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June 10, 2021 • Volume 36, No. 2

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City staff unveil latest community improvement plan By Fred Sherwin The Orléans Star

Hundreds of people flocked to the Original Navan Market on May 30. The next market will be held on Sunday, June 27 at the Navan Fairgrounds. FRED SHERWIN PHOTO

The City of Ottawa has unveiled a new and improved plan to help kick-start the future economic development of Orléans. According to its authors, the Integrated Orléans Community Improvement Plan seeks to build on the successful elements contained in previous community improvement plans and sprinkle them with a few additional features to create a hybrid plan. A community improvement plan – or CIP – is designed to offer businesses a financial incentive in the form of grant to either build in a given location or upgrade an existing property, with several objectives in mind. In terms of the Integrated Orléans Community Improvement Plan, the objectives are to encourage financial investment, improve existing properties to make the area in which they are located more vibrant and pedestrian-friendly, encourage

mixed-use development, including affordable housing and create jobs. The affordable housing component is usually met through affordable rental units. The grants given to the companies that meet the CIP criteria are recouped through an increase in the municipal taxes generated by the property. For example, the Royal Garden Retirement Residence received a $651,338 grant through the former St. Joseph Boulevard Community Improvement Plan when it was built in 2012. Since then, the city has recouped more than $930,000 in property taxes. The Integrated Orléans Community Improvement Plan replaces the St. Joseph Blvd. CIP, which was created in 2009, and the Orléans CIP which was created in 2013 and is made up of three distinct programs: the St. Joseph Blvd. Main Street Program; the Employment Creation

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2 • June 10, 2021 • Volume 36, No. 2


Catholic board comes under scrutiny amid cover-up charges By Fred Sherwin The Orléans Star The Ottawa Catholic School Board has promised to investigate claims that successive school administrators at St. Matthew Catholic High School either ignored or tried to cover up complaints against former teacher Rick Despatie. Despatie, who now goes by the name of Rick Watkins, is facing more than 50 sexrelated charges involving former students that go back as far as 2004. The former Grade 7 and 8 math teacher coached both the girls’ junior basketball team and the girls’ varsity hockey team during his 31-year tenure at the school. He was recently released on a $5,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court again on July 16 where he will face 54 charges ranging from sexual assault and sexual interference to criminal harassment and sexual exploitation. The charges stem from information provided by 16 current and former students, all of whom were under the age of 14 when the alleged crimes occurred. The charges against Despatie have set off a tidal wave of accounts from former parents and students who say they brought numerous

complaints about Despatie’s behaviour to the attention of successive principals and vice-principals which they claim were totally ignored. “My husband and I complained about this teacher more than once and nothing was every done. It is absolutely disgusting,” a former parent recently wrote on the Orléans Crime Spotting Facebook page. “My kids went to St. Matt’s between 2008 and 2017 and everyone knew this was happening. We all knew complaints had been made and also that his retribution was swift when complaints were made. We all knew about him grooming girls and inappropriate touching. Shame on St. Matt’s for not doing anything sooner,” wrote another parent on the Facebook page. “My son was so badly treated by this person and it is a surprise to NO ONE what he was doing with the young girls. This was reported numerous times to the principal – we did in 2011. Nothing was done,” wrote a third parent. And still another parent wrote... “We reported him in 2011 and 2012 and were told that there had been no other complaints, which we knew was a lie. The school board

and the principals throughout the years need to be held fully accountable as well. They ignored what was happening and made it the students fault.” A number of former students have also written about their experiences with Despatie while at St. Matt’s. “Shame on St. Matthews. I was a student of his from 2009-2010, and he definitely made female students feel uncomfortable and treated the boys terribly. Reports of this were issued to the principle and nothing happened,” wrote one student. “I attended St. Matt’s from 2011-2013 and he was a creep. Everyone knew it, including the teachers. He was not discreet

about it...,” wrote another former student. “Shame on the teachers and administrative staff at St. Matthew’s (who) knew about his inappropriate behaviour towards 13- and 14-year-old girls, and did nothing about it. It is not our responsibility as 14-yearold girls to realize that his behaviour was inappropriate and speak on it. And frankly, when some people did speak up, they were reprimanded for it. Shame on the St. Matt’s staff members who turned a cheek to this (man’s) behaviour and let this happen to innocent girls for years.” Besides his alleged inappropriate behaviour towards female students, Despatie is CONTINUED ON PAGE 15

Formal request for public’s assistance The Orleans Star is asking anyone who has experienced inappropriate behaviour by a teacher at an Orléans area school in the past 10 years to please contact the paper. Any information you provide will be kept with the strictest confidence. If we use any of the information it will be done so with total anonymity. We are also inviting anyone who has

brought a complaint against a teacher to the school administrators to also contact the paper whether the complaint was acted upon or not. You can contact me directly by emailing fsherwin@orleannstar.ca. Regards, Fred Sherwin Owner and publisher

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June 10, 2021 • Volume 36, No. 2 • 3


Pandora’s Box

In Greek mythology, Pandora’s Box was a gift from Zeus to Pandora containing sickness, death and many other unspecified evils which were then released into the world when she unwittingly opened it. The modern, more colloquial equivalent is “to open a can of worms”. Both idioms would easily describe the Ottawa Police Service investigation into the alleged misdeeds of former St. Matthew Catholic High School teacher Rick Watkins (aka Rick Despatie) and the initial nine sexrelated charges brought against him last month. News of those charges spread like wild fire on social media which, in turn, resulted in 14 other former students coming forward with allegations of sexually impropriety against Watkins, thus trowing the can of worms wide open. Watkins (aka Despatie) now faces 54 charges ranging from sexual assault and voyeurism to sexual exploitation and assault with a weapon from incidents dating as back as 2004. His troubles have only just begun. The million-dollar question that has yet to be answered is how did Watkins get away with everything he’s been accused of for so long? The charges against Watkins are only the tip of the iceberg. Dozens of former students and parents of former students have come forward with testimony that they brought complaint after complaint against Watkins to the attention of a series of principals only to have them ignored or swept under the rug. The school board has agreed to investigate all of the allegations brought to their attention. They can start by finding the answers three questions... 1) Did the principals bring the complaints made against Watkins to the attention of the board? 2) Did the principals bring the allegations to the attention of their successors? St. Matt’s has had at least six different principals since 2000. One would hope that part of the transition would involve informing the incoming principal of any issues that might exist with a teacher. 3) Did the principals inform the parents that they could file their complaints with the Ontario College of Teachers which adjudicates such matters and imposes sanctions where warranted? This is key. Every school board in Ontario should have a policy in place that requires principals to advise parents that they can bring a complaint forward to the Ontario College of Teachers. Watkins isn’t the first teacher accused of inappropriate behaviour towards female students, abusing his position of authority, or bullying a student, or students. The only way to find out how endemic the practice is would be to hold a series of open public inquiries across the province. To open Pandora’s Box, sort to speak, and deal with whatever consequences ensue. It’s up to the province and the Minister of Education to act. The ball is now squarely in their court. 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 • June 10, 2021 • Volume 36, No. 2

Conservatives need to start planning for a return to classes this fall Our kids have spent the majority of this past year imperative for the government to invest in school outside of the classroom, learning from home in a construction to ensure that our children are not left virtual setting. Most parents behind. would agree that this has been far During my time as school Queen’s trustee, students in Orléans didn’t from ideal. This is why it is so disturbing lose a single day of learning Park to learn that Premier Ford is pushbecause of job actions. Corner ing forward with his plan to make I fought to secure funding for online learning mandatory in additions at St. Matthew and Stephen Blais high school. While virtual learnLester B. Pearson High Schools, ing filled an urgent gap during the to help eliminate portables and pandemic, for the vast majority of students it is not ensure a better environment for our children to learn. an ideal way to learn. We brought the first technology into the classBefore COVID-19 took over our lives, the govern- room and made investments to ensure classrooms ment had put our children and teachers through the lived up to the world class education system our kids most disruptive labour unrest since the Mike Harris deserve. years. Ontario Liberals would do the same, by providing We know the best thing for our kids is to be in the funding needed to not only maintain Ontario’s school with a highly skilled professional educator at quality of education, but improve it. the head of the classroom. We would invest $8 billion over five years to build At the end of May, Ontario’s financial accountability and repair schools as step one in addressing the officer, who is an independent officer of parliament, repair backlog, so our children can learn in the best confirmed that Doug Ford and his Conservative spaces possible. government are cutting education spending and Unfortunately, children will not be returning to inabandoning our students and education workers in school learning for the rest of this school year. It is the process. By only spending half of what’s needed imperative for the government to immediately begin to maintain the current quality of education, Doug planning for a safe return to school in September. Ford is shortchanging our children’s future. This work needs to include consultations with school Orléans is a community that is growing, and will boards and teachers to ensure that the resources continue to grow for decades to come. It will be needed to make classrooms safe are there.


Integrated Orléans CIP: Pipe dream or blueprint for a better world? Forgive me if I can’t get too excited about the recently released Orléans Integrated Community Improvement Plan. You see I’ve been down this road before. I’ve seen Community Improvement Plans come and go and most of them are destined for the city archives to collect dust. The main object of this latest Community Improvement Plan is to help kick-start the revitalization of St. Joseph Blvd. The word revitalization would suggest that St. Joseph Blvd. was once vitalized. Of course that’s never been the case, and it’s become less so ever since the expansion of Innes Road at the beginning of the 2000s with all the commercial development that came with it. City politicians and business leaders have been trying to “revitalize” St. Joseph Blvd. for more that 25 years. During my first tenure with the Orléans Star in the late 90s, I followed the Orléans Chamber of Commerce’s efforts to get rid of the hydro poles along St. Joseph and bury the overhead wires that was led by former Chamber of Commerce president Diane Boucher. The best the city could do was install concrete conduits along St. Joseph at the main intersections when the street was rehabilitated in 2003.

Up Front Fred Sherwin Those conduits are still under St. Joseph waiting for the wires that never came. The irony is that by the time the wires are eventually buried – whenever that day comes – the conduits will have to be replaced. The city is hoping that incentives in the form of grants will entice businesses to either redevelop their existing properties and create living spaces above commercial businesses, or build new mixed use properties with the same concept. Unfortunately, after 20 years of trying, not a single mixed-use property has been created on St. Joseph despite the numerous recommendations contained in the St. Joseph Corridor Study, conducted in 2003, and the St. Joseph Community Improvement Plan which was created in 2009. Under the former plan, three major projects were completed – the Royal Garden retire-

ment residence, the St. Joseph Shoppers Drug Mart across from Place d’Orléans, and the Place d’Orléans Farm Boy. Two of the projects – the Farm Boy and Royal Garden accomplish at least some of what the city has been hoping for. Royal Garden brought people to St. Joseph by creating living spaces, and the Farm Boy is both aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly. As for the Shoppers Drug Mart, it doesn’t do a whole lot for me or the surrounding area. The city is hoping the LRT expansion along Hwy. 174 and the handful of LRT stations that will be built at Jeanne d’Arc Blvd., Orléans Blvd. and Champlain Blvd. will create commercial and residential intensification. In other words, you can expect to see high-rises in excess of nine storeys on Youville Drive and around the Orléans Town Centre next to Centrum Blvd. Be that as it may, there’s no question that the LRT expansion provides the city with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to finally get St. Joseph Blvd. right. But to get it right you need to start with a vision.

The vision shared by most people is to see St. Joseph turned into a user-friendly throroughfare and not an alternate route to get from Fallingbrook and Queenswood Heights to Montreal Road and further downtown. If you want to witness the worst St. Joseph can be, try driving down the street when the 174 is reduced to one lane during the LRT construction. Once the LRT line is completed, St. Joseph needs to either be reduced to one lane in each direction with a turning lane in the middle, or one lane in each direction with on-street parking on both sides and a median down the middle with trees and flowers. In either case, the overhead wires need to be buried under the street once and for all. In the meantime, every effort needs to be made to replace aging properties with new mixed use development that combines commercial businesses on the main floor with residential dwellings on the floors above that are no more than four storeys high. Only then will St. Joseph Boulevard fulfill its potential and finally become the “main street of Orléans.

Service changes June 20 Plan your trip at octranspo.com We’re making adjustments to bus routes to better support the travel needs of customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check octranspo.com and the OC Transpo Travel Planner to learn how your trip will change. Improved service to hospitals, shopping districts and growing employment and residential areas

New Route 110 will increase connectivity between Kanata and Barrhaven. Service will run every 30 minutes during weekdays between Innovation and Fallowfield Stations via the CitiGate area Some peak-period routes suspended due to low ridership. Alternative routes available Some routes adjusted where parallel service is available Frequency adjustments on most routes to match current ridership and seasonal levels, while allowing for ridership to grow

STO service in Ottawa changes June 21 Check octranspo.com or sto.ca for more information INFO 613-741-4390 octranspo.com

June 10, 2021 • Volume 36, No. 2 • 5


We recently virtually celebrated the NKBA Ottawa Design Excellence awards from 2019. We are happy to announce that our designers won the following:

1st Place Best Transformation – Kelly Ouellette

1st Place Traditional/Classic Bathroom Group A – Vida Kiani

2nd Place Modern Bathroom Group B – Amandine Dénéréaz

2nd Place Looks for Less – Renée Marcil

2nd Place Powder Room – Vida Kiani

1st Place Creative Concept Kitchen – Tim Rutherford

1st Place Best New Designer

Congratulations to all the designers that entered the awards we can’t wait to see what next year brings! Photography by: @m.leroux.photo Brought to you by the talented team at Distinctive Bathrooms & Kitchens 6 • June 10, 2021 • Volume 36, No. 2

613.834.1796 • dbkottawa.com 2035 Lanthier Drive, Orléans, ON (Near Innes and 10th line)


Two-thirds of residents over 18 have received COVID vaccine

City of Ottawa continues to invest in outdoor recreation amenities

Hello neighbours! Here’s the latest on the vaccine rollout in Ottawa. Vaccine hesitancy has not been a problem here in the nation’s capital where 66 per cent of residents 18 and over have received at least one dose (that’s more than 641,000 doses!). As vaccination plans con-tinue to evolve, please sign up for my, or the city’s e-newsletter and follow announcements on the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health websites and social media channels. Those 80 and over without a second dose appointment will be contacted directly by Ottawa Public Health for guaranteed access to an appointment within the standard second dose interval of 16 weeks. If you are unable to secure an early appointment through the provincial booking system, contact a local pharmacy or primary care provider for an earlier appointment. As of Monday June 7, individuals age 70 and over in 2021, as well as individuals who received their first dose of an mRNA vaccine on or before April 18, will be able to schedule an appointment to receive their second dose

I want to first thank the community for spaces to enjoy at Millennium and I know your continued commitment to following this structure will be well-used by the our current public health guidelines while we community. work to get COVID-19 A joint investment case numbers down and from all three levels of vaccine numbers up. Catherine government will bring As I write, more than upgrades to Leslie ArmKitts 150,000 vaccine appointstrong Park in Bearbrook. ments are booked at Additionally, I pushed for Ottawa clinics until the Vista Park to be added to Cumberland Ward 19 end of June, and the city the city’s expanded Recyis continuing to press the province to increase cling in Parks program, meaning extra waste the city’s vaccine supply. recep-tacles will be installed throughout the Last week, Ontario’s Stay-at-Home order park. expired. While many restrictions remain in My office has also been working with place, the beautiful weather has been a great local pickleball enthusiasts to identify new ally in enjoying outdoor activities. locations where pickleball lines can be added Cumberland Ward is flush with beautiful to existing infrastructure. parks, and I continue to work with city staff Outdoor activity is essential to our mental and our local community associations to health and with the province’s announcement ensure we are getting the most out of our that schools will remain closed for in-person outdoor amenities. learning this school year, I know this is an Funding has been secured through the especially challenging time for many. federal government’s “Investing in Canada” We have been at this for a long time, but infrastructure program to construct a new I remain optimistic that as our vaccine roll picnic shelter at Millennium Park this year. out progresses, restrictions can be carefully Families have long called for more shady lifted, and we can begin to heal.

of a COVID-19 vaccine at a mass immunization clinic through the provincial booking system or call centre. We anticipate appointments will be limited throughout the month of June, so keep checking back as the province provides more vaccines. The province has announced that individuals who received AstraZeneca as their first dose can choose to either receive a second dose of AstraZeneca, or an mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) vaccine. Individuals who received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine 12 weeks ago who would like their second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine can contact the pharmacy or primary care provider where they received their first dose to book an appointment. Those opting to receive an mRNA vaccine have the option to schedule their second dose at a participating pharmacy where the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines are administered. We’re getting there, Orléans! Until next time, stay safe and enjoy this beautiful weather!

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WillowbendRetirement.com June 10, 2021 • Volume 36, No. 2 • 7


NEIGHBOURHOOD

U P D A T E Hello Friends, This past winter, the City saw unprecedented use of Ottawa’s many greenspaces, with many people enjoying our cross-country ski tracks, winter hiking paths, and even just getting out and going for walks in parks. After the incredibly positive reception I received from expanding the winter maintenance of multi-use pathways last year; I have begun conversations with City staff about what further expansions can be prepared for next winter, as well as any other improvements that can be done now.

EXPANDED ARENA OPENS

Along with its official new name – The Lois Kemp Arena – this month will see the long-awaited reopening of the newly renovated arena in Blackburn Hamlet. As home to numerous sports teams from all over Orléans, this $5 million-dollar project will bring much-needed improvements and modernizations to the arena – including parking spaces with electric vehicle hook-ups. As well, I received the exciting news that the splashpad being constructed in Blackburn Park is ahead of schedule and may open in time for the end of this summer! These major investments in this central, community park will make the space more enjoyable for everyone. I know I speak for many when I say I am thrilled that these new amenities are opening soon.

Regardless of the weather, all residents should be able to get outside in all seasons and enjoy the fresh air and greenspaces that make the East End the best part of Ottawa.

TREE PROGRAM

GEMS OF INNES AWARDS

Last year, when I recognized residents who were supporting their community during the pandemic with the Heroes of Innes Award, I was delighted by the incredible response, as well as residents’ interest in also recognizing the many businesses and organizations we have in Innes Ward and greater Orléans. With that in mind, I am excited to announce that I will be making the awards permanent, and this year will mark the first annual Gems of Innes Awards. These awards will celebrate and highlight residents, as well as the great businesses and community organizations in the East End that make our community sparkle! The awards are open to any business or organization that serves residents of Innes Ward and the greater East End. There are various categories, including best new business, best restaurant, and many others. For more information, or to submit a nomination, visit LauraDudas.ca/ Gems or email me at Laura.Dudas@ottawa.ca.

In honour of the 10-year anniversary of National Tree Day in Canada, a day championed and passed into law by former Member of Parliament for Orléans, Royal Galipeau; I am excited to share that I will be working with local organizations such as Ecology Ottawa, nurseries, schools, and other community organizations to hold a tree challenge and giveaway to commemorate the milestone. In the weeks leading up to September 22, 2021, I will be jointly hosting tree giveaways, online content, tree planting blitzes, and many other activities to ensure that our legacy as the greenest, most tree-friendly part of Ottawa remains strong. If you, or your organization, would like to be involved, please reach out to my office.

HAPPY TO HELP

I have always preferred ways to connect in-person. Sadly, the pandemic sidelined my intentions to connect with you by going door-to-door and seeing you at events and meetings. That’s why, like many of you, I have turned to virtual formats to stay in touch and to support residents’ needs. Throughout the coming months, I will continue to hold online office hours, knowing that it offers flexibility for many residents. In-person office hours will resume at my new Ward office, when pandemic measures allow, at the newly renovated Lois Kemp Arena in Blackburn Hamlet. As always, I remain available and eager to assist. You can reach me by email at Laura.Dudas@ ottawa.ca, by phone at 613-580-2472, or receive important updates and information through my website at LauraDudas.ca. This summer, please do not hesitate to reach out about a city matter, or even just to say “hello”. It’s always wonderful to hear from you. – Laura

Councillor, Ward 2 Innes 613-580-2472 // Laura.Dudas@Ottawa.ca // www.LauraDudas.ca 8 • June 10, 2021 • Volume 36, No. 2


Pandemic likely to have long-lasting impact on our youth By Fred Sherwin The Orléans Star During the past 14 months, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the lives of every single Canadian, both at home and in the workplace. One of the groups that has been impacted the most are young people and adolescents. Muchhasbeenmadeaboutthefactthatyoung people are at the lowest risk when it comes to moderate and severe health issues caused by the virus, and the numbers appear to bear this out. Of the more than 1,400 COVID-related hospitalizations in Ottawa since the pandemic began, only 20 have been under the age of 19 and only nine were under the age of 10. Among those youth, only three people under the age of 19 had to be treated in ICU for the coronavirus, none of whom were under the age of 10. All of which is good news. But pediatricians, psychologists and child development researchers are raising the alarm bells that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic can go well beyond the initial physical health concerns. Lengthy stay-at-home orders and school closures have led to increased rates of stress, anxiety and even depression among children as young as seven and eight years old. Furthermore, food insecurities and the stress felt by parents due to joblessness, or having to juggle working at home with helping their kids with virtual classrooms can lead to heightened levels of domestic anxiety, which can include verbal and physical abuse that can adversely effect children of all ages. Dr. Michael Kobor, is a senior scientist with the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics at the B.C. Children’s Hospital Research Institute.

He is leading a research group that has been studying environmental impacts on early childhood development and how they might contribute to health risks and disease later on in life. “The developmental period and early life are particularly sensitive periods where social or environmental insults can influence health long after the insult itself,” explains Dr. Kobor. “Our findings support the model that early-life social and environmental factors, including stress and socioeconomic status, can leave a biological footprint which can be maintained until adulthood and may influence future health.” In short, stresses experienced early on in life can negatively impact a child’s biology and physiology, Michael Kobor including their immune system, long into adulthood. Dr. Kobor’s team has been following a cohort of more than 2,500 young people for the past 10 years. When the global pandemic reached Canada last February, their research was intensified as the environmental impact of the pandemic on their subjects intensified. And while it’s far too early to accurately gauge the impact the pandemic is having on our youth, the team’s research should shine a light on whether the measures taken to protect our young people from the virus is actually doing more harm than good by negatively impacting their biology and, in turn, the immune system’s ability to protect them from future pandemics. For instance, reduced socialization with their peers and a lack of physical activity due to the closure of parks and recreation facilities as well as the suspension of minor

sports, can all have a long-term impact on a child’s biology. And while outwardly children can be tremendously resilient, Dr. Kobor contends that the environmental impact of the pandemic can get “under” a child’s “skin” in a way that isn’t readily apparent. Other factors can further exacerbate the issue such as growing up in a single parent family, a family facing financial hardship, or having parents lacking the necessary education to help them with their school work. Province-wide testing conducted by the province’s Education Quality and Accountability Office has shown that children in low income families, or who have parents lacking a certain level of education score less well on average than children in higher income families or who have more highly educated parents. This former dynamic has been made worse during the pandemic. PANDEMIC’S IMPACT ON HIGH-NEEDS YOUTH While Dr. Kobor and his team are looking at the far-reaching impact the pandemic is having on the health and well-being of our youth, there are more immediate concerns about the impact the pandemic is having on youth today and especially high needs children and youth. Sharon Burgess and Anick Garby are the clinical directors of ABC Anick Garby Pediatric Therapies here in Orléans. The two women are speech language pathologists who specialize in treating kids with autism spectrum disorders, and developmental and physical delays and disabilities. Prior to the pandemic, they would treat their clients face-to-face, often with the

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child’s family members present. During the first wave of the pandemic last spring, they could no longer see their young clients in person. Treatment sessions had to be done virtually, which severely limited access, and in some cases where it was impossible to treat the children virtually, they lost out on therapy entirely. Sharon Burgess “Those are the ones that suffered the most and those are the ones who are the most vulnerable,” says Burgess. It wasn’t until mid- to late June, that they were able to see their clients in person, but even then it was in a limited capacity. Due to the COVID health measures, the children could only be accompanied by one parent at a time and the sessions had to be staggered to allow for proper social distancing and disinfecting rooms, materials etc., which cut down on the number of sessions that could be held per day. Burgess and Garby both agree high-needs children have been negatively impacted by the pandemic in a variety of ways, starting with the initial assessment. “For sure there’s been a real risk of regression, especially among the kids with autism in the areas of language, and social skills, because we know that they need early intensive intervention and they weren’t able to receive those services, especially during the first few months,” says Burgess. “And for most, the services have been reduced dramatically when they are supposed to be receiving 20 to 40 hours of therapy a week, whether it be in speech therapy, occupational therapy and/or ABA.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 12 Proud supporters

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10 • June 10, 2021 • Volume 36, No. 2


REMINDER Province gives summer day camps the green light (NC) – Premier Doug Ford has given summer days camps in Ontario the green light. Day camp operators have been making plans to implement a set of stringent protocols established by the Ontario Camps Association and Ontario Public Health. Although some camps have decided not to run programs this summer, those that will be are doing their best to ensure a safe experience for everyone involved. Others, such as the Ottawa School of Theatre are offering virtual day camps where kids will be able to participate online from the safety of their homes.

Summer camp experiences include sailing and rowing camps offered by the Ottawa New Edinburgh Club; soccer camps offered by Ottawa TFC and the Gloucester Dragons; gymnastic camps at the Tumblers Gymnastics Centre; School of Rock music camps; and a variety of camps offered by National Kids Camps that include a mountain bike camp, the Go Girls Camp and the Amazing Race Camp. The City of Ottawa is also offering a variety of day camps and drop-in activities throughout the summer. For more information or to register visit ottawa.ca/ recreation.

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June 10, 2021 • Volume 36, No. 2 • 11


Pandemic likely to have longlasting impact on our youth Continued from page 9 The reduced access to therapy caused by the pandemic has further added to the stress and anxiety already affecting children with various language, communication and learning disabilities. Also, because of the pandemic and school

closures, very young children aren’t being assessed which has set them back months in trying to access services. “Those kids are having to wait many more months for services than they would have waited pre-COVID,” says Garby. “We always say that early intervention is key, and let’s see those kids as young as possible , but that’s been tremendously hard to do because of the impact the pandemic has had on the system.” It is estimated that there are 400-500 children in Orléans who have an autism spectrum disorder. Other studies have indicated that as many as five per cent of students in senior kindergarten and Grade 1 have a learning disability. The best thing that can happen for these kids is to get back to some sense of normalcy as soon as possible, but that may not happen until September when schools are expected to return to in-class learning. Until then, parents must continue to do the best they can knowing that we are closer to the end of the pandemic then we are from the beginning.

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ottawa.ca/recreation | ottawa.ca/loisirs


By Fred Sherwin The Orléans Star Ottawa residents looking to receive their second dose of the coronavirus vaccine are at risk of getting caught up between provincial directives allowing more people to book appointments and the ability of the city to access additional supplies of the vaccines to keep up with additional demand. Starting June 14, seniors over the age of 70 will be able to book an appointment to get their second dose, however, they may have to wait until July in order to get it, especially if they want to get vaccinated at one of the city’s community vaccination clinics. At the same time anyone over the age of 12 is eligible to get their first dose. The city explained the challenge they face in a memo released to the public on June 3. “Although we are receiving more vaccines from the province, the province has also significantly expanded eligibility and shortened select dose intervals at the same time, which will continue to squeeze appointment availability in our community clinics,” the memo states. The memo goes on to explain, “As a result of recent provincial announcements, multiple

age groups in Ottawa are now competing for the same appointments. Someone 12 and above looking for a first dose against someone 80 and above looking for an earlier second dose appointment, for example. It will soon become even more challenging to secure an appointment at a community clinic as the province has previously indicated that those 70 and above will be eligible for a shorten second dose interval as of June 14, which will add up to 80,000 more individuals looking for earlier appointments in June that are simply not available.” The lack of available spots at the community clinics means that residents 70 and over will either have to try and book an appointment at a local pharmacy which has the vaccine or wait until July. The situation will be further exacerbated on June 28, when people who received their first dose between March 8 and April 18 will be able to book an appointment for their second dose. On July 19, anyone who received their first dose between April 19 and May 9 will be able to book their second dose and on Aug. 2 anyone who received their first dose between May 10 and May 30 will be able to book their second dose.

File photo

Ottawa struggles to keep up with increased demand for vaccines

In essence, the vaccination program has become a free-for-all. On a positive note, more than 600,000 people in Ottawa have received at lease one dose of the vaccine, representing over 65 per cent of the adult population. More than 60,000 people have received two doses. Emergency and protective services general manager, Anthony DiMonte, says the city is ready, willing and able to increase vaccinations as soon as the supply increases. “Our operations are designed to scale with supply,” says Dimonte. “With more supply

from the Province, we can add capacity and expand community clinic operations, as required. With more supply we can continue to deliver excellent care and service to our community.” In the meantime, unless more supply is confirmed from the province, residents looking to receive a vaccine in June are encouraged to try and book an appointment at a local pharmacy by contacting them directly. A list of the pharmacies that are administering the vaccine in Orléans can be found at covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations.

June 10, 2021 • Volume 36, No. 2 • 13


COMMUNITY BRIEFS Restaurant patios set to reopen next week

ORLÉANS – Restaurante Caravela owner Fernando Diniz can hardly wait until he can accept his first customer when Ontario’s restaurant and bar patios reopen hopefully as soon as this weekend. “Of course I’m excited. It’s been too long,” says Diniz, referring to the decision to limit restaurants to takeout orders only that has been in place since April 3. Diniz is not alone in his enthusiasm at the prospect of reopening. Restaurants across Orléans have been waiting for more than two months for Ontario to enter Stage 1 of the province’s reopening plan. During that time, they have seen patio-perfect weather come and go weekend after weekend as they’ve remained closed under the province’s stay-at-home order. Exactly when the restaurant will be able to start serving their customers was till very mush in the air at the time this week’s paper went to print. The original date was June 16, but restaurants across the province have been putting the pressure on Premier Doug Ford to allow them to reopen for this coming weekend. Ontario and Manitoba are the only provinces where outdoor patios remain closed. Diniz is looking forward to welcoming back his regulars as well as new customers, who up until now have only been able to order takeout. “I can’t thank our customers enough for how much they’ve ordered takeout since we had to close the dining room and patio. It’s really heart-warming,” says Diniz.

Orléans-area outdoor markets in full swing

Orléans Integrated CIP to tackle future St. Joseph Blvd. improvements Continued from page 1

Incentive Program; and the Pedestrian Friendly Streets Program. While the goal of the Integrated Orléans CIP is to improve economic development in the Greater Orléans community, it’s main focus will be on the St. Joseph corridor, and in particular, trying to take advantage of opportunities presented by the light rail transit extension along Hwy. 174. The Integrated Orléans CIP is being developed in concert with the Orléans Corridor Secondary Plan Study which is looking at ways to effectively integrate the LRT stations with the Orléans Town Centre, the St Joseph Arterial Mainstreet Corridor, and existing residential neighbourhoods. The hope is that the LRT expansion and the commercial and residential intensification will provide the much-hoped-for impetus to address long-standing issues with St. Joseph Blvd. – namely to make it more user-friendly by increasing the number of mixed-use properties with commercial businesses on the main floor and rental or condos on the floors above; making it more pedestrian and cycle-friendly by reducing

the amount commuter traffic on the street; and beautifying the street by finally burying the overhead wires and telephone poles and planting more trees. During a virtual public meeting held last Wednesday, several members of the public voiced their concerns about repeated references to “high rise” development in the plan, however, Chris Gomes, who’s the lead economic development officer overseeing the plan, assured them that by “high rise” the meant buildings that will be no more than four to six storeys tall. Several other participants said they are hopeful the CIP will make it easier for cyclist living south of the 174 to access the cycling network north of the highway. Innes Ward Coun. Laura Dudas warned residents that St. Joseph Blvd. will never be turned into another Glebe or a Westboro, rather it will reflect the values of Orléans residents. Orléans Ward Coun. Matt Luloff said he would like to see St. Joseph Blvd. get a complete makeover and eventually become a true main street that is enjoyed by shop owners and residents alike.

ORLÉANS – COVID-19 may have forced non-essential businesses to resort to curbside pick-up only for their sales, but it has done very little in limiting attendance figures at three Orléans-area outdoor markets. The Orléans Farmers Market, the Cumberland Farmer’s Market and the Original Navan Market have all had a trememdous start to the outdoor market season, thanks in large part to the fantastic weather we’ve had so far this spring and the desire on the part of many people to get out of their homes and do some shopping. All three markets have strict mask-wearing policies in place with plenty of hand sanitizing stations and limits on crowd size. The Orléans Farmers Market is held in the parking lot at the Ray Friel Centre every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Cumberland Farmers Market is held in the parking lot at the R.J. Kennedy Arena in Cumberland Village every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the Original Navan Market is held in the Navan Fairgrounds on the last Sunday in June, July and August from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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ORLÉANS – Readers of the Orléans Star can still order a free copy of the 2020 Orléans Road Map. The street map was produced by Sherwin Publishing and includes the various neighbourhoods of Orléans including Chapel Hill North and South, Convent Glen, Présault, Orléans Wood, Chateauneuf, Fallingbrook, Queenswood Heights and Avalon. To order your copy, simply send an email to editor@orleansstar.ca and include your name and address.

14 • June 10, 2021 • Volume 36, No. 2

CANADA

Marie-France LALONDE MP/Députée Orléans

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YOU p l e h o t e r e H

Constituency Office 255 Centrum Blvd., 2nd floor Orléans, ON K1E 3W3 marie-france.lalonde@parl.gc.ca 613.834.1800 MFLalondeMP.ca


Continued from page 3 also accused of bullying and ridiculing male students. “I had him in either 2011 or 2012 and I’m a twin. He was often inappropriate with me and an awful bully to my twin brother,” wrote a third student. “It is clear that was he routinely cross(ed) the line with the girls in the class and treat(ed) the boys badly.” For its part, the Ottawa Catholic School Board has issued a blanket apology to “any former students who have experienced harm by someone in a position of trust”, without mentioning Despatie/Watkins by name. In a statement released by OCSB spokesperson Sharlene Hunter, the board says that it has been working with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection to provide training on professional boundaries, update policies, create a culture of reporting incidents of concern and investigate incidents of concern. The board has also pledged to review any previous complaints against Despatie. Current and former parents and students can provide information to the board by

contacting the board’s human resources department at 613-224-4455 or by e-mailing human.resources@ocsb.ca. Among the many questions that begged to be answered is whether or not school administrators passed the numerous complaints about Despatie on to the board and whether or not the school administrators advised the parents to pass their complaints on to the Ontario Teachers College which has the power to investigate inappropriate behaviour and sanction teachers where warranted. There have been more than a half dozen principals at St. Matt’s during Despatie’s 31-year tenure at the school. Several of the principals went on to become superintendents at the school, including one who is currently serving in that capacity. Two other former principals are currently listed on LinkedIn as part-time professors at the University of Ottawa. For now, Despatie is a free man although he must obey a number of court-imposed conditions including having no contact

File photo

Former teacher facing sex-related charges released on $5,000 bond

with his alleged victims, their families or any witnesses in the case; and staying away from any public parks or other places where children might be present. He is also prohibited from being in a position of trust including coaching, whether paid or volunteer, in which minors under the age of 18 are involved. Despite the charges against him, Despatie is entitled to start drawing his pension.

At 57 years of age and with 31 years of teaching experience under his belt, he meets the magical “85 Factor” (age + qualifying years) to receive a full pension which is calculated at 2% x 31 x his average salary during his best five years. If his average salary was $85,000, he is entitled to an annual pension of $52,700, and he’s entitled to continue drawing his pension whether he’s found guilty or not.

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S H O P, T O U R A N D B U Y O N L I N E 16 • June 10, 2021 • Volume 36, No. 2

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The Orleans Star June 10. 2021  

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