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February 18, 2021 • Volume 35, No. 20

Next edition March 4

Restaurants, gyms open for business By Fred Sherwin The Orléans Star

Waldo the Giant Snowman sits in the front yard of the Guertin residence on Toulouse Crescent in Orléans Village. See story on page 2. PHOTO COURTESY OF LUC GUERTIN

Local small business and restaurant owners were finally able to reopen this week after a provincial shutdown imposed on Boxing Day was lifted on Tuesday. Ottawa-area businesses are allowed to reopen under the province’s Orange-Restrict zone regulations which allow for businesses to operate at 50 per cent capacity, while restaurants can allow indoor dining for up to 50 patrons as long as the tables are two metres apart. The decision to enter the Orange-Restrict zone was made due to the fact that the weekly average of new cases has been below 40 for the past four weeks and the test positivity rate has been below 2.0 per cent since Feb. 3 – two of the benchmarks necessary under the province’s

tiered system. The 52-day shutdown has cost restaurants tens of thousands of dollars, despite still being able to offer takeout and delivery to their customers. Caravela owner Fernando Diniz says his Innes Road establishment lost more than $2,000 this past weekend compared to Valentine’s Day weekend last year when they were full both Friday and Saturday night. The story is much the same at other area restaurants that normally depend on their dinein business to make ends meet. On a more positive note, many restaurants, including Caravela, started taking reservations in anticipation of reopening almost as soon as Premier Doug Ford made the announcement.

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A resident at the Willowbend Retirement Community on Trim Road receives her first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Feb. 8. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Vaccinations continue in Orléans retirement homes ORLÉANS – Orléans retirement community residents and their families are breathing a little easier this week after many senior home residents received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and in some cases their second dose. Ottawa Public Health staff have been visiting the various long-term care facilities and private retirement communities in Orléans over the past four weeks. They dropped by the Willowbend Retirement Community on Trim Road to give residents their first dose on Feb. 8. Meanwhile, residents at the hard-hit Madonna Caring Community on St. Joseph Blvd. are among Ottawa’s LTC residents who have been given their second dose of the vaccine and are now fully vaccinated.

Besides making sure that their tables are two metres apart – less if separated by an impermeable barrier – restaurants must limit seating to no more than four per table; alcohol cannot be served after 9 p.m. and they must be closed by 10 p.m. Those regulations remain unchanged from when restaurants were allowed to reopen on November 7 after being forced to close on Oct. 10. The return to the Orange-Restrict zone means that box stores such as Home Depot, Lowes and Canadian Tire can also reopen along with Place d’Orléans. Churches are able to hold services at 30 per cent capacity up to maximum of 100 people, and gyms and fitness centres can reopen as long as they can limit spacing between patrons to three metres in areas where there are weights, or exercise equipment, and the total number of patrons in an exercise or fitness class does not exceed 10. Inspired By Vanda owner Vanda Hadarean is especially thrilled she can start teaching


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Waldo the Snowman raises over $2K for food bank ORLÉANS – Standing nearly 20 feet tall, Waldo the Snowman is the undisputed tallest snowman in the city. He’s held that title for the past 11 years, ever since he first showed up in Luc Guertin’s front yard on Toulouse Crescent in Orléans Village. This year, Guertin decided to use Waldo to help collect donations for the Ottawa Food Bank. Folks stopping by have been leaving cash donations and non-perishable food items, which Guertin has donated to the Orléans-Cumberland Food Bank. At last count, Waldo has raised over $2,100.

Orléans residents pack 1,021 shoeboxes for kids in need ORLÉANS – A number of Orléans were busy over the holidays packing 1,021 shoeboxes for children in need in Western Africa and Central America as part of the 2020 Operation Christmas Child shoebox campaign. All told, Canadians contributed 373,000 shoeboxes to the campaign which accumulated an astounding 9,113,853 shoeboxes from all over the world. Each shoebox is filled with toys, hygiene items, school supplies and many other items. Operation Christmas Child is a program of Samaritan’s Purse Canada, a Christian relief and development organization.

2 • February 18, 2021 • Volume 35, No. 20

classes in her gym again. She has been trying to make ends meet by selling fitness apparel for women and girls on her Facebook page. Being able to reopen and offer in-person classes again, even with limited spacing, is a godsend. Elsewhere, hair salons and barbershops can also reopen under the Orange-Restrict protocols which include physical distancing and the mandatory use of face masks at all times. Organized indoor and outdoor sports and recreation activities can also resume this week with a limit of 25 people per activity. The City of Ottawa was expected to release a list of activities that will start up again once they can review the new rules. Before the shutdown, residents could register for outdoor activities such as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Lane swimming was also available at both the Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex ans the François Dupuis Recreation Centre by reservation only. For the latest update on the city’s recreation programs, visit ottawa. ca/en/recreation-and-parks.

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Plan in part as a means of reconciliation. The word “reconciliation” touched off a firestorm of opposition from Algonquin tribes in Québec who were upset over being left out of the discussions between the city and AOO. During last week’s city council debate, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said consideration of the Tewin land had nothing to do with reconciliation, rather it was simply a land development proposal. “The fact that the Algonquins of Ontario own and control these lands is not in dispute. The Tewin land was sold to AOO by the province of Ontario. They have the right to develop these lands to create wealth for their community. It is not council’s role to adjudicate an internal disagreement between the Algonquin family of communities,” said Watson. One of the main reasons given to study the Tewin proposal is that if proved viable, it would eliminate the custom of expanding existing communities one small parcel of land at a time. It also gives the AOO and their partner, the Taggart Group, the opportunity to design a community that is fundamentally distinct and can be built on new planning principles. City planning staff did their best to alleviate the concern on the part of a handful of councillors that approving the addition of the Tewin land for consideration would be akin to rubber-stamping the development. Staff’s position was echoed by Innes Ward councillor Laura Dudas. “We’re giving staff a direction. This isn’t a done deal,” said Dudas. “This isn’t 100 per cent what we’re going to have to live with. We’re telling staff to go back and look into what this is going to cost and how it’s going to fit in with our vision of the city in terms of the east end it fits in.” “I believe it fits in well,” she added. Staff will do their due diligence in analyzing the Tewin proposal and report back

Graphic courtesy of Algonquins of Ontario/Taggart

By Fred Sherwin The Orléans Star Here we grow again. During their regular meeting last Wednesday, Ottawa city council approved plans to add three parcels of land to the city’s Official Plan for the future development of Orléans. The first parcel of land would see Orléans South expanded further south from the current Avalon sub-division to Wall Road between Trim Road and Tenth Line Road. The area is roughly 230 hectares in size. The second parcel of land is located on the southeast corner of Innes and Trim Roads, south of Millennium Park, and covers approximately 45 hectares. The third parcel of land is adjacent to Cox County Road between Wilhaven Drive and Jonquille Way. It extends west 0.7 km and covers approximately 32 hectares. All three parcels have been designated as Category 1 lands which means they meet the city’s criteria and suitability and what’s referred to as the Five Big Moves for future development and expansion – growth, mobility, urban design, resiliency and economy. The three parcels of land are part of an overall proposal to expand the city’s urban boundary by 836 hectares to be included in the city’s revised Official Plan. Other designated areas for expansion are located in South March, Barrhaven South, Stittsville, Riverside South and Leitrim. It is worth noting that it could take 10-30 years to build out the designated parcels of land if approved. City council also gave a green light to consider adding 445 hectares of land near Carlsbad Springs to the new Official Plan. The land was purchased from the province by the Algonquins of Ontario (AOO) for the purpose of creating a model community of up to 100,000. Referred as the Tewin land, it was added to the list of land parcels to be considered for inclusion of the new Official

Map courtesy of the City of Ottawa

Ottawa city council green light’s east end expansion

to the planning and agriculture and rural affairs committees in the fall, after which time there will be an extensive public consultation process. Even if it’s included in the new Official Plan, it will likely be 20-30 years before development of the Tewin land would take place. In another move, city council decided to

do away with the designation on a so-called “Gold Belt” in the new Official Plan. The proposal which only came to light two weeks ago, drew immediate fire from farmers, especially in the east end, who saw it as further overreach on their land which is already protected as agriculture under existing zoning designations.

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February 18, 2021 • Volume 35, No. 20 • 3


In the last edition of the Orléans Star, I penned an editorial giving Doug Ford and the provincial government an F- for failing to increase hospital capacity during the ongoing pandemic, for not distributing rapid testing kits provided by the federal government to the province’s longterm care homes and senior care residences and for failing to provide adequate testing to properly measure the true number of asymptomatic cases in Ontario. In the name of fairness, the same grade can also be given to Justin Trudeau and the federal government for it’s failure to provide rapid testing in airports and the mishandling of vaccine procurement and distribution thus far. As far as the former is concerned, the federal government has so far distributed 21 million rapid test kits to the provinces. The National Post recently reported that “the tests are here and they’ve been available for months.” – Here’s what an effective rapid testing campaign would look like if our health officials made it happen – Feb. 6, 2021. Ontario has so far received 4.6 million tests, but have used less than a quarter of them. The rapid tests are not meant to replace lab testing, rather they are meant to be used as a screening tool in senior care residences and schools for instance. But one area that is seldom mentioned where they could be of immense practical use is in airports. Before the federal government imposed a travel ban to Mexico and the Caribbean, they required travelers to provide a negative antigen test taken three days before they returned to Canada. A rapid test provided on their arrival would be useful in confirming the earlier test, or weeding out possible positive results. Two negative results would allow them to return home without any delay, while a positive rapid test would require them to be quarantined while waiting the results of a laboratory test. Such a protocol would allow them to lift the travel ban. As for the federal government’s mishandling of vaccine procurement and distribution, the numbers don’t lie. As of last Friday, the federal government had distributed less than 1.4 million doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines since Dec. 14, 89 per cent of which have so far been administered. The high water mark was 48,195 doses administered on Jan. 15. By comparison, the United States is already dispensing 1.5 million doses a day. If you consider we have one-tenth of their population, we should be administering 150,000 doses a day. According to statistics being kept by the website Our World in Data, 18 other countries have done a better job vaccinating their population than Canada has, including countries like Romania, Chile, Poland and even Brazil. Vaccinations are a matter of life and death for a lot of people, not to mention our economy. It will also be a matter of life and death for the Trudeau government if it doesn’t turn things around and soon. – Fred Sherwin, editor

Fredrick C. Sherwin, Editor & Publisher fsherwin@orleansstar.ca The Orléans Star is a bi-weekly publication distributed to 44,000 residences in Blackburn Hamlet, Orléans and Navan. The newspaper is locally owned and operated by Sherwin Publishing Inc., 745 Farmbrook Cres., Orléans, ON. Inquiries and delivery issues should be sent to info@orleansstar.ca.

4 • February 18, 2021 • Volume 35, No. 20

Orléans MPP pledges to continue supporting teachers, caregivers After a long two-month break, the Ontario LegisAs we move through the school year, I want to take lature will resume sitting after Family Day. this opportunity to say how proud I am of the strong During such an unprecedented time, when life- teachers, educational assistants and early childhood changing decisions about school, work, and healthcare educators in Orléans and across Ontario. are being made weekly, it was I am continuously reminded of difficult to grasp why the Ford the sacrifice and effort that teachers Queen’s across our community make every government chose to break for Park such a long period. I am eager to day as they play an invaluable return to Queen’s Park with a fresh role in shaping the futures of our Corner perspective and renewed sense of children. enthusiasm. There is no playbook for how Stephen Blais I will use this return to the to teach during a worldwide health Legislature as an opportunity to continue holding the crisis, but somehow our teachers have pioneered great Ford government accountable for the decisions they new innovations to keep our children learning. make about closing and reopening the economy and Despite severe staff shortages and increased health on vaccine distribution. and safety measures, these community leaders have While the last year has been incredibly difficult on stepped up to the plate and continue to go beyond their all of us, the last couple months have been increasingly job descriptions to ensure their students have the best taxing as our community moved back into a full lock- possible environment to learn and grow.    down. We have been challenged in ways that we never There has been much discussion about whether or thought possible, but have stepped up and done our not there should be a March Break this year. While part to support the collective effort. it is more important than ever for students to be in I’m incredibly humbled to represent a community the classroom learning and developing their social with such a deep-seeded sense of dedication to helping skills, this cannot come at the expense of teachers one another. and education staff who have worked tirelessly over Orléans’ front line health care workers have stepped the last several months to ensure a safe return to the up in our hospitals and long-term care facilities to classroom and who deserve and need a break. continue providing world class care to our loved ones In the end, the government decided to postpone the under the most difficult of circumstances. March Break until the week of April 12 rather than And they aren’t alone in their efforts. cancel it all together.

Tewin history a story of politics and questionable planning If you’ve been caught up in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the debate over whether or not non-essential businesses and schools should open, or whether or not March Break should be canceled, you can be forgiven for missing the debate over whether or not a 445-hectare parcel of land near Carlsbad Springs should be added to the city’s Official Plan. The land in question was purchased from the province of Ontario by the Algonquins of Ontario in January 2020 for $16.9 million with the idea of creating a “healthy, innovative and integrated community” while “protecting the natural environment and championing a holistic approach to planning and design”. “Te-win” is Algonquin for home. News of the proposed land deal and development sparked immediate controversy when several chiefs of the Algonquin First Nations in Québec vociferously voiced their objection to the city’s decision to add the land to the Official Plan. More specifically, they objected to the city making the decision under the guise of “reconciliation”. And while the city’s choice of motive maybe questionable the final result is not, or at least it shouldn’t be. The debate over the parcel of land in question dates back to the early ’70s when the former regional government of OttawaCarleton was trying to decide on where the future expansion of the region should take place. Five specific areas were under consideration – Orléans, Kanata, Barrhaven Riverside South and Carlsbad Springs – but only four would be given the nod. Orléans, Kanata and Barrhaven were shoo-ins leaving supporters and opponents of Riverside South and Carlsbad Springs to fight it out for the fourth designation. One of the biggest proponents of Carlsbad Springs was the former Ontario Housing Corporation which bought up parcels of land in the area to create a “land bank” with the notion of one day turning the

Up Front Fred Sherwin area into “a model city” with a population of 100,000 people and that’s when the politicians got involved. The former Gloucester Township was afraid it would be left on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure costs if the Carlsbad Springs project went through. The township even commissioned a report by J. L. Richards and Sons to confirm their fears. The report claimed that the existence of a high water table and leda clay soil would require $190 million in mitigation. On the other side of the debate were a group of Ottawa councillors, led by Trip Kennedy, who wanted Riverside South to be taken off the map in favour of Carlsbad Springs. Interestingly enough, the J.L. Richards report, which was penned in less than two weeks, completely contradicted soil and drainage studies conducted by the Ontario Housing Corporation two years earlier which found that there would be “absolutely no trouble in developing the property for standard housing at no extra cost”. Regional planning staff actually gave the area high marks thanks to its questionable suitability for agricultural use and its close proximity to major trunk water and sewer mains, Hwy. 417 and the abandoned CN railway right-of-way that could be used as a possible corridor for rapid transit. It was regional council which ultimately kiboshed the plan. Even so, the province held on to the lands until the AOO and the Taggart Group came along and made them an offer.

Besides the Québec Algonquins, the other major objections to a future suburban community near Carlsbad Springs has come from environmentalists who are against any development outside the Greenbelt. They prefer further intensification inside the Greenbelt. Unfortunately, that means one of two things – building up, or building on existing vacant property currently being occupied by trees and grass and such, which would create an obvious problem. Opponents of so-called “suburban sprawl” love to tout intensification until it comes time to intensify in neighbourhoods that don’t want to have anything to do with it, like Chapel Hill South where a group of residents successfully fought a proposal by Groupe Lépine to build several highrise buildings near Pagé Road. A similar fight has been brewing over a proposed highrise building at Duford and St. Joseph. The 45-storey highrise being built at Carling and Preston may be an impressive building, but it’s a blight on the landscape. Populations grow, which means cities must grow as well. If there is one universal rule, it is that expansion is inevitable. The question that needs to be answered is where will the expansion take place and who will be responsible. Having read the AOO Tewin proposal and having witnessed the Taggart Group’s handling of the Cardinal Creek Village development, which included extensive public consultations, I see no reason why the future community won’t be a huge success. Besides, we’re talking about a community that won’t be built for another 20-30 years. By then our city will be vastly different. Given the events of the past year and the need for government employees to work from home during the pandemic, it could be argued that working from home may end up being the wave of the future. If so, it would drastically diminish mass transit ridership, or at least the notion of transport hundreds of workers to and from

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downtown. Phase 2 of the LRT currently being built could be redundant before it’s even completed. So could Phase 1. More people working from home would reduce the need for government office space downtown, saving millions of dollars in commercial leases. Existing government buildings could be sold off to developers and converted to condos for people who prefer to live downtown. A permanent shift to working from home would also drastically reduce the importance of satellite communities like the one being proposed by the Algonquins of Ontario and Taggart from needing transit links. The Tewin project presents the perfect opportunity to build a community for the 21st century. It’s not to difficult to foresee homes equipped with solar panels and charging stations seeing as that by the time it’s built out fossil fuel cars will be a thing of the past. We are living on the verge of a vastly different future with only one certainty – there will be a lot more people living in Ottawa than is currently the case. According to projections provided by the Ontario Ministry of Finance, Ottawa is expected to grow by another 400,000 people over the next 27 years. When considering changes to the Official Plan, city council must decide where those additional 400,000 people are going to live. There is very little room left in Orléans. The changes currently being proposed to the OP include a large tract of land between South Orléans and Wall Road between Trim Road and Tenth Line Road and a 32-hectare tract of land just west of Cox County Road near Wilhaven Drive. Together they might accommodate 10,000 to 20,000 people. Even if you’re an opponent of intensification, you can’t possibly intensify enough to accommodate 400,000 people. The Tewin proposal is the only possible solution to the housing issue the city will be facing over the next 30 years. Proud supporters



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Ottawa city council deep-sixes controversial ‘Gold Belt’ plan

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Last week, City Council discussed how the as the protection of these important lands is future growth of our city should be managed. already accomplished through existing land By the year 2046, Ottawa’s population is use designations. I was grateful to receive expected to grow to over unanimous support from 1.4 million. Accommomy colleagues for its Catherine removal. dating a 40 per cent increase in population over Council also explored Kitts the next 25 years poses the feasibility of develsignificant challenges. oping “Tewin”. Tewin is Municipalities are rea vision proposed by the Cumberland Ward 19 quired under the Ontario Algonquins of Ontario Planning Act to accommodate a 15-year in partnership with the Taggart Group to supply of residential development. In May build a new eco-focused suburb under the 2020, council determined that additional land guidance of Algonquin values in an area west would need to be included inside the city’s of Carlsbad Springs. urban boundary to meet these requirements. I voted in favour of exploring this concept In the debate over where our boundary further after being assured that many years could grow, two very controversial ideas of technical review and extensive public surfaced: the Gold Belt and Tewin. consultations will be completed before the The Gold Belt was meant to be a application can be considered. “symbolic” depiction of the fact that Ottawa I also supported an important motion has reasonable alternatives for growth without aimed at improving communication and developing agricultural land. Unfortunately, consultation between the Algonquin Anishinthe idea was poorly communicated and abeg First Nation and the City of Ottawa with elicited a very emotional response from rural respect to our new Official Plan. residents and the agricultural community. If you have any questions about these I introduced a motion to remove reference decisions, please do not hesitate to reach out: to a “Gold Belt” in our new Official Plan, catherine.kitts@ottawa.ca.

Ottawa paramedics, PSWs doing great job vaccinating seniors Hello Orléans! I hope you’re doing well, and if you’re a little bit like me, you’re probably sick of living in and talking about this pandemic. I am seriously running out of ideas for what to do with my family on the weekends. I think we have worn through the soles of our winter boots walking around the neighbourhood, and if I keep up with visits to the Black Walnut, even with all the walking, my family doctor is going to give me a serious talking to at our next appointment. New belt jokes aside, I am hearing very good things from our local restaurants. They appreciate all the support we are giving them, so don’t let up! There’s a light at the end of the tunnel with the lockdown being lifted by the time this paper is published. All of our long-term care residents have received their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Thirty-seven high-risk retirement homes have received

6 • February 18, 2021 • Volume 35, No. 20 Cossette


100% of Final Size

their first dose, and our plan continues to roll out. While I am frustrated by the amount of vaccine we are receiving I am incredibly impressed by our paramedics, PSWs and frontline health care workers who are working and making sure we get doses into the arms of our seniors. A couple of important housekeeping items I want to highlight for you: the relaxed enforcement of overtime parking in Orléans is ending on Feb 22. That means that on weekdays we return to three-hour street parking where permitted and six hours on the weekend. We are still taking comments on a variety of projects like Winter Maintenance Quality Standards and the Economic Corridor Study, so be sure to check in on Engage Ottawa’s website or send me an email any time. Have your say! Until next time, stay safe and take care of each other

East end wards see dramatic drop in new COVID cases By Fred Sherwin The Orléans Star The number of new COVID-19 cases in Ottawa’s three east end wards dropped dramatically in the two-week period between Jan. 25 and Feb. 8. According to the last update of Ottawa Public Health’s COVID Ward Map, there were 80 new cases reported in Orléans, Innes and Cumberland Wards between Jan. 25 and Feb. 8, that’s down from 161 cases reported between Jan. 11 and Jan 25 and 273 cases reported between Dec. 28 and Jan. 11. There were 27 new cases reported in Orléans Ward between Jan. 25 and Feb. 8, down from 44 new cases reported between Jan. 11 and Jan. 25; 24 new cases in Innes Ward, down from 58 new cases during the previous two-week period; and 29 new cases in Cumberland Ward down from 59 new cases between Jan. 11 and Jan. 25. The decrease in new cases is indicative of an overall drop in new cases city-wide. According to the Ottawa Public Health COVID-19 dashboard, there were 513 new cases in Ottawa between Jan. 25 and Feb. 8, down from 1,004 new cases during the previous two-week period. As of Thursday Feb 11, there were 402 active cases in

Ottawa; that’s down 36 per cent from the week previous when there were 638 active cases in the city. The positivity rate is also below two per cent for the first time since Feb 2 and well below the seven per cent positivity rate recorded on Jan. 12. Another leading indicator of the impact of the COVID-19 virus is the number of hospitalizations it has caused. In Ottawa, the number of people being treated for the coronavirus has been steadily decreasing since Jan. 26 when there were 43 people being treated for COVID-19 in Ottawa area hospitals, six of whom were being treated in intensive care. By last Friday, the number of hospitalizations had dropped to 19, five of whom were in ICU. Thirty-five people have died since Jan. 1, including five in the past two weeks, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Ottawa to 427. The dramatic decrease in new cases and hospitalizations has prompted the provincial government to announce the lifting of the stay-at-home order and the likely return to orange zone measures, allowing nonessential business and restaurants to reopen, starting next Tuesday.

Number of new cases reported in east end wards between Jan. 25 and Feb. 8

Orléans Ward 27 cases

Innes Ward 24 cases

According to Ottawa Public Health, there have been 393 cases in Orléans Ward since the pandemic began, excluding long-term homes and retirement residences: 530 cases in Innes Ward and 689 cases in Cumberland Ward. All told, there have been 343 cases in long-term care homes and retirement residences in the three east end wards since the outbreak began. That number includes both residents and staff. There have only

Cumberland Ward 29 cases

been three new cases in the past two weeks all three of which are staff. Ottawa Public Health has administered vaccinations to 95.8 per cent of long-term care residents and staff members in the city and a majority of residents in private retirement communities have received their first dose. As of Wednesday Feb. 10, Ottawa Public Health had administered 34,744 vaccinations since Dec. 15.

February 18, 2021 • Volume 35, No. 20 • 7

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Caravela goes the extra mile to keep their patrons safe STAR STAFF – When the province of Ontario forced restaurants to close their doors on Boxing Day, many restaurant owners were left wondering when they would be able to reopen. Earlier in the pandemic, Caravela restaurant owner Fernando Diniz decided to invest several thousand dollars into renovating his dining room. He built barriers between each table and added curtains to allow for greater privacy and peace of mind. “I knew from day one that if I wanted my customers to come back, we had to make sure they felt safe,” says Diniz, who has a background in construction. Little did anyone know at the time that restaurants would be ordered to close their dining rooms not once, not twice but three times. The first shutdown lasted until July 15, when the province allowed them to reopen to 50 per cent capacity. The second shutdown went into effect on Oct. 10 and remained in place until Nov. 9. They remained open for just seven weeks before the province imposed the third shutdown on Boxing Day. Nearly eight weeks later, they’ve been

given the go-ahead to open once again. Diniz is hoping the latest shutdown will be the last one. “It hasn’t been easy, for sure. We’re surviving on takeout orders and a skeleton staff. It’s just me and my chef Tom and he’s only here four days a week,” explains Diniz. “I really have to thank our regulars. If it wasn’t for them ordering takeout, I’m not sure where I’d be. The takeout business is nice, but we need the indoor dining to pay the bills and keep all of our employees.” With the stay-at-home order lifted, Diniz is hoping those same regulars will start returning to the restaurant. In fact, many started making reservations as soon as the reopening was announced. Besides the standard precautions of hand sanitizer at the door and in the washrooms and temperature checks for everyone who comes inside, Diniz has also purchased a HEPA air filtration unit which cleans the air every four to five hours. Caravela is open for both lunch and dinner seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Because of the limited seating due to the COVID-19 protocols, reservations are


Fernando Diniz is the owner of Caravela Restaurante on Innes Road in Orléans. FRED SHERWIN PHOTO recommended for Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. Diniz is also planning a belated birthday celebration. He was planning on marking the restaurant’s fourth anniversary on Boxing

Day, the same day he was forced to close the dining room. He’s now looking for possible dates to offer patrons a special menu. To reserve your table at Caravela Restaurante visit caravelaottawa.com.

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February 18, 2021 • Volume 35, No. 20 • 9

Safe Return to Class Fund provides dollars to keep schools safe The Federal Government is stepping up again with a second installment of $382.34 million (total of $763.34 million) to the Ontario government through the Safe Return to Class Fund. The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for families and parents, with schools either being closed or with the worry of whether in-person learning would be safe for the children. We all know how critical school is for kids’ development and future success, but we also know how important it is to keep students safe. For teachers, students, families, and staff, this school year has been anything but normal. From learning a new way of life in school, to coping with ever-present risks, the young people in Orléans are being tried, and are rising to the occasion. Back in August, it was clear that my constituents were widely concerned with the

Government of Ontario’s plan for a safe return to school and their kids’ well-being. For that reason, the Federal Government stepped up, and implemented the $2 billion Safe Return to Class Fund. With this, layoffs were avoided, and schools were able to hire additional teachers, adapt in-person and remote learning spaces, improve air ventilation, increase sanitation, and purchase a wide variety of personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies. Here in Orléans, schools received funding






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10 • February 18, 2021 • Volume 35, No. 20

to improve and resolve issues brought up by the pandemic. This money was invested to hire key professionals at various levels and administrative support personnel. To pursue online learning, other expenses included computers for students, training software, and technical support resources to successfully implement new innovative ways to teach given the challenges. In the end, the safety and fulfillment of our youth are not opposites. These students are the future of our communities, and collectively we have a responsibility to be there for them, and to believe in them. With the right level of will and leadership, we have the tools, and the capability as a society to guide our courageous young ones to the other side of this crisis. Moreover, the Federal Government is going to great lengths to support families who play an essential role in our young ones’

development. This includes programs like the previous Canada Emergency Response Benefit which helped nearly nine million Canadians continue to pay their bills. Early last fall, the federal government expanded Employment Insurance and created three new support programs for those who might not qualify for EI. Furthermore, the federal government is helping businesses pay their rent and keep their employees on the payroll through programs like the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and the Emergency Wage Subsidy. As the school year goes on, whether in-person or virtually, and until we all have access to a safe and effective vaccine, the government’s response will not stray from its focus of keeping Canadians safe, supporting the economy, and coming out of this pandemic stronger and more resilient than ever.

Let Extreme Auto take care of your vehicle from the inside out NC – At Extreme Auto Care on Youville Drive, they specialize in making your vehicle looks its very best. From careful detailing, both inside and outside, to window tinting and brake jobs, Extreme can do it all. Their latest service involves completely disinfecting your vehicle’s interior using AutoOxide® disinfectant. AutoOxide disinfectant is an EPA and Health Canada registered disinfectant that contains no volatile organic compounds or VOCs. This means it will kill a wide range of viruses such as COVID-19, Influenza, Norovirus, H1N1, Hepatitis A, B & C, and RSV as well as bacteria, mould, allergens and odor without using any harsh chemicals. The treatment includes a Soft Surface Sanitizer that kills odour-causing bacteria on soft surfaces by eliminating the source, an Odor Eliminator that eliminates malodours without using any masking agents, and a Mould and Mildew Killer that removes mould and mildew and prevents mold on hard

surfaces. The treatment is completely safe for you and your vehicle and will not harm any cloth, leather, suede or other special surfaces. Worried about your pets reacting to the disinfectant? Don’t be. AutoOxide has been proven to be safe on pet bedding and sleeping areas and is an effective agent against pet dander, dust mites and cockroach allergens. The primary component of AutoOxide is chlorine dioxide, but don’t let the name scare you. Chlorine dioxide is safe and more gentle than bleach and many other antiseptics and antimicrobials, plus it remains effective under organic load. And because it contains no ozoneharming volatile compounds, it has a minimal impact on the environment. AutoOxide is applied to the interior of your vehicle using electrostatic sprayers and foggers that dramatically cuts treatment time. It is one of the few disinfectants that can be dispersed in this manner, because AutoOxide is non-

corrosive to treated surfaces and objects. Besides auto detailing and window tinting, Extreme Auto Care also does rust-proofing, entertainment system installation, remote starter installation, back-up camera and rear sensor installation and a number of mechanical services including oil changes, tire rotation, brake servicing and safety checks. They are also a licensed WeatherTech® dealer and offer the complete line of WeatherTech products. Among the specialty services they can provide their customers are trailer hitch installation and wiring, and heated seat systems. To learn more about how Extreme Auto Care can take care of your vehicle, visit extremeautocare.ca, or drop by and meet them yourself at 1439 Youville Dr. – but make sure to bring a face mask. Extreme Auto Care is following the latest COVID-19 protocols, including the mandatory requirement for indoor face masks when visiting their showroom.

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February 18, 2021 • Volume 35, No. 20 • 11


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S H O P, T O U R A N D B U Y O N L I N E 12 • February 18, 2021 • Volume 35, No. 20

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