, especially in groups. Perhaps it’s no surprise then that caroling, a tradition that dates back many centuries, ultimately collided with Christmas. Caroling and Christmas caroling are two different things. According to, the origins of modern Christmas caroling can be traced to wassailing, a term that has evolved for more than a millenium. What started as a simple greeting gradually became part of a toast made during ritualized drinking. Time magazine notes that the word “wassail,” which

appeared in English literature as early as the eighth century, eventually came to mean the wishing of good fortune on one’s neighbors, though no one can say for certain when this particular development occurred. During medieval times, farmers in certain parts of Britain would drink a beverage to toast the health of their crops and encourage the fertility of their animals. By 1600, farmers in some parts of Britain were still engaging in this ritual, and some were by now taking a wassail bowl filled with a toasting beverage around the streets. These wassailers would stop by

neighboring homes and offer a warm drink, all the while wishing good fortune on their neighbors. During this period, wassailing had nothing to do with Christmas, but that began to change in Victorian England, when Christmas became more commercialized and popular. It was during this time when publishers began circulating carols, forever linking the tradition of wassailing with Christmas. Christmas caroling as Victorian Englanders knew it might have fallen by the wayside. But while carolers may no longer go doorto-door singing Christmas

Carol Anne Meehan

City Councillor • Ward 22 • Gloucester-South Nepean

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season! carolanne.meehan@o� 613-580-2424 ext. 17022 Subscribe to my newsle�er:

songs and wishing their neighbors good fortune, those intent on seeing the

modern manifestation of this tradition that dates back more than a millen-

ium may be able to find some carolers at their local mall or church.

Member of Parliament / Député é Nepean

Working hard for you

FRIDAY, December 10, 2021 Page 9


5 ways you can make Christmas gift cards more personal When in doubt while holiday shopping, go with a gift card. Gift cards provide a convenient way to ensure people of all ages ultimately get something special. According to a 2016 survey by the gift card sales tool CardCash, gift cards are a $127 billion market that keeps growing. Physical gift cards have been growing at an annual rate of 6 percent, but digital gift cards are growing at an annual rate of 200 percent. The financial resource The Motley Fool indicates that, during the 2018 holiday shopping season, people buying gift cards purchased roughly four cards each, with an average value of $45 per card.

Many people enjoy the convenience of storing digital gift card information on their phones. Even though gift cards are any easy option, like giving cash, they may seem like impersonal gifts. However, gift givers can explore these ways to add a personal touch to the gift card. · Make your own gift card. Companies including Visa® and Mastercard® enable gift-givers to personalize cards with their own photos. Shoppers also can choose from predesign galleries to present a card that has a little more flair. The gift cards can then be tied to specific occasions or holidays. · Choose a popular store. Rather than buying

the first gift card you see, iselect a card for a specific store your loved one likes. For example, if the person is an outdoors enthusiast, a gift card to L.L. Bean may be perfect. If he or she wants to be the next top chef, money toward Sur La Table or Williams Sonoma is fitting. · Wrap it in a unique way. Don’t just give the gift card in an envelope; find a unique way to wrap it. After all, that will make the gift card a gift within a gift. Find a small gift box and wrap the gift card as you would any other gift. Or make it even more exciting by designing a scavenger hunt with clues on where to find the hidden gift card. · Assemble a gift basket.


Add a few extra treats to a basket with the gift card that ties into a theme. If the gift card is for a boating or fishing retailer, place tackle, a floating key ring or a dry storage bag in the gift basket. · Add a sweet message. Attach a greeting card and share a few sentiments about why the gift card was chosen. This will help make the gift more personal and show that time was taken to select the item. The National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics reassures that gift cards are

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Old Barrhaven East COVID numbers high, cases in schools on the rise OPH looking for ride-share driver who brought infected traveller from Montreal to Barrhaven By Charlie Senack The community of Old Barrhaven East reported the second highest number of new COVID-19 infections in Ottawa throughout the month of October, according to information provided by the Ottawa Neighborhood Study. The data, which is typically released about three weeks after the month ends, showed the community of Old Barrhaven East reported 49 COVID cases during that 31-day period. Stonebridge-Half Moon Bay-Hearts Desire came in fourth place for most cases at 41 during that same month. The data is based out of 111 neighbourhoods within Ottawa. The community in Ottawa that reported the most cases during October 2021 was OverbrookMcArthur, which recorded 62 COVID-19 infections. The data does not take into account the population of each community or where the virus was transmitted. Old Barrhaven West reported 17 COVID-19 infections during the month of October; Chapman Mills reported 23 infections of the virus during that same period; and Rideau CrestDavidson Heights reported seven. The neighbouring community of Riverside South-Leitrim reported four.

Vaccination rates

As of data updated on Oct. 25, all communities in Barrhaven have a high vaccination rate, according to information provided on the Ottawa Neighborhood Study website. The data is based on those 12 years of age and older. For at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, Old Barrhaven East has a rate of 88.5 per cent who are at least partially vaccinated.

That is based on 25,223 eligible people. The neighbouring community of Old Barrhaven West has a partially vaccinated rate of 88.5 per cent, out of an eligible 17,554 people. Stonebridge-Half Moon Bay-Hearts Desire has an eligible population of 17,910 — 93.4 per cent who are at least partially vaccinated. Chapman Mills has an eligible population of 11,223, and 88.7 per cent have rolled up their sleeves for at least one COVID jab. Rideau Crest-Davidson Heights has 86.2 per cent of their population at least particularly vaccinated, and that’s based out of 14,021 people. Across the River in Riverside South-Leitrim, 94.1 per cent of the eligible 15,976 people have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.


As of Thurs, Dec 2, Half Moon Bay Public School in Barrhaven was reporting eight cases of COVID-19 among their students according to the provincial dashboard. The Ottawa Catholic School Board website however listed five active cases, and one class closed as a result. St. Benedict was reporting two active student cases; St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton was reporting one; St. Cecilia was reporting one; and St. Luke was reporting one. In the public board, John McCrae Secondary School was reporting three active student cases on that same day. In the elementary level, Berrigan was reporting one active student case; Cedarview was reporting one; Chapman Mills was

reporting three; and Farley Mowat was also repeating three, with one class closed.

Omicron variant

The slight increase of active COVID-19 cases in schools comes at the same time cases are rising in the city. On Dec. 2, Ottawa reported 62 new COVID-19 infections, the highest single-day jump in over two months. At the time there were 350 active infections of the virus in the city, a number which is also climbing. Eleven people were in hospital and two in the intensive care unit. Ontario is also seeing a rise in people contracting the virus, with 959 new infections reported that same day — 469 of which were either partially or not vaccinated. Ottawa was the first place in Canada to detect the Omicron COVID-19 variant, which was first discovered on Nov. 28. Since then, a handful of cases have been reported in the city. According to the World Health Organization, research on the Omicron variant is still under way and could take several weeks to come up with conclusive answers. “It is not yet clear whether Omicron is more transmissible (e.g., more easily spread from person to person) compared to other variants, including Delta,” they said on their website. “The number of people testing positive has risen in areas of South Africa affected by this variant, but epidemiologic studies are underway to understand if it is because of Omicron or other factors.” When it comes to the severity of the infection, the World Health Organ-

ization says “preliminary data suggests that there are increasing rates of hospitalization in South Africa, but this may be due to increasing overall numbers of people becoming infected, rather than a result of specific infection with Omicron. There is currently no information to suggest that symptoms associated with Omicron are different from those from other variants.” Many of the initial reported infections were among university students—younger individ-

uals who tend to have more mild disease, added WHO. The Omicron variant does however have more than 30 mutations on the spike protein — the part of the virus that binds to a human cell, infecting it. That is cause for concern that this variant could be more transmissible and have more mechanisms to evade immunity. A few days prior, Ottawa Public Health sent out a memo looking to contact a private rideshare driver, who drove someone from Pierre El-

liott Trudeau Airport in Montreal to Barrhaven. The passenger later tested positive for COVID-19, and is believed to have been contagious during the roughly two hour-long trip. Some have questioned if the passenger was one of the two initial Ottawa residents who have tested positive for the Omicron variant. Ottawa Public Health was asked if the two incidents are connected, however refused to disclose additional information.

FRIDAY, December 10, 2021 Page 11


Generosity in the capital goes a long way over the Holidays By Jim Watson, Mayor, City of Ottawa

The Holiday Season is upon us! It’s an occasion to reflect on the (challenging) year past, to count our blessings, and find opportunities to help those less fortunate in our

community. This time of year can also be difficult for many – for those living in poverty, in temporary housing and shelters, or even on our streets, especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Many families are strug-

gling to make ends meet and to put food on the table, particularly during the holidays. In Ottawa alone, more than 40,000 people visit an emergency food bank program every month – and that number continues to rise. The 37th annual OC

Transpo/Loblaw Christmas Food Drive is the Ottawa Food Bank’s largest singleday food drive every year, and it helps thousands of individuals and families ensure they have enough to eat when demand is at its highest. On Saturday, December 4, over 600 OC Transpo and City of Ottawa volunteers collected non-perishable food items and donations for the Ottawa Food Bank at participating grocery stores. I understand it was one of the most successful and impactful campaigns to date. Every donation – whether big or small – goes a long way in helping

the most vulnerable residents in our community. Although our main event has already passed, it certainly isn’t too late to help the many incredible charities and local small businesses that have given so much back to the community over the years. They support our local fundraisers, they sponsor our youth sports teams, and they employ students and neighbours. This year, I urge you all to consider supporting these local shops, services and restaurants by purchasing items or gift cards for your loved ones. Your help through the holidays will be greatly appreciated and helps

these businesses make it through the winter. Let’s remember that at this time last year, we did not have vaccines in arms, and we had to celebrate the Holidays with loved ones through computer screens, rather than in person. This year, thanks to our strong vaccination progress, I’m proud that we’ll be able to enjoy some time together, just like old times. However, we can’t forget that COVID-19 is still a threat to our most vulnerable, and we must remain safe. Please enjoy your social interactions responsibly. I wish you all safe Holidays and a merry Christmas.


Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said there is a lot to be thankful for in 2021, including the generosity of Ottawa residents. Twitter photo

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The Christmas lights are out at Greenbank and Strandherd in Barrhaven.

Charlie Senack photos

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Greenbank and Strandherd By Charlie Senack

It’s beginning to feel like Christmas in Barrhaven as the lights at Strandherd and Greenbank were lit for the season. On Nov. 20, the Barrhaven BIA, which put on the festive display for the third year in a row, turned on the lights during a virtual tree lighting ceremony which lasted about 25 minutes. Among those in attendance was special guest Santa Claus, who will be stopping in Barrhaven for all the good boys and girls again this December 25th.

“The lights guided me to all your homes last Christmas, and the reindeers could see them from far away,” Santa told the children watching. While the annual Barrhaven Santa Claus parade was cancelled for a second year in a row and the tree lighting ceremony couldn’t be held in person due to COVID concerns, the virtual ceremony was an opportunity to support local businesses which have been hit hard during the pandemic. “I just want to say thank you to all the small and medium-sized businesses in Barrhaven; that is who

we at the BIA represent,” said Jason MacDonald, owner of MacDonald Property Group, and chair of the Barrhaven BIA. “Your restaurants; your shops; your spas; they are all ready to serve you. Be sure to shop local this year and show as much support as you can to your community.” Students from the Pirouette Rhythmic Gymnastics Centre located on Fallowfield Road dazzled the virtual crowd with their performances, and students from the Silver 7 Martial Arts and Fitness facility showed off their strong physical skills.

Tanya from Exhalo Spa showcased some of her products which are being offered this Christmas season, including candles and bath bombs for moms, and body lotions for dads. They also offer gift cards which can make a perfect Christmas present for any parent. Julie from Mountain Goat Yoga taught Santa Claus how to relax the mind through breathing exercises, as a way to relieve stress during the busy Christmas rush. “I’m so stressed; all the lists are coming in like crazy,” said Father Christmas. “The elves — they are

overworked and are having a really hard time.” Barrhaven’s Boston Pizza also played a virtual Christmas trivia game with the kids, and staff from the new Hampton Inn and Suites Hotel threw a dance party during the pre-taped show. This year 62,700 Christmas lights will be sparking through downtown Barrhaven, with blue and white lights — the unofficial Barrhaven colours — on all four corners of Greenbank and Strandherd. The lights will be lit from 5:00 pm until midnight up until mid January 2022.


The lights first made an appearance in December 2019, with the first virtual tree lighting ceremony being held last year. The display which aims to bring Christmas cheer after a dark year continues to grow in size. The Barrhaven BIA will also be doing their annual online holiday Facebook giveaways. Prizes will be posted daily at 7 a.m. and you will have until midnight to enter. The contests will last until mid December. They have also posted a Barrhaven Holiday Gift Guide which can be viewed at

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FRIDAY, December 10, 2021 Page 13


Honour Roll student says being back at school has improved moods, social lives By Phill Potter


Name: Malia Specht Age: 17 School: St. Joseph High Grade: 12 Parents: Josette (Mom), Jeff (Dad) Brothers: Jonas (15), grade 10, St. Mark High, plays hockey for the Nepean Raiders and football for Nepean Eagles Christian (13), grade 8, St. Mark High, he plays basketball for the Nepean Blue Devils Pets: “I have an Old English Bulldog named Zeus, and two rescue cats named May and Booboo.” Pet Peeves: “I have a lot of pet peeves, but one that I really dislike is when people lick their fingers while they eat their food, because the sound just really grosses me out.” Part-time Work: “I currently work part-time as a supervisor at Play It Again Sports Barhaven. In the past I worked as a camp councillor at Wesley Clover Parks where I would coach, teach horsemanship, as well as care for the horses.” Favourite Subjects: “Over the years I’ve really enjoyed a lot of school courses. Some of these include History, Sociology/Psychology/Anthropology, Drama and English. I’m currently taking World History, which

I’m finding very fascinating. In future quadmesters I look forward to having my other favourite subjects.” What do you enjoy reading for pleasure? “I love reading dystopian and dark fantasy novels, because I find them to be very intriguing and enjoy their dark underlying themes. One dystopian trilogy that I really enjoyed reading, is the The Matched Trilogy by Ally Condie.” Who is your favourite author? “I don’t have a favourite author. I mostly enjoy reading novels that peak my interest, instead of religiously reading from one author. However, if I had to choose one, it would probably be J. K. Rowling, because I am obsessed with the Harry Potter Series. I’ve never read through an entire book series faster in my life.” What is your greatest accomplishment? “I would have to say that my greatest accomplishments have been my academic achievements. Despite all of the challenges with COVID, I’ve been able to remain an Honour Roll student. I also received highest academic achievement awards in various subjects such as physical education, fitness and religion. I’m proud that I’ve been able to balance my work, school, and personal life during these difficult times – and still achieve academic suc-

School Activities: “My favourite school activity is Drama. I’ve been involved in drama all through middle school and high school. I was in the middle school comedy play. I took the drama production class last year, and I’m planning on taking the course again this year. Last year, we unfortunately didn’t get to do a play do to COVID. I’m hopeful that as things are becoming more normal, we’ll be able to do a production this year. I’ve also been involved in the re establishment of our Girls’ Rugby Team, and the Red Maple Reading Club.” Other Activities/Interests: “The activity that takes up the majority of my time, is horseback riding. I first started riding when I was nine years old, and I absolutely fell in love with the sport. I’ve been doing competitive show jumping for the past five years where I have achieved great success. Some of these accomplishments include multiple championships at the regional and provincial levels. In early 2020 I was prepping for my first International Level Show Jumping Competition. However, it unfortunately got cancelled due to COVID. I’m currently planning ahead for my equestrian goals in the future, and hopefully achieve my dream of competing at the international level. As for my hobbies, I enjoy acrylic painting, listening to music, and working out.” Career Goals:

“Next year I plan on studying Humanities at Carleton or uOttawa. I also plan on doing a term away in Germany or Australia in second or third year, because I think that it will be a great experience to study abroad. Eventually, I plan on pursuing education, after I finish my bachelors degree and going to teach overseas in Japan or Korea.” Comment: “School has definitely been out of the ordinary since COVID. Last year a lot of people were very out of sorts, and struggling with everything that was happening. However, just within the first two months of this school year, I’ve already seen an immense amount of improvement in everyone’s mood and social lives, as more restrictions are lifted and sports

Malia Specht has been a successful student-athlete at St. Joseph. She also loves the stage, loves to travel, and loves to compete in equestrian competitions. Submitted photo

and clubs are finally running again. As it is my last year of high school, I want to make

the most of it, and make as many life long memories as possible.”


Findlay Creek, Riverside South dealing with overcrowding in schools By Charlie Senack A Findlay Creek elementary school is looking for alternative options to help with overcrowding as enrollment continues to climb. Vimy Ridge Public School is looking to transfer its grade seven and eight students to Steve MacLean Public School in Riverside South — roughly 10 kilometres away — according to a report for the Ottawa Carleton District Board’s meeting on Dec. 7. It will be a temporary solution until another school can be built in the area. The proposed plan states that grade 7 students would transfer over at the beginning of the fall 2022 school year, whereas the grade 8 students will transfer over a year later in September 2023. That would mean in the 2022-2023 school year, Vimy Ridge would accept students from kindergarten to grade six, and would also allow remaining graduating grade eight students to carry on their education there. Then in the 2023 to 2024 school year, the school would only be for students from kindergarten to grade six. This plan would allow for all current grade 7 students at the school to complete grade eight there, before moving on to

high school. The changeover would increase enrollment at Steve MacLean Public School, and portable classrooms would be brought in. The school would climb from an expected 961 students in 2022 to 1,046 in 2023. Nine portables would need to be built in the first year, climbing to 12 the year after. I’m return, enrollment at Vimy Ridge Public School would reduce by about 100 pupils a year.

Negative impacts

This measure could also negatively impact Steve MacLean Public School — at least in the interim. With 12 portables needed in the second year to accommodate the students from Vimy Ridge, it would result in the loss of the use of their sports field. The OCDSB has a joint use agreement in place with the City of Ottawa for the sports field, which may need to be suspended while the temporary measures are in place. Jennifer Jennekens, the Ottawa Carleton District School Board Trustee for GloucesterSouth Nepean/Osgoode, says there is no ideal solution to deal with the overcrowding now. “There is no great answer,

and this would certainly be an interim solution, — it is certainly not a great solution — but there are not a lot of different options available,” she told the Barrhaven Independent newspaper. “Vimy Ridge is exploding at the seams and so we do need to continue to put pressure on the provincial government to build the second elementary school in Findlay Creek. It was on our capital priorities list in 2019, and again last spring.” Vimy Ridge Public School first opened its doors in 2017 and is only four years old. The capacity then was 684 pupil spaces, but as of this year, they were at 1,081. To accommodate the large influx of students, the Findlay Creek school currently has 17 portables. “The enrolment is projected to increase to 1,219 (181% UF) for 2022-2023 and 1,370 (203% UF) for 2023-2024 resulting in the need for 24 and 28 portables for instruction respectively,” the board notes in their memo. “Going beyond 21 portables would most likely result in the loss of the use of the outdoor basketball court.” Jennekens says that many parents who have children attend Steve McLean are disappointed by this proposed solution, especially when they

Vimy Ridge Public School in Riverside South is already well over capacity.

have requested changes to the boundaries in the past. “Certainly the parents at Steve MacLean are unhappy because the families that live South of Earl Armstrong are within walking distance to the school, but they are outside of the boundaries,” states Jennekens. “Parents have asked for cross boundary transfers, but have been denied to go to Steve MacLean, and yet here we are perhaps bringing students from Vimy Ridge.” Another option would be to bus students to other schools within Ottawa that have lower enrollment numbers. Jennekens says she’s brought that idea

to the table, but it doesn’t seem feasible. “I had suggested other schools like Blossom Park or Saw Mill Creek, but those schools are a little bit older and perhaps they may not have more current infrastructure,” she said. “And of course with busing, we still have a shortage of bus drivers overall, so how are we going to bus kids from Vimy Ridge to Steve MacLean?” “Some schools in parts of Ottawa, the enrollment is lower, but for a student to take a bus across the city, how long is that going to take?” Jennekens questioned. “Bussing kids

out of their families’ areas and away from their friends, there is such a great disruption against families and community.” Findlay Creek currently has 5,185 homes, a number which also continues to grow. In 2020, a near decade high of 680 homes were built in the community, “likely accelerating enrollment growth and accommodation pressures at Vimy Ridge Public School,” notes the board. Once complete, the community will have over 7,000 new homes.


continues on page 15

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FRIDAY, December 10, 2021 Page 15

BARRHAVEN INDEPENDENT overcrowding continues from page 14 New schools

On Dec. 2, Carleton MPP Goldie Ghamari, alongside education minister Ste-

Education Minister Stehen Lecce joined Carleton MPP Goldie Ghamari on Zoom Thursday to announce a new school in Findlay Creek.


phen Lecce, and a handful of others, announced that a new catholic elementary school would be built in Findlay Creek. It will be the first Catholic school in the neighborhood. Ottawa Catholic School Board Director of Education Tom D’Amico said it’s unclear how this school opening could help with overcrowding at Vimy Ridge, but notes it should make a positive impact. “At this point we don’t know how many Catholic students have selected to attend the public elementary school in their community, but we do know there are about 370 being bused to other communities,” he said, “so I do anticipate that a new Catholic school would alleviate some of that pressure.” Ghamari said she was surprised by how bad the overcrowding has become,


and said it wasn’t noted to her during recent discussions with the public board. “I frequently meet with all the school boards just so I’d be updated on what initiatives are happening and what the capital priorities are. When I met with the Ottawa Carleton District school Board back in July to talk about their initiatives, Findlay Creek was number four on the list they gave me at the time,” Ghamari noted in response to a question from the Barrhaven Independent “We did speak about overcrowding and at that point they did not seem to think that it would be an issue. With the recent news that came out, it caught everyone off by surprise including myself.” The Carleton MPP said she plans to hold a town hall with concerned parents to review concerns they might have. Ghamari also


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cember, and the board plans to host public consultations regarding the movement of students in February. That is also when a final decision by the board will be made. A public secondary school for students from grades 7 to 12 is also expected to open in Riverside South, but that won’t be until fall 2024.

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Ministry of Education, requesting that a new school be built with space for 684 kids. A location for the new school has already been found after the OCDSB acquired a piece of land on Kelly Farm Drive — just streets over from Vimy Ridge Public School. An advisory group is also being put together this De-

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says she’s had conversations with education minister Lecce over the recent issues. When asked about the situation Thursday, Lecce said he’s been reading up on the overcrowding issues at Vimy Ridge, and noted the first step that needs to happen is the OCDSB must put it at top of their list. “I’m aware the school opened a few years ago over capacity and I appreciate why parents are concerned and rightfully frustrated. You just want your kid to go to a school within a school and be safe and local,” he told the Barrhaven Independent. “So far in two years we have seven schools approved to date. We know there is more work to do; I’m going to work with Goldie on a solution.” In May, the board will submit a capital priority funding business case to the


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