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FALL 2020


BUSKERS — Keeping music alive in

Ottawa’s streets and parks

An Officer and a Gentleman Canada’s transformative Chief of the Defence Staff retires

The Energy Discussion has pivoted to Nuclear

Chinese Ambassador Cong Peiwu on the importance of the United Nations


Holiday gift ideas * Uncle Bob Cabana * Gananoque * Indigenous Travel




20 The Barrow Gang Buskers are the musical equivalent of au naturel. It’s all right there, hanging out — a truly ‘unplugged’ repertoire. Music this way is that one catches all of the ancillary racket that comes when you slap wood, steel, and catgut together, energize it with muscles and lungs, and let it rip outdoors. Basically, it could not be more real. Neither could the Barrows. PHOTO : SEAN SISK PHOTOGRAPHY

38 42



Autumnal Orange is the colour for fall


Whether you break out your spotted prints from 2019 or try on Pantone's colour for this winter, Alexandra Hunt shows you how to elevate your wardrobe with a focus on versatility and longevity.

The coolest dude in town


Impresario Robert ‘Uncle Bob’ Cabana, Ottawa’s legendary owner of Fab Gear 64, then read the story about the impresario who is still rockin it!

General Jonathan Vance


Canada’s longest serving Chief of the Defence Staff is a decorated war hero who has led the Canadian Forces through one of the most transformative periods in over a century. He is leaving but his legacy will be felt for years.

The $1Billion plan to help Ottawa’s homeless


After consulting with more than 100 partners, the city has revamped its ten-year Housing and Homelessness Plan, which will now run from 2020 to 2030.

Close to home, far from ordinary


Covid crazed Canadians are taking vacays close to home and the 1000 Islands and Gananoque and Manitoulan Island are just two of hundreds of possibilities.


Guest Editorial ...................................... 4 Holiday Picks ....................................... 5 Capital Clips ........................................ 8 Aristocrat of Scent .................................. 11 Croatian Wine ..................................... 13 Profile: Jesse Reynolds ............................ 18 China Ambassador to Canada: Cong Peiwu ........................................ 36 Travel: Gananoque ............................... 38 Travel: Visit Victoria ................................ 40 Travel: Indigenous Experiences .................43 Travel: Victoria ...................................... 42


OAG Virtual Fundraising ........................15 Students First ........................................30 Education/op-ed ..................................31 Clean Energy ........................................33 Kazakhstan ..........................................34




guest editorial by Angelo Persichilli

Lowering the bar on political ethics


he October 21, 2020 confidence vote in Parliament is one of the lowest points ever reached in Canadian politics. It was a vote about integrity and ethics, versus incompetence or, worse, corruption. It was about the propriety of a sole-sourced contract for almost a billion dollars being given to an organization with close ties to the Prime Minister and his family. It was about holding officials and the cabinet to account for awarding an untendered contract to the WE Charity despite knowing that it had paid over $600,000 dollars in fees and expenses to the Prime Minister’s spouse, mother and brother since 2015. To avoid the fallout from the growing scandal, the government first prorogued parliament to prevent further inquiry. When that did not work, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held a confidence vote and threatened a snap election in the middle of a global pandemic to stop Parliament from further investigating the matter. The late great Liberal Prime Minister John Turner (who died earlier this month) honourably served Canada for seven decades always stressing the importance of maintaining the integrity of Parliament and Canadian institutions. Turner called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau not long before his death. He told Mr. Trudeau that using obstructing initiatives to avoid questions related to the WE issue was a “contempt for Parliament.” I don’t know what Trudeau said in response, but weeks later the words he spoke in his eulogy at Turner’s funeral, where he praised his legacy, collided head on with his actions: shutting down Parliament and later holding a confidence vote with the threat of an election in the middle of a global pandemic to avoid being held to account for the WE scandal. These events, coupled with the SNC Lavalin debacle and other ethics controversies, have accelerated the deterioration of a Canadian political system that was once recognized as a beacon of transparency and admiration the world over.


publisher/managing editor Dan Donovan art director & web editor Karen Temple

There have always been governments and politicians from all parties accused of taking advantage of the system for partisan or personal interest. This government is no exception, but it does so with a twist. In the past, elected officials who were gaming the system did so discretely knowing if they were caught, they would be held to account. Prime Minister Trudeau himself has been sanctioned three times by the Ethics Commissioner for breaking the law yet continues to ignore the rules with abandon. His response to being held to account is to attack those daring to question him. Maybe he believes he is entitled to rule without consequence (or Parliament) or he considers his government above criticism. He seems to believe that ‘this is what politics is all about.’ Shutting down Parliament to deliberately blur the line between right and wrong to avoid legal, political, and moral retribution should not be a partisan issue. It is about the degeneration of Canada’s political system to accommodate the whims of a PM with ethics issues. It should not matter whether you are a Liberal, Conservative, Bloc Quebecois, NDP, Green or Independent MP. Any attempt to stifle the voices of MPs is a danger to our democracy and must not be tolerated. Parliament is the institution that protects that principle. Without it, we are lost.

social media manager Kat Walcott cover photo by Sean Sisk Photography make-up: Corey J. Stone photographers Véronique Cochrane, Justyna Czujko, Mcpl Jennifer Kusche, Akorda Kz, Brandon Mcgeachie, Richard Tardif, Dereck Hille Photography, Ls Alex Roy, Mcpl Julie Turcotte, Canadian Forces Combat Camera, Mcpl Julie Turcotte, Karen Temple, Prince Of Whales Whale Watching fashion editor Alexandra Hunt accounts Joe Colas C.G.A bookkeeper Joan MacLean contributing writers Amanda Bernardo,

Michael R Bussière,Véronique Cochrane, Sid Cratzbarg, Dan Donovan, Sofia Donato, Jennifer Hartley, Matthew Horwood, Alexandra Hunt, John Gorman Akylbek Kamaldinov, Angelo Persichilli, Cong Peiwu, Liz Stuart web contributors Susan Alsembach, Luke Barry, Adele Blair, Sofia Donato, Mckenzie Donovan, Dave Gross, Jennifer Hartley, Ryan Lythall, Owen Maxwell, Aaron Nava, Rusel Olsen, Mona Staples, Kat Walcott, Keith Whittier social media Kat Walcott student intern Rusel Olsen corporate advisor J. Paul Harquail,

Charles Franklin corporate counsel Paul Champagne editor in memoriam Harvey F. Chartrand advertising information

For information on advertising rates, visit www.ottawalife.com call (613) 688-LIFE (5433) or e-mail info@ottawalife.com Canadian Publication Mail Product Sales Agreement #1199056. Ottawa Life Magazine, 301 Metcalfe St. Lower Level, Ottawa. Ontario K2P 1R9 tel: (613) 688-5433 fax: (613) 688 -1994 e-mail: info@ottawalife.com Web site: www.ottawalife.com Follow us on Twitter: @ottawalifers On Instagram: ottawalifemag

I do not know if this government did something wrong in handing close to a. $1 billion untendered contract to WE, but I know that this government is doing everything to stop Parliament from finding out. Instead of leading efforts to clarify the sole-sourced contract to WE to clear his reputation and those of his immediate family, Justin Trudeau is doing the complete opposite. This week’s vote in Ottawa has done what Covid-19 has done to Canadians — it has changed what normalcy is all about. Personal interest or incompetence are not a pathologic aspect of Canadian political life, they are the new normal n

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holiday picks


Check out B angarang , a ref reshing hard selt zer craf ted in O ntario price: $2.95 per can where to buy: thebeerstore.ca A refreshing blend of craft seltzer and all natural flavours, Bangarang is a call to unite, to share a connection, whether together in person or virtually. Bangarang is a clear, low calorie and low sugar beverage available in three refreshing, all natural fruit flavours: Mango, Lemon-Lime, and Blue Raspberry. Available as single cans ,6 cans, 12 cans or 24 can packs at The Beer Store across Ontario.


TETLEY SUPER TEAS* COLLECTION — CANADA’S FIRST LINE-UP OF TEAS FORTIFIED WITH VITAMINS AND MINERALS. price: $2.95 where to buy: major retailers SUNSHINE Lemon & Orange, fortified with Vitamin D and IMMUNE+ Peppermint and Ginger, fortified with both Zinc and Vitamin D are new additions to Tetley's line of herbal teas, designed with the health of Canadians in mind. Approved by Health Canada, these two teas boost the immune system and increase Vitamin D intake — both of which are important year round and even more so during the colder and darker months. In fact, each cup of SUNSHINE and IMMUNE+ tea contain 23 per cent of your daily recommended Vitamin D intake.


SWISS LINE SKINCARE IS OUT OF THE ORDINARY: A BLEND OF SWISS SCIENCE AND GENUINE GLAMOUR price: vary where to buy: major retailers Magic Eye Mask is perfect for frequent travellers, irregular sleepers or anyone who can't live without eye concealer. price: $160, 20 ml Brightening Eye Veil SPF 50 pa +++ is suitable for all skin types and offers UVA/UVB broad spectrum protection. Filled with antioxidants,

anti-inflammatories and brighteners to prevent future pigmentation disorders triggered by environmental assaults. price: $140, 20ml Luxe-Lift Eye Cream provides immediate comfort and elasticity as it improves skin density, reduces lines and wrinkles, and fights dark circles. Part of the Cell Shock line that women from around the world have been using for 20 years price: $199, 15 ml


AMERICA'S MOST POPULAR PEANUT BUTTER — PBFIT price: $28.99 where to buy: amazon.ca PBfit, the wildly popular peanut butter powder with 87% less fat and 1/3 the calories of regular PB is now available on Amazon in Canada. This #1 selling peanut butter is vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, but not taste-free! Containing 3 simple ingredients -- gently pressed roasted peanuts, coconut palm sugar and a pinch of salt -- PBfit can be easily added to smoothies for a nutrient boost. When you’re looking for that creamy peanut butter texture, just add water and mix.


CANADA GOOSE HYBRIDGE DOWN COAT - LIGHTWEIGHT WARMTH DESIGNED FOR PEOPLE IN MOTION price: $895 where to buy: online at canadagoose.com or Canada Goose retail stores including the new Rideau Centre location. The Hybridge collection leverages Canada Goose’s expertise in down insulation while ensuring outstanding mobility. Designed features include: Tri-Durance fabric on the hood and shoulders, reflective details for visibility, dynamic knit fabric for range of motion, 4 exterior pockets, 2 internal pockets, venting, and recessed power stretch cuffs with thumbhole construction. The Hybridge is the pinnacle of innovation for Canada Goose. It is a highly versatile jacket that can carry you from fall through winter.



ANCESTRY DNA — GIVE THE GIFT OF SELF-DISCOVERY price: $129 where to buy: www.ancestry.ca. AncestryDNA is a consumer DNA test that gives you a break down of your ethnicity from more than 1,000 regions worldwide and connects you with living relatives from a network of more than 18 million people globally. And AncestryDNA is the gift that keeps on giving, with more ethnicity regions added to the experience as the science develops. This year for example, AncestryDNA was able to offer more precise results in regions in West Africa, northwestern Europe, the Americas, Oceania, and Southeast Asia. Family and friends will be ecstatic to receive a gift that gives them the opportunity to learn more about themselves while creating lasting and memorable experiences.


ANCESTRY.CA — THE FAMILY HISTORY WEBSITE price: $14.99 per month where to buy: www.ancestry.ca. Gift your family and friends a subscription to Ancestry.ca, a family history site that works in tandem with AncestryDNA or as a standalone experience - where they can build their family tree and search through billions of digital historical records worldwide, to discover the stories of their ancestors’ lives: where they lived, how and when they arrived in Canada, if they served in the military, the achievements they reached and challenges they overcame. And best of all, it’s an activity that families can do together this Holiday.



GET SHOPPING AND SUPPORT LOCAL ARTISANS price: varying prices where to buy: ottawaartisans.com Craft fairs are simply fun. They are a popular way to support local artisans and the one-on-one with small vendors makes buying seasonal items, homemade delicacies, and that “Oh my, how cute is that” item for yourself so enjoyable. Ottawa Artisans is an online platform to promote local artists and vendors that launched in February 2020. It hosts more than 220 vendors, featuring more than 4,000 handmade products available for purchase. It is the shopping destination for Christmas and beyond.


EMMA: THE GIFT OF GREAT SLEEP price: starting at $799 where to buy: www.emma-mattress.ca Europe’s most award-winning bed-in-a-box mattress is called EMMA. The outer layer keeps you from overheating and adjusts to your body temperature so you get the best sleep while the Airgocell® foam layer distributes pressure evenly. The memory foam layer adapts to your body’s contours while the final layer is made of HXR material and is designed for spinal alignment. EMMA is manufactured based on new design and science, and lasts as long as a traditional mattress. Best of all, EMMA is delivered to your doorstep in a very easily maneuverable box. It is easy to set up and comes with a 100-night money back guarantee. If not, then you can return it for free and get a full refund. For a limited time, use code OTTAWALIFE for a 40% discount off of purchase.


CANADIANS! price: $12.95 where to buy: Thecovidguide.com or your favourite Ebook retailer The COVID-19 Solutions Guide is the first comprehensive e-book, blog, and monthly newsletter about the pandemic. Professor Arvind Gupta, a former President of the University of British Columbia has described the book as: Equal parts down-to-earth advice on how to handle everyday life and an easy-to-understand description of the technical intricacies of pandemic modeling and vaccines. The COVID-19 Solutions Guide is highly relevant to both experts and novices. Its goal is to achieve a more informed and resourceful citizenry grappling with current challenges. .


THE NEW WAVE COLLECTION BY WONDERBRA price: bra $52 briefs $18 where to buy: wonderbra.ca or your favourite retailer Feel great this season with a bra that provides support and flexibility and that doesn't dig, pinch or bind. With comfort being more important now than ever, the New Wave Collection delivers styling, fit, and comfort for all women. The pull-over bras are modern, simple, effortless, and extremely comfortable. The lightweight second skin fabric and fusing achieve natural shaping, flexibility, and recovery without stitching. Double the comfort with a pair of New Wave briefs. Bras and brief are great for all shapes, sizes, and ages and make great stocking stuffers!


MAKE SURE TO HAVE BOCKALE, BEER CONNOISSEURS’ FAVOURITE NON-ALCOHOLIC BEER, ON HAND FOR THE HOLIDAY! price: starting at $45 x 12 where to buy: select thebeerstore.ca locations or at https://boutique.lebockale.com/en Thirsty Canadians can now enjoy the pleasure of a great craft beer without the alcohol. Quebec Microbrewery BockAle’s renowned non-alcoholic beers are available Canada-wide. BockAle’s three non-alcoholic popular craft beers the Trou noir (stout), Découverte (IPA) and Berliner Sonne (Berliner Weisse) can be purchased through BockAle’s new online store.


COMPLETE YOUR KITCHEN STYLE AND DEFINE YOUR LOOK WITH THE RIGHT FAUCET price: ASHFIELD 2-handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet $1,062 where to buy: pfisterfaucets.ca or your favourite home improvement retailer In these times when we are all home, why not splurge on a new kitchen faucet. Think of it as a kitchen pick-me-up. The faucet is among the most high-traffic places in your home. Everyone in the house uses it, and as a focal point, it can carry your style — or make your kitchen feel disjointed. Pfister offers many faucet styles including the classic pump-style handles and a swooping design of the Ashfield family line (pictured above) which brings a look to the kitchen reminiscent of the farm. Available in three finishes, it is a functional work of art that speaks to a simpler time. Pfister also has a full line of touchless technology faucets and is known for its innovative technology that includes water conservation features.


capital clips by Sofia Donato

Walmart Canada’s new premium Rewards card Walmart Canada’s new and improved rewards system, the first in 10 years, launched in August 2020. Better than other premium rewards cards, The Walmart Rewards World Mastercard has no annual fee and lets you earn Walmart Reward Dollars instead of points on everything Walmart offers. The card can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted, not just at Walmart. “Walmart customers have been asking for a premium Walmart Rewards card and we are excited to be able to provide them more ways to help them save money and stretch their budgets further,” says Terry Mathews, Vice President of Financial Services for Walmart Canada. “The Walmart Rewards World Mastercard was developed with Walmart customers in mind and the Walmart Reward Dollars program focuses on giving them extra value on life’s everyday things.” Unlike most rewards cards, Walmart Reward Dollars add up quickly earning you a 3% of your spending on Walmart.ca, 1.25% at any gas station and in Walmart Canada stores and 1% everywhere else Mastercard is accepted. This allows members to reward themselves faster and save up for that splurge item on their wish list! Customers can conveniently apply for both the Walmart Rewards Mastercard and the Walmart Rewards World Mastercard at their local Walmart Canada store or online at Walmart.ca. Shoppers qualify for the premium version of the card based on household income or spend levels on their current Walmart Rewards Mastercard. Cardholders can review transactions, check their Walmart Reward Dollars balance, and make payments anytime and anywhere online. walmart.ca/en/applybuy

Introducing the Shad Pad, an innovative

approach to fighting gender inequality

When thinking about gender equality, one rarely thinks of space exploration, let alone menstruation in space. One group of Canadian students, including Ottawa student Andy Meng, looked to help change this with their project for Shad Canada’s first ever spaceflight competition in partnership with Blue Origin. Their submission, The Shad Pad, is an innovative approach to fighting gender inequality within the space industry. The Shad Pad team set out to demonstrate that menstruation can occur normally in space. The goal was to end the current Launching a new business can be a difficult task, but with help it can become a very practice where-in astronauts are given medication rewarding experience. In the midst of COVID-19, new business owners are facing many to suppress their periods, which has harmful long more challenges than ever before. Though it can be a struggle, opening a business during term mental and physical side effects. a pandemic is not impossible. By addressing the needs of your local community, a young business can become highly successful, especially with the support of those in the industry. Because of COVID-19, program leaders had to Thankfully, there is a newly established initiative with the mission to assist those struggling pivot and bring the legacy program online with with their starting up! keynote speakers, design sessions, community building and real-time workshops into a compact Introducing Canada Starts, a brand new $200,000 fund, with the hope to make it a 100 hours for the month of July. Participants were little easier for Canadian entrepreneurs to start their business. Canada Starts is jointly asked to pitch a microgravity research experiment funded by Ownr by RBC Ventures, Staples, Shopify, and Moneris, marking the first time that they believed would have an impact on these four household Canadian brands have come together to support entrepreneurs. humankind. They developed business plans, Forty applicants with business plans will be rewarded $5,000 to help support their startbuilt prototypes and created videos to pitch their up! Canada Starts aims to accelerate growth in entrepreneurship by giving aspiring proposed project to win a chance to launch it on entrepreneurs the boost they need to take the first step towards starting their business. Blue Origin space rocket. Shad Canada inspires The fund is open to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners across Canada between students to make a change in the world, including September 15 to October 15. the space industry. shad.ca ownr.co/canadastarts/

Introducing Canada Starts, a grant aimed to support up-and-coming businesses


capital clips by Sofia Donato

Ottawa’s Oat & Mill



fter going dairy-free in 2015 Candace Tierny started making her own dairy free version of ice cream. It was challenging to replicate the taste but one day as she was cooking oatmeal for breakfast, she realized how creamy oats were and saw the potential to make them into the ice cream Tierny started selling her frozen dairy free desert at the Carp Farmers Market and with the help of Metro’s Locally Sourced program, expanded to selling it in her local grocery store shelves. Now, Oat & Mill is offered in flavours like Chocolate Mint, Pure Vanilla Bean, Rocky Road Fudge Brownie, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Turtle Crossing. The dairy free desert is available in 500ml containers in the freezer section in stores across Ontario, Quebec, and even Manitoba!

Being a part of Metro’s Locally Sourced program has meant a lot to Tierny. “It’s important because entrepreneurship is often a challenging journey and without important partners like Metro we wouldn’t have the ability to reach our customers and service a wider market.” Oat & Mill uses locally sourced produce whenever possible not only because it is more sustainable but also because it enhances the end product. "If a strawberry is picked at the perfect moment of readiness and we can turn that berry into our desserts within a day’s time, it’s going to taste fresher and bolder." Look for Oat & Mill's artisanal dairy-free desserts, produced locally and made with oats grown on Canadian soil, at your local Metro store.


Maple & Apple Tartin Ice Cream Layer Cake (Vegan)



1/2 cup real maple syrup 1/2 cup vegan butter 4 Honeycrisp apples, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds & remove seeds 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. 2. Put butter and maple syrup into a 10-12 inch oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Bring to boil and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add apple slices to cover the bottom of the pan. Add layers of apple slices on top. Cover with a lid and cook with a minor boil for 15 minutes. 3. Prepare oat crumble crust. In a large mixing bowl, mix brown sugar and vegan butter. Add oats, flour, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt. Mixture should begin to clump, mix well. Using a 10-12

Oat Crumble Crust: 1/2 cup vegan butter 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 cup rolled oats 1 cup of unbleached flour 2 tbsp real maple syrup 1/2 tsp cinnamon ground pinch of salt

inch springform pan, line with parchment paper and press half your oat crumble into the bottom in a flat layer. Remove apple skillet from heat. Gently layer the remaining half of the oat crumble on apple skillet, carefully press down edges of crumble in the skillet to coat the apple tartin. 4. Place the skillet on a baking pan and into the oven. Put the springform pan in the oven as well on the upper rack. Bake for 25 minutes until the crumble is golden. Remove from the oven and cool completely (2-3 hours or overnight). 5. Prepare toasted almonds in a small skillet on the stovetop. Stir vegan butter, maple syrup and chopped almonds. Bring to a light boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, place on parchment paper to cool completely. Once cooled, break up into small clusters

Toasted Almonds: 1/2 cup of Marcona almonds chopped 1 tbsp vegan butter 1 tbsp real maple syrup 1/2 tsp cinnamon ground

6. Once oat crumble is cool, layer two pints of Oat & Mill pure vanilla bean frozen dessert on top of oat crumble base in a springform pan. Use spatula to level frozen dessert evenly. Layer toasted almonds on top of frozen dessert. Return to the freezer to chill for 10 minutes. 7. Once chilled, remove the springform pan from the freezer. Carefully place the skillet upside down on top of frozen dessert in your springform pan. If apples fall out of place, use a fork to gently move around. Return to the freezer to chill for another 10 minutes. 8. Remove from the freezer and take off the springform sides of the pan. Enjoy! 9 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020

capital clips by Sofia Donato

Metro’s newest store

opened in Kanata with a unique event


etro Eagleson Road officially opened its doors in the national capital region in Kanata on August 20. The 40,000 square foot location offers customers a wide variety of fresh and local products including Foodland Ontario produce, ready-made meals, Nescafe Coffee Bar, a pharmacy, and free electric vehicle charging stations. The new Metro will employ approximately 120 people from the community. Metro is proud to support local vendors and producers across Ontario with its Locally Sourced program which showcases local products in Metro locations across the province. Under this initiative, $0.25 of every Locally Sourced product sold is donated to Feed Ontario (until September 10). Metro Eagleson Road will carry local products from Ottawa-area vendors like Oat & Mill who create non-dairy ice cream, Francesco’s Coffee, Joe the Dog Coffee, and honey from local hives harvested by Heavenly Honey. “This new store is a true complement to the Kanata community. We are giving customers what they want including an 10 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020

expanded health and wellness offering, local products through our Locally Sourced program and a great selection of ready-made meals. It is important to us that our store integrates with the community offering a safe place to shop during COVID-19 and we’re pleased to make a donation to the Kanata Food Cupboard to help fight food insecurities in the community during these unprecedented times,” says Joe Fusco, Senior Vice President, Metro. To show their appreciation and commitment to their customers and the local community, Metro donated $5,000 to the Kanata Food Cupboard, a partner of Feed Ontario. To promote the new store opening Metro hosted “Drive-In Movie

Nights’ on August 21 and 22 for the community to enjoy a night out, free of charge! It was an amazing way to spend a night with loved ones while enjoying the company of others (while social distancing) in a safe and healthy way. Metro even set up a concession stand for the movie goers. The free tickets for the drive-in were available online and were all snatched up in a couple of hours. (Frontline food bank workers, as well as Metro Kanata employees, were also treated to a frontrow experience throughout the twonight movie event). Due to the pandemic, Metro continues to take all the essential safety precautions to ensure the prevention of the spread of COVID-19. The store is frequently sanitized, including regular equipment cleaning. You can find information on all of Metro’s preventive measures available on their website. The store will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Senior hours will also be offered every day from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. metro.ca

aristocrat of scent by Sid Cratzbarg


gets scentilicious e may not be able to afford designer clothes but we can be part W of the luxury world by wearing an affordable signature brand fragrance. And, the change of season is a fabulous time to update your fragrance.


Looking forward to sharing fragrance seasonal trends, fragrance tips and, stories behind the flacon and, of course, my favourite choices for 20202021. Keep reading ’til the end — some lucky reader will have a chance to win a luxury designer fragrance! Major fashion houses forecast the trends which were seen on the runways. Fragrance Houses too have predicted what will be the hottest scents for the fall/winter seasons. Here are some of the trends that will be seen in the fragrance world.

Trend1 • Patchouli This season Patchouli will be one of the main notes found in luxury fragrances. In order to produce patchouli oil, the leaves and stems of the Patchouli plant are collected and dried. Then they go through a distillation process to extract the oil. Many perfumes with Patchouli oil have been paired with florals to create a beautiful , elegant fragrance. Trend2 • Going General Neutral Fragrance wearers are searching for fragrances that suit their personalities and evoke emotion rather than those based on gender.

Trend3 • Hot and Spicy Fragrances This season fragrance lovers will see spicy fragrances in two categories: there are the hot spices like clover and cinnamon. Examples of the fresh spices are ginger and cardamom. Yes these spicy fragrances definitely have sex appeal!

were cultivated since the early days of Chinese culture. The peach scent is created in perfume labs since there is no way to extract oil from the fruit. Sid’s Top Choices for Fall Winter2020-2021

Trend4 • Peach I love peaches! Fruit notes are found in so many fragrances but this is the year of the peach! This succulent fruit originated in China where they

Sid’s Fragrance Tips 1.Don’t store your fragrances in the bathroom. Humidity and dampness will break down the perfume and weaken the fragrance, so keep it in your bedroom. 2. Don’t rub wrists together, this causes the top notes to fade faster and your fragrance won’t last as long. 3. Apply your fragrance more frequently in the winter as the scent molecules shrink in cold weather. 4. Spraying your favourite silk scarf before wearing it is another great idea instead of spraying on your skin. Sometimes I spray my silk pocket handkerchief. 5. Spray your fragrance right after a shower. The moisture on your skin will help lock in the scent. This also prevents the fragrance from staining clothes or jewelry.

Blvgari Splendida Patchouli Tentation

This latest fragrance is part of The Splendida Collection described as “An Ode To Femininity”. The flacon is curved like a woman’s décolleté and has the recognizable Blvgari logo.This new fragrance is a Chypre Floral fragrance. The notes of patchouli, white peach, musk, and patchouli leaves are amazing. This is a true classic fragrance that should be in every woman’s collection. Blvgari Man Glacial Essence

The famous perfumer Alberto Morillas says “it is a high- contrast fragrance that is an icy, liberating breath of air 11 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020

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for every man who wears it.” I love this new fragrance as I found its fresh scent intoxicating! Glacial Essence is a woodyfougere fragrance with notes of ginger, sandalwood, and cedar Essence to name a few. It is a pleasant fragrance that could easily be worn everyday. Awesome that Canadian actor Nick Bateman continues to be the face of this latest Blvgari Man Collection. Versace Dylan: Turquoise Eau De Toilette

Fashionistas will love this new Versace Dylan Turquoise EDT which is guaranteed to get you noticed. This fragrance has been described as a playful and contemporary. The bottle is beyond gorgeous and reminiscent of an amphora, evoking Greek culture and mythology. The bottle is embellished with the iconic Versace Medusa and is topped with the Versace gold inscribed top. The turquoise bottle makes you think of the Mediterranean Sea. Mandarin essence, freesia, blackcurrant buds, and musks are some of the notes found in this new Versace Woman’s fragrance. These fragrances are only found at Select Hudson Bay stores and select Shoppers Beauty Boutiques.

real client Curtis Jones


Dsquared2: Green Wood

contact us today

344 Gladstone Ave. PAIHAIR.COM 613-594-5652 12 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020

Dan and Dean Caten, Canadian identical twin brothers, are the founders of Dsquared2, the luxury fashion house in Milan. Green Wood is the latest men’s fragrance to hit the market. The Wood Collection is for the man who is confident in himself and his personality. I love the clear, linear flacon that is topped with caps made of wood created piece by piece. The cap also features a magnetic closure.

It is a woody, aromatic fragrance with notes of wood, pepper, musk, santolina, and amber, to name a few. Dsquared2’s Green Wood is one that will get attention! Dsquared2: Red Wood

For the ladies who love a fruity- wood scent, the new Dsquared2 Eau de Toilette Red Wood has arrived. The clear linear flacon is topped with caps made of wood, created piece by piece. The cap also features a magnetic closure. This new fragrance has notes of pink pepper, cranberry, lychee, cedar, and amber woods. The fruit notes work wonderfully with the warm wood ingredients. Philip Plein: NO LIMITS$

Philip Plein, the amazing German fashion designer, has just launched his latest fragrance.

Famous Perfumer Alberto Morillas who developed this fragrance says, “No LIMITS$ is a high voltage fragrance, a storm of sex, energy, money, power. I wanted to create for Philip an indelible and sexy olfactory tattoo”. Philip Plein wanted to show that nothing you can dream is out of your reach. The fragrance has been loaded onto a credit card of black lacquered glass which represents the $1 trillion credit card. It’s one of the hippest flacons I have ever seen! The fragrance has amazing notes of ginger, black pepper, dark chocolate, and amber accord. I absolutely went gaga over this scent! n Send all your comments to cratzbargsid@gmail.com for a chance to win a luxury fragrance! aristocratofscent.ca

best cellars by Amanda Bernardo


— A taste of Croatian wine country from the comfort of home

f travel plans were part of your 2020, Idisappointed you may be reading this feeling with how the year played out. No one could have predicted that a pandemic would put the world on hold and force us to live, work, and play right here at home.

Staycations became the new vacation, and soon enough we all learned how to discover the world around us from the comfort of our own homes. My own staycation inspired me to discover the small Mediterranean country, Croatia, after stumbling upon a bottle of Kutjevo Premium Graševina. Helping to unpack the history behind Croatian wines, Croatia Unpacked is bringing the Croatian wine scene to the inquisitive Canadian wine consumer. Introducing Canada to a variety of lively, complex, and unique flavours of wines, Croatia Unpacked’s wine portfolio spans from the shores of the Dalmatian coast to the Danube River. With my palette intrigued, I wanted to explore Croatian wine country a bit further. That’s when I discovered the Buyers+Cellars Tasting Room (B+C) right here in Ottawa. Nestled in Ottawa’s Centretown, the B+C presents a luxurious, yet affordable experience of tasting, learning and enjoying wine. I recently visited their Somerset Street West location and my “travels” to Croatia’s wine country began.

With the goal of learning more about Croatian wines, I used my 90 minute tasting to learn about some of Croatia’s native grape varieties – Malvazija and Plavac Mali – featured on B+C’s impressive menu.

ABOVE: (LEFT TO RIGHT) Saints Hills Vineyards. The beautiful tasting room at Buyers + Cellars on Sommerset Street in Ottawa., where you can taste wines from around the world.

My first glass of wine, a fresh Malvazija from the Kozlovic winery, taught me about Croatia’s winemakers. Since its establishment in 1904, the Kozlovic family has been recognized as one of the best makers of Malvazija in Croatia. Together with Georg Riedel, the Kozlovics led the development of the first ever wine glass specific to Malvazija wines. Malvazija was a lovely white wine, pale in colour but full of intensity on the palate.

Vineyard. This vineyard was planted in crushed limestone with fertile iron rich red soil, and has been known for winegrowing since the Middle Ages.

My second tasting also focused on the Malvazija grape, this time highlighting the Ottocento Bijeli from the Clai winery.This brilliant macerated orange Malvazija wine taught me about Croatia’s creativity and innovation. Giorgio Clai is known as the pioneer of the Orange Revolution in Europe — a revolution in ancient winemaking techniques. Named as one of the top 100 wines to try before you die, I appreciated why Clai’s orange wine made the list! My third and final tasting was a 2016 bottle of Saints Hills Sv. Roko, and highlighted Croatia’s most planted red variety, Plavac mali. While I let the wine rest before tasting, I learned about Croatia’s land and wine production, taking me to the Komarna region of South Dalmatia to the Saints Hills

Each of the wines I enjoyed from Croatia fit with B+C’s vision for the portfolio of wines it carries - to discover wine regions untapped by the Ontario market. Working with Croatia Unpacked are establishments like B+C, who are helping to showcase the wines of Croatia, but more importantly, helping to teach the world about the passion that goes into each wine. Together, they are taking wine tasters on a journey beyond the LCBO aisle to experience Croatian wines as if, perhaps, you had travelled there. And so, while the world is on hold and our travel plans may have been interrupted, I still managed to travel to Croatia by experiencing, learning, and tasting their incredible wines. Best of all, like any trip, I left with a souvenir to remember my travels — a newly discovered bottle of wine to help transport my own family and friends to the beautiful wine country of Croatia n To experience Croatia wines from the comfort of your own home, visit CroatiaUnpacked. com online or plan a tasting of your own at the Buyers+Cellars Tasting Room in Ottawa. 13 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020


The Ottawa Art Gallery’s annual art auction fundraiser goes virtual

artists of the Ottawa-Gatineau region with the sale of their wideranging works through a renowned silent auction and bustling cocktail soirée. Since 2018, LE PARTY has also helped showcase OAG’s new, 55- thousand square foot home in the heart of Ottawa’s downtown core—a community arts hub that is both inspiring in spirit as it is in its architectural footprint. Funds raised go to support public programming and exhibitions, and help keep Ottawa’s official municipal gallery free and accessible to all who come through its doors. Every year, more than 55 regional, emerging, established and senior artists donate pieces to the auction, receiving fifty percent of the sale proceeds in return. With five-hundred people in attendance, it’s easy to see why artists and patrons flock to take part. So, how does an established crowdpleasing event manage in the midst of a pandemic? With a veritable ban on the mingling of guests indoors, this year’s event, Give To Get Art: OAG’s Art Auction, originally set for May 29, was suspended indefinitely after the Gallery temporarily closed its doors on March 13. As weeks of quarantine turned to months, the OAG, who officially re-opened its doors to the public by appointment only, as of July 8, has shifted its approach to their iconic fundraiser. “The event is going virtual,”

says Taline Jirian, OAG’s Deputy Director, Marketing and Development. “The auction will be more accessible than it has ever been in terms of access to the art, and the time it takes to decide on the piece or pieces that you’d like to purchase.”

bidding, from December 5 to 18 in the Alma Duncan Salon. Visitors can roam freely through the exhibition on days the Gallery is open to the public. Artwork can also be viewed on the OAG website. By purchasing a ticket, individuals will have access to

With no physical gathering happening Give To Get Art: OAG’s Virtual Art Auction Art Exhibited in the Alma Duncan Salon (OAG), 10 Daly Avenue, Ottawa: December 5 to the 18 Bidding Dates: December 12 to 18 through Bid Beacon Tickets: $35 to access the Bid Beacon mobile auction app oaggao.ca/virtualartauction


or more than 20 years, the Ottawa F Art Gallery has hosted its signature fundraiser LE PARTY, highlighting

this year, the price of admission—or in this case, the price to participate in the virtual bidding—is reduced, making it easier for more people to participate. “Even if you don’t bid on anything at all, the tax receipt-able fee of $35, as opposed to between $100 and $150 of previous years, will still go toward supporting the Gallery. Our hope is that we see all our supporters participate virtually in backing the OAG like never before—you can make an impact on the Gallery simply by buying a bidding ticket and coming by to see the incredibly talented artists of our region.We’re embracing a new way forward, while continuing to engage our supporters and to do the work we are here to do,” says Jirian. The art will be accessible to view in-person starting one week prior to

bidding on the works of their choice, from December 12 to December 18, through Bid Beacon, a mobile auction app that lets participants monitor and manage their bids from anywhere, at any time. “We were moving towards using virtual bidding at this year’s live event—it was our year to push this experience forward,” says Jirian. “The pandemic added a definite twist to our plans, but we see this as a new and exciting opportunity to engage our audience, and to invite them to experience things a little differently. In the end, what’s important is continuing the work of exposing the art and artists of this region, and to generate the much needed support that the Gallery requires to be the most vital visual arts institution in Ottawa.” n 15 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020

in search of style by Alexandra Hunt

Follow Alex on Twitter: @AlexandraGunn

As we continue to grapple with the current pandemic, many of us will find it difficult to imagine how the latest fashion trends might fit into our socially-distanced lives. The fall 2020 runway shows happened before our world was turned upside down but many of the looks have relevance and will help to inject a bit of fun into our everyday style. u Dusty Orange Sweater • Joe Fresh

ONLY Faux-Leather Skirt u $55 • The Hudson’s Bay

Colour Spotlight: ORANGE CRUSH Tissot u Seastar 1000 Chronograph $685


Between the autumnal orange ‘Amberglow’ and the fiery red ‘Samba’, the leading fall colours are sure to carry you through the season. According to the Pantone Colour Institute experts, these colours reflect our interest in desirable seasonal classics which imbued personality. On this spectrum of seasonal core shades, I lean toward the ‘Burnt Orange’ hue which has become a street-style favourite. Whether you’re drawn to the warmth of red, rust or dusty orange, fall is your opportunity to invest in these seasonal classics.


We’ve all been cooped up in our homes long enough to know that we could all do with a home décor refresh. Start by updating the art on your walls to modernize your space. Prints available at alexhuntstudio.com




t Evernew Jillian Coat $210 • The Hudson’s Bay

Dress up any outfit with a plaid coat.Tartans and plaid have traditionally graced woolen clothing, so they are naturaly associated with warmth. The exuberant pattern has long been part of fashion’s vernacular. For fall 2020, many designers took the motif for a spin including, Burberry, Versace, Hermes, Mui Mui and Victoria Beckham. Arriving on the runways in mostly muted tones of camel, tan and dark brown, timeless check continues to have an innate ability to feel contemporary.


Plaid is the perfect way to experiment with patterns, like this cool, preppy coat.



Moto Jacket u • Winners

Joe Fresh Leopard Print Skirt

Break out all your spotted prints from 2019, the interminable pattern remains at the forefront of style this season.This ultra-feminine print was spotted at Mui Mui, Rochas, and a handful of other shows, making the case that the print continues to be a timeless wardrobe staple. Whether you’re looking for a memorable addition or simply want to inject a bit of fun into your overall look, you can’t go wrong with this print. PHOTO: BY WINTER LOTUS PHOTOGRAPHY


t Dillon ClassicFit Shirt $95.00 • Banana Republic


Paired with neutral separates, leopard print adds a sophisticated twist to any style.


profile by Michael R. Bussière

Making a splash on the Ottawa comedy scene Local personality Jesse Reynolds is making a name for himself as a talented stand-up comedian in Ottawa.

eynolds says he has wanted to be in R entertainment for as long as he can remember. As a 17-year-old just out of high school he was determined to be an actor on Broadway, despite advice from every adult in his life. “Everybody would tell me: maybe you should have a back up career, or how about communications, Jesse,” he says. “But you can’t tell a 17-year-old anything.”

Reynolds ended up moving to Toronto and studying theatre at Humber College, which he says he really enjoyed. However, after graduating, he found there was a lot of competition the world of acting, especially as an 18-year-old living in Toronto. He decided to move back to Ottawa and got a typical nine to five job while doing community theatre on the side. “I did a lot of data entry, call centre, soul crushing type work,” he says.“I did community theatre, but it’s not much of a career, especially in Ottawa.” With his heart still very much in the world of entertainment and Hollywood, Reynolds was watching an old interview one day with Johnny Carson. Carson said that anybody who wanted to break into the entertainment 18 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020

industry should start doing stand-up because producers and casting directors really respect stand up comedians. “You get up there with no costume, no support cast, no music, and it’s just you and the audience,” Reynolds says. “If you can be successful at entertaining a crowd for 30 or 40 minutes, you get the bookers the confidence that you will be able to carry their show.” So, in 2014, a young Reynolds decided to start doing stand-up. He says being a stand-up comedian was completely out of his comfort zone at first. As a trained actor he was used to embodying characters and speaking other people’s words on stage. “I still kind of feel that way,” he says. “Even now I feel like I am an actor pretending to be a standup comedian.” Regardless, Reynolds started to find success as a stand-up comedian in Ottawa almost immediately. He did his first show in October 2014, and by May 2015 he had won a city-wide talent search to become the new cohost of the morning show on Jump! 106.9. “I don’t think I would have won that contest had I not been doing stand-up,” he says. “So that’s why I say

that Johnny’s advice worked for me for sure.” Reynolds hosted the morning show on Jump! 106.9 with Jenna Mo until 2018 when the show got cancelled in favour of a U.S.-based network program. The news of the show being cancelled reached across the country, causing huge publicity for Reynolds and Mo. “As much as we like to think that that backlash was about myself and Jenna, it really is that two hard-working Canadians got replaced by Americans that don’t even live in Ottawa, and have nothing to do with the city,” Reynolds says. “I think that was a hard pill to swallow.” Despite the blow of his show being cancelled, Reynolds says that, as a wannabe Kardashian, he loved the publicity. It also helped them start Jesse and Jenna’s Messy Podcast, which now has over 200 episodes and has been named Ottawa’s favourite podcast by Faces Magazine. In 2019 Reynolds also organized the first ever Queer Sphere Expo at the Shaw Centre, a trade show featuring LGBTQ-friendly businesses. “It was a just a fun variety of businesses and a lot of colour,” he says. PHOTO: DERECK HILLE PHOTOGRAPHY

Reynolds has used the fact that he no longer has be get up at 4:00am to focus on his stand-up career, which has really taken off in the past couple years. He says his comedy is constantly evolving, but it often focuses on poking fun at himself as a flamboyantly gay man.“I’m able to play into a lot of gay stereotypes that people might find offensive,” he says. Reynolds says he also uses experiences from his everyday life to inform his comedy. “A lot of them seem to be at the grocery store for me,” he says. “It’s a very stressful place.” Reynolds says he is really inspired by female comics of the past like Joan Rivers and Phyllis Diller. He says that while comedy does tend to be dominated by straight white males, some of the best comedians out there are women, people of colour or queer people. “Not everybody is attracted to the same type of comedy,” he says. “Finally those minority groups are

getting representation in comedy in a way that they didn’t ten years ago.” Like many entertainers in Ottawa, Reynold’s career was hit hard by of COVID-19. He says that he thankfully still had his podcast to produce, which gave him a creative outlet, but this

(The Ottawa Hospital Foundation’s) success and that of their amazing team can be measured in the $20 million the TOHF raises annually for TOH and its world-renown Research Institute. year’s Queer Sphere Expo had to be cancelled and comedy clubs were closed for months. Reynolds recently performed at a very successful drive

in show at Wesley Clover Park and has also started performing again behind a plexiglass wall at Yuk Yuk’s. “It’s kind of like you are performing inside a hockey penalty box,” he says. Reynolds is now a regular at Yuks Yuk’s, where owner, Howard Wagman, says he always draws a crowd. “Jesse is a unique talent,” he says. “His material is strong, well written and he delivers it really with style. I think he’s going to be a success in anything he decides to do.” While Reynolds says he loves standup comedy, his ultimate goal is to become a fun daytime talk show host, like Rosie O’Donnell or Jerry Springer. Although ambitious, it is obvious that Reynolds still doesn’t take himself too seriously. “If nothing works out maybe I’ll have to go into adult entertainment,” he says, jokingly. “It seems to be the fate of every gay aspiring actor.”n 19 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020

cover by Michael Bussière photos by Sean Sisk





Meet George Stryker and those plucking do-gooders, The Barrow Gang Buskers Do you ever find yourself wondering if music is ever going to be real and fun again? Does it all have to be that vapid candy floss chirped by auto-tuned bimbos? Or the grievous pomposity preached by millionaires who mumble mindless drivel? Well, maybe the answer for you is Rockabilly, that joyous, jumptill-yer-dumb mélange of Country, R&B, Rock and Toll, and Bluegrass. If you’re lucky, you’ll encounter it any day now on street corners around town, courtesy of those plucking do-gooders, Rockabilly is classic rock and roll. It first appeared in the southern US in the early 1950s popularized by performers like Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis. Record reviewers and 20 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020


radio DJs pejoratively framed the new genre as Rock and Roll performed by hillbillies. You may recall when Brian Setzer updated the genre with The Stray Cats in the early 80s. The Barrow Gang Buskers are founders, guitarist and frontman George Stryker and his partner in crime Chops SnasdellTaylor on Doghouse-Bass. Stryker fell in love with Rockabilly as a boy and it has always played a roll in his career. A street performance by The Barrows is the musical equivalent of au naturel. It’s all right there, hanging out, without the modulating overalls of microphones and speakers. Besides classical music, it’s rare to encounter truly ‘unplugged’ repertoire (sorry Clapton, but you did use a mic). The BGBs keep it completely electric-free. The beauty of hearing music this way is that one catches all of the ancillary MAKEUP ARTIST: COREY J STONE


racket that comes when you slap wood, steel, and catgut together, energize it with muscles and lungs, and let it rip outdoors. Basically, it could not be more real. Neither could the Gang. The BGBs are a charitable bunch, busking on the streets of the capital to help raise money for local nonprofits like The Shepherds of Good Hope, CHEO, Interval House, and The Minwaashin Lodge. Spectators chip into the guitar case, and recipients are rewarded with a great show and a few hundred dollars. And just so these cats don’t stray too far from their edgy rock ’n roll roots, George conjured up a set of alter egos based on the notorious gangsters and outlaws of Depression Era America who were inspired by the crime sprees of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.The BGBs are wanderers too, setting up and playing as they go,



picking up musicians along the way. Barrow gang members are seasoned musicians one and all. Rob ‘Buck Barrow’ Snasdell-Taylor on the Doghouse-Bass and mandola, performs with the Pop Shove Its, King Kung, and The Handsome Devils. Drummer Kevin ‘Chuck Barrow’ Smith is an original member of the veteran rock band The Town Cryers. Jill ‘Blanche Barrow’ Shipley slaps percussion, sings, dances and harmonizes with the gang. Ken ‘Billy Barrow’ Workman is a singer/guitarist who assimilated roots music on vinyl as a kid. He’s a frequent feature on local area stages with his band, The Union. The Barrow gang has had many guest stars join in the fun and help contribute proceeds to charities. Slo’ Tom ‘Weels Barrow' fronts The Handsome Devils,

where he, in his own words, writes, “crazy rollicking country songs — basically mini ‘how to’ guides to getting drunk and getting lucky!” Al ‘Huck Barrow’ Hogan fills in on drums for Chuck once in a while, Jason ‘D. W. Barrow’ King strums guitar when he can make it, Sherwood ‘Rusty Barrow’ Lumsden plays guitar and sings, and Tommy ‘Gunn Barrow’ Pechloff lends two hands on the squeeze box accordion. And then there’s the head hoodlum himself, Clyde ‘George Stryker’ Barrow. As is often the case with musicians, George’s love of favourite genres formed at an early age and at a parent’s side; in his case, his mum Kaly was his guide. The sounds of Elvis Presley, Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, Paul Anka, and Johnny Burnette filled the 21 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020

family home. George’s first concert experience was seeing Johnny Cash at the Ottawa Ex when he was just 7 years old. His own album collection formed over the years around the such diverse acts as The Monkees, The Beatles, Robert Plant,The Razorbacks, Led Zeppelin, Dave Edmunds, John Mayer, and Keith Urban.

Covid has been hard but music is part of the cure. — GEORGE STRYKER

George started gigging in high school and embraced Rockabilly. “I played in a band called the Alley Cats, and soon formed the Echos, an early Rock and Roll Rockabilly band that toured the Ottawa Valley and the bar and hotel scene over on the Quebec side,” he recounts. “I was asked to play in an authentic Rockabilly-style band called the Mockingbirds later on. The lead singer and guitarist was Ron Burke, who later became [Ottawa’s legendary] Lucky Ron, plus Don Kenny on drums, and Steve Mash on bass.” Busking soon followed. “I started a band called the Wild Ones, performing Skiffle/Rockabilly [an early style once played on rudimentary instruments like jugs and kazoos].” They were spotted by veteran Ottawa producer and bassist Phil Bova, who brought George to his Ambience Studio where they created a 10-song album titled Lucky Break by George Stryker and the Bandits. It sold out. “We were played on CHEZ 106, CKBY quite a bit,” George recalls. “A song I wrote called ‘Haunted Man’ was Number One on CKCU Radio Carleton, and ‘My Tears come Crashing Through’ aired on CKBY.” The band disbanded and eventually reformed with different personnel. Bob Jones of Barrymore’s took over its management and that led to a skyrocketing profile and a slew of opening gigs at the club for Meatloaf, Rosanne Cash, Johnny Winter, The Stray Cats, Platinum Blonde, Trooper, and Teenage Head. “This got me into shows and hanging out with Steve Earle quite a bit, who once called my house late at night,” George says. “I got to meet Brian Setzer, Davey Jones from the Monkees, Lyle Lovette, at Barrymores, Bob Dylan, The Clash, and Billy Idol at the place formerly known as Lansdowne.” Steve Earle was keen on George 22 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020

Stryker the recording artist, as was Chris Spedding, who produced Toronto’s The Razorbacks. Regrettably for George, life got in the way and things did not pan out in accordance with his dreams.There were highlights though that stayed with him to this day, including meeting rock luminaries like Robert Plant. George turned gigging into an adventure. After two years of Saturday nights that turned Eddie’s Diner into one of the most popular venues on Elgin Street, George packed his guitar case and headed to France, busking the Cote D’Azure, Aix en Provence, Cassis, and Marseille. These days, when he’s not fronting the greatest Rockabilly band on the streets of Ottawa, George is head of graphic design for Light Switch Creative, a multi-service branding and marketing company based in the City Centre. One day last spring, yearning for music, George and pal Rob bounced around ideas for a way to gig during COVID. They jammed for a spell on Rob’s front lawn, and decided to invite Jill and Kevin along for a mic-free performance in Confederation Park. One park led to another, and various iterations of The Gang appeared in Minto Park, Dundonald on Somerset W., Majors Hill, to name some. “It just kind of exploded after that first gig,”

George says, “and since then, it’s all about raising funds, having fun, and having people thanking us for bringing life and music back to the streets.” It all rounds things out pretty nicely for George. “My journey as a musician has circled back to my roots and beginnings. This wasn’t planned,” George reflects. “As John Lennon said,‘Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.’” And this from the Barrow Gang to you, Ottawa. This group is therapy. Making music and performing is in our hearts and blood. It courses through our veins and brings life to us. Just seeing the smiles and bright eyes on everyone helps keep us focused and doing what we do best through these uncertain times. Making music is living, and living is making music.” n The best way to get to know the music and philanthropic work of The Barrow Gang Buskers is to follow them of Facebook and look out for their next event. You’ll be mighty glad you did! Don’t forget to bring plenty of spare change. facebook.com/ thebarrowgangbuskers

profile by Michael Bussière photo by Sean Sisk


In a city where Gore-Tex is considered a

fashion statement, ‘Uncle Bob’ Cabana has made it his mission to “funkify this town, one man at a time.” He’s been working hard at it for over 30 years. Wellington Street in Hintonburg is emerging as one of, if not the most, genuinely cool shopping streets in the city, mixing, as it does, bohemian and modern cool with natural flair. Uncle Bob’s store, Fab Gear 64, is something of a centrepiece on the retail strip, mixing,


as it does, men’s wear with rock music culture and iconography. It is Bob’s personal tribute to the music he loves and performs, and Ottawa’s answer to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Fab Gear 64 has toured its way around town, starting up above the antique market in Old Ottawa South. Uncle Bob opened up a cafe next door and took the wall out for those customers “who needed to go somewhere and mull over a purchase.” Then, it was off to Westboro before settling into its present location at 1112 Wellington Street West. Customers are obviously ferociously loyal, helping the store survive street renovations that seemed to follow it through all three neighbourhood moves. Uncle Bob knows Hintonburg, having been born at the old Grace Hospital, baptized at the great L’église Saint-François d’Assise at the corner of Fairmont, and raised on O’Meara Street. After an early gig with the federal government that he found tedious (imagine), Bob serendipitously found himself with the rights to a clothing line that impressed the producers of a hit Broadway show and took him on a two-year tour. It was a huge business success for him and inspired his love of retail. The inspiration for 64’s product line comes straight from Carnaby Street in the 1960s. London was finally out of its post-war slump and a young generation was celebrating with wild colours, patterns, and gender-bending styles. Carnaby Street was the epicentre of cool, and music grabbed onto a reactionary look that suddenly gave young men in particular an alternative to the stuffed shirt and bowler hat. Lines were skinny, tops were moppy, and the palette was as loud as the music. Most menswear stores (and there just aren’t that many) are typically awash with drab, as in, “Do you prefer it in black, brown, or grey, sir?” Bob’s shirt collections shout out from the racks with patterns and tones that would make any guy’s gal swoon. Materials 24 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020

feel rich and not flimsy. T-shirts pay tribute to the greats of Rock and Roll. There’s a new line for fans of Peaky Blinders, and plenty of collectibles, hats, and accessories to keep you busy in the store for hours.

Uncle Bob the music promoter was especially active in the 1980s when the impresario of cool brought Chuck Berry among many classic acts to the capital.

Uncle Bob knows Liverpool almost as well as he knows Hintonburg. “I’m there all the time, soaking in the ambience and the history, looking for inspiration to bring back to the store,” he says. Sure enough, the famous Beatles suit is one of his signature offerings. On the wall, you’ll find Bob’s photos of the birthplaces, humble little brick abodes, of the Fab 4 themselves. The gallery continues with shots of Bob, hand on the shoulders of celebrities

and rock gods. Be sure to check out the ceiling where huge templates from Yellow Submarine are suspended like mod frescoes. Long-time devotees to the Ottawa music scene will rememberThe Fenton Brothers, Paul, Michael, and John. Uncle Bob answered an audition call for a drummer posted by John way back in the mid 70s, and a fresh young punk band called The Action was formed with the brothers. The Action became an AC/DC cover band. The friendship and musical relationship among the guys has stayed solid ever since, taking The Fenton Brothers, as they were eventually known, to stages everywhere, including Liverpool’s historic Cavern Club, and Bluesfest in July 2013 for a crowd of ecstatic hometown fans. Uncle Bob the music promoter was especially active in the 1980s when the impresario of cool brought Chuck Berry among many classic acts to the capital. A very personal project had him assemble a top-tier line-up of Ottawa acts, including the Cooper Brothers, Les Emerson, and members of Bob’s other band, Bone, for a 2019 tribute concert for John Fenton who was in the final weeks of a battle with liver cancer. Bob’s throwing in the paisley towel this December and semi-retiring to an idyllic homestead on the Ottawa River up near Bristol.While the store may go on in one form or another, the coming weeks may be your last chance to chat with the guy who put a museum on Wellington West. You’ll probably find Bob sitting in Fab’s famous gentleman’s red club chair, ready to regale you with stories about his own musical career, or his vintage car collection. Be sure to ask to see photos, and be prepared to try something on. Man, you’ll look fabulous in something other than flannel plaid! n

feature by Michael R. Bussière


Canada’s transformative general says adieu

eneral Jon Vance may not be G a household name for most Canadians, yet since July 2015, he has

held, perhaps the most challenging and important job in the country. Canada’s national security has depended on General Vance since his promotion to Chief of the Defence Staff of the Canadian Armed Forces. His career traces through some profound and challenging changes for the Canadian military, and its longest overseas deployment. Like leaders in similar essential services like policing and public health care, Vance has often found himself in the crossfire of public opinion, politicians, and his own rank and file. It is a juggling act that requires extraordinary sensitivity and finesse,

qualities that Vance has displayed in abundance. Jonathan H. Vance was born in Kingston, Ontario, the home of the Royal Military College, in January 1964. His academic CV reads like that of a professional soldier: A Bachelor’s Degree in Military and Strategic Studies from Royal Roads, a Master’s Degree in War Studies from RMC, Canadian Forces Staff School, the UK Combined Arms Tactics Course, the Canadian Army Staff College, the Canadian Forces Command and Staff Course, the Advanced Military Studies Course and the Coalition Forces Land Component Command Course. He became an army cadet at the age

ABOVE: General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff, followed by Chief Warrant Officer Kevin West, Canadian Armed Forces CWO, as well as Command Teams from 2 Wing and 3 Wing proceed to the inspection of the Guard of Honour at Canadian Forces Base Bagotville, on October 7, 2015. PHOTO: LS ALEX ROY, BAGOTVILLE IMAGING SECTION

of 13 back in the days when Canada maintained a NATO contingent in Lahr, Germany where his dad was posted. He joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1982 and was commissioned as an infantry officer into The Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR) in 1986, following graduation from what was then Royal Roads Military College, 25 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020

Victoria, BC. At the time, his dad, Lt Gen Jack Vance was serving as vicechief of the defence staff (VCDS). From platoon to brigade commander in both combat and peacekeeping missions, international deployment has taken Vance around the globe on multiple occasions and ranks. From 2001-2003 General Vance commanded Second Battalion RCR, from 20062008, the First Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in Edmonton. In 2009 and again in 2010, General Vance commanded Joint Task Force Afghanistan and Task Force Kandahar

involving facilities, personnel training, equipment, civilian staff, complex planning, and strategy, all within a culture built on service, valour, and a hell of a lot of courage. On the political side, The Department of National Defence must respond to the government in power, whose views regarding Canada’s role changes as governments come and go. It is the CDS who must address the idealized the naïve and dangerous narrative often put forward by ill-informed Members of Parliament who seek to place CF

Upon his return, General Vance served as Chief of Staff Land Strategy and as Director of the Strategic Joint Staff at National Defence Headquarters. He completed a tour as Deputy Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples in July 2014 before serving as Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command that September. Vance’s decorations include: The Order of Military Merit, the Meritorious Service Cross, Mentioned-inDispatches for his leadership during peacekeeping operations in Croatia, a recognition by superiors of exemplary bravery in a battle. In 2011, he was awarded the prestigious Vimy Award for his contributions to our country’s defence and security. Impressive qualifications for a soldier who was to be chosen to lead the Canadian Armed Forces. Priority one for any Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) is the readiness for Operations by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). It is unlike any other role or organization in terms of scale, sweep and unpredictability. The mandate ranges from the ongoing protection of Canadian sovereignty within the world’s longest coastline surrounding the world’s 2nd largest territory, to urgent domestic situations, natural disasters, global combat, and peacekeeping requirements, at a moment’s notice. It is a very tall order 26 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020

ABOVE: General Jonathan Vance, Chief of Defence Staff arrives at the Operational Supply Hub in West Africa to visit the Theatre Activation Team in support of Operation PRESENCE on June 22, 2018. PHOTO: CANADIAN FORCES COMBAT CAMERA

soldiers as ‘blue beret peacekeepers’ in global hot spots throughout the world. It is the CDS who ensures that our soldiers are not being needlessly, carelessly, or thoughtlessly put in harm’s way. General Vance deserves the gold star for ensuring that all deployments of CF soldiers since 2015 have been meaningful. With pressing internal issues involving procurement, innovation strategies, human resources issues such as PTSD, diversity, safe environments, one gets an idea of the mountain of files that greet General Vance on any given Monday morning.

Since his appointment by former Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2015,Vance has balanced multiple international mandates with serious internal and public relations challenges. In 2014, nine Canadian fighter aircrafts and 69 special forces training advisors were sent to join coalition forces fighting ISIL in Iraq and eventually Syria. Operation Impact, as it was known, was modified into an expanded training and support operation minus the fighter aircrafts by the newly elected Liberal Government. Simultaneously, Canadian troops were in the Ukraine helping to train local forces following Russia's annexation of Crimea. The brash move had left many NATO members jittery regarding Russia’s territorial ambitions. Canada was asked and agreed to be the lead nation for a NATO battle Group deployed in Latvia. For a professional like Vance who comes from a military family, all this amounted to a normal day at work. With a deep ethical and institutional concern, one of Vance’s first acts as CDS was to institute Operation HONOUR. Sexual misconduct among members of the CAF and the complexities of blending the sexes at an operational level had damaged public perception of the CAF. Canadians in the best of times do not generally embrace the kind of over-the-top military adulation we see south of the border or offshore. We love our military, are proud of their accomplishments, and faithfully visit cenotaphs across the country on Remembrance Day. However, Canadians also balance military spending with a public health system that ranks at the top of what Canadians consider our greatest identifier as a country. Pressure from the US and NATO for bigger military budgets are generally shrugged off by the Canadian population and Governments.However, controversial, or even unlawful behaviour by military personnel, especially towards one another, was not

something that Vance was prepared to brush aside, nor was he simply going to take public opinion for granted. The situation called for emphatic countercommunication, something that DND had not always practiced. Operation HONOUR was CDS Vance’s signal that fundamental cultural changes were coming. The Canadian Armed Forces were to be a greater reflection of contemporary Canadian values, as well as its diversity. Essentially, that which is not tolerated by Canadian society at large would not be tolerated within the Forces, and so Op HONOUR is a sea change in both the Department of National Defence and the Forces. Vance believes people join the CAF because they see it as an agency for doing good in the world, that Canadians must therefore see themselves reflected in their military forces, and that the way to do this is to encourage recruitment from across all segments of the population. For that to be successful, teams built from across demographic lines must operate shoulder to shoulder in a work environment built on trust and mutual respect.

the focus of the CF on territorial sovereignty here at home, as well as readiness to assist in times of natural disasters, emergencies, and search and rescue. It references the Canadian Forces traditional role as peacekeepers and other peace-supportive operations abroad. SSE highlighted new threats to North America and Canada’s defence partnership with the US under the NORAD agreement, and called for a strong defence of Canada’s Arctic, a region Vance stresses as being critically important, in spite of it being off the radar of most Canadians, most of whom

Operation HONOUR was triggered by accusations of sexual misconduct but has widened the scope to ensure that all harmful behaviours will not be tolerated. In a recent speech to the CDA Institute, Vance declared that the CAF, “will develop the necessary policies and make full use of the administrative and disciplinary tools at our disposal to change and eliminate harmful behaviours. And we will do everything we can to stop the small minority of extremists who would use the Forces as a pathway for violence. Racists, extremists, white supremacists, and radicals are not welcome here. Period.”

ABOVE: Chief of the Defence Staff, General Jonathan Vance visits the Montreal Territorial Battalion Group Command post in Pierrefonds during Operation LENTUS on May 9, 2017.

The June 2017 release of the Liberal government’s new defence policy for Canada- ‘Strong, Secure, Engaged’ (SSE) was the template for an ambitious and far-reaching 20-year plan to reshape the role of the military. It placed


live within 100 kms of the US border. CAF operations and personnel posted in the Arctic employ maritime and surveillance systems to maintain domain awareness of all of Canada’s approaches, including the North. The Canadian Army Ranger Patrols, founded in 1942, are a subgroup of the CAF reserve whose 5,000 members provide a limited military presence in sparsely populated coastal regions, including the Arctic. Additionally, annual CAF operations prepare for community support in the event of major disasters, such a plane crash, or if an evacuation is required. This is

done in partnership with Indigenous, territorial, and other federal partners to ensure quick response. “I look at the Arctic as a region, a place, and an avenue of approach to our continent,” Vance told the annual meeting of the Conference of Defence Associations Institute CDAI in February. “From a regional standpoint, there’s growing interest in tourism and shipping routes. The region is rich in natural resources and is commercially attractive, and although operating in the Arctic remains a costly and challenging endeavour, potential predatory states are focusing on exploiting the Arctic.” Vance is increasingly concerned about the Arctic as an avenue of approach. Changing ice conditions and ongoing international disagreement regarding the Northwest Passage make this the new hotspot for continental defence. The CAF is mandated to deter and defeat threats to North America that would travel through Arctic waters and airspace in the years to come. Vance underscores that this, “requires strengthening interagency and multinational partnerships, increasing surveillance and military capabilities, and improving our ability to base, project, and sustain forces in the North.” The situation is complicated given our NORAD partnership with the US, a pressing need for an estimated $US10 billion upgrade of the NORAD facilities, and a US administration that does not recognize Canadian sovereignty claims over the Northwest Passage. It is going to require tremendous finesse to manage conflicting interests and considerable commitment to stave off a new order of threats. The Canadian deputy commander of NORAD, Lt.-Gen. Christopher Coates, echoes General Vance’s concern about recent and ongoing military provocations by both China and Russia in particular, making the modernization of North American defensive systems even more crucial. Defence in a networked world means 27 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020

that states must be prepared for elusive cyber, information and economic attacks designed to disrupt stability, tactics that inflict maximum damage but fall short of conventional war. Vance regularly acknowledges that Russia thinks nothing of violating Canadian airspace. US and Canadian jets (CF-18s aging by the minute) have escorted Russian planes from our airspace as recently as this past March. He calls such events, “antagonistic actions below the threshold of open, conventional conflict to avoid a fullscale response. At least for now.” NORAD was built in the 1950s around what was called the DEW (distance early warning) line, a string of installations across the Canadian Arctic and Alaska aimed at potentially incoming Soviet nuclear missiles. The emergence of new ultra-sonic Russian missiles could flummox current NORAD detection capabilities, adding to the urgency for governments to commit to costly upgrades. Lt.-Gen. Coates believes that, “All Canadians should recognize the importance that the [NORAD] partnership brings to our defence and security and that we need to put a value on it.” General Vance agrees and stresses that protecting against missile attack is paramount because such weapons “have the potential to hold North American decision-making hostage in a period of conflict.” The CDS’s biggest challenge has been moving political will. Vance acknowledges that the Liberal government’s SSE policy makes NORAD upgrades a priority, but so far neither talks with the US nor budgets have gone beyond the basics. Again, this is a matter of energizing public opinion. CAF ranks currently tally to 71,500 Regular Force members and 30,000 Reserve Force members. Overall, Canada ranks 24th out of 138 countries with active military forces. All the recruitment and human resources efforts, safe workplace 28 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020

policies, mental health programs, and diversity initiatives will not defend this country if the CAF is trying to keep boats afloat. An example is the Sea King helicopter which recently completed 40 years of service. The Sea Kings are just one of a catalog of examples. The Sea Kings were recently replaced by the Cyclone helicopters. Equipment procurement has become a sluggish process, which is lamentable considering that this is the only tangible deliverable that can be measured with respect to the Strong, Secure, Engaged mandate package. Fighter aircrafts and naval ships, for instance are big budget items and

ABOVE: Chief of the Defence Staff, General Jonathan Vance visits the Montreal Territorial Battalion Group Command post in Pierrefonds during Operation LENTUS on May 9, 2017. PHOTO : MCPL JULIE TURCOTTE, 34 CANADIEN BRIGADE GROUP

require firm financial commitment by the Government. Efforts in procurement have not been aided by the clumsiness and political interference surrounding the case of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, the then CAF’s second in command. An untenable situation triggered by a new Liberal government doing a 180-degree about-face in trying to cancel a sole sourced contract for a naval ship,ambushed both Norman and Vance as collateral damage. Vance had to remove Norman from his command after he became a suspect in a RCMP

investigation over leaked cabinet documents pertaining to the matter. Norman was eventually charged, but the controversial charges were later dropped.Throughout the entire process Vance was ravaged by the national media over his decision to remove Norman. General Vance held a stiff upper lip, accepting full responsibility for his decisions in the Norman case, perhaps as a matter of honour by a man who lived by the adage that the buck stopped with him. That is leadership. CDS General Vance has known his phone could ring day or night with orders from the government to come to the defence of the country and its citizens, to aid in domestic emergencies, natural disasters, or to rescue citizens whose neighbourhoods are buried under snow or washed away by floods. It could be a call to war or a deployment to mediate and keep the peace. It is not unusual for the CAF to manage multiple operations in multiple theatres at different levels of complexity and in coordination with NATO allies. However, no one could have imagined in 2020, in a G7 country, that a domestic military rescue operation would be deployed in long-term care residences. The CF were first placed on high alert in late March 2020 in preparation for any requests for support by federal and provincial authorities due to COVID-19 management challenges. Early in the lockdown, the pandemic hit provincially run nursing homes in Quebec and Ontario like a tsunami. All the conditions were there for a highly vulnerable population living in close quarters with limited support to be overwhelmed by the impact. In the early weeks, the supply of masks, sterilization products and rapid test kits were still well behind the demand. The virus spread rapidly, and the death toll soared. It was nightly news for terrified relatives who could only keep a safe distance and offer absolutely zero assistance. The mounting numbers of deaths

in Ontario and Quebec shocked Canadians from coast to coast prompting the Premiers of Quebec and Ontario to request assistance. More than 1,000 Canadian Forces troops were deployed in Quebec in April to support efforts in 47 longterm care facilities. Seven homes in Ontario received similar support, with the overall effort involving most of the CAF’s medical personnel. An unprecedented situation. Once on the job, what CAF members found was horrifying. While problems have been known for years in LTC homes, it was the objective clout of CAF reports that finally catalyzed demands for change. The Ontario government mobilized its own response upon receiving the CAF report in May. Each highrisk facility was inspected, new management was immediately appointed with inspectors remaining onsite, and orders were issued to submit a performance improvement strategy to the ministry outlining how care standards will be raised. "We are grateful for the support we received from the Canadian Armed Forces teams in our long-term care homes," said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Ontario Minister of LongTerm Care. "Their experience and expertise in emergency situations have been crucial in fighting this virus and helping to protect our residents and staff in long-term care homes." Premier Doug Ford thanked General Vance and the CAF personnel for “being there for their fellow Canadians when we needed them most. We hope to find ways in the near future to properly show our thanks for their contributions. No doubt the CAF reports will act as a very public mandate for change in the months to come. In 2015, the “Canada is back” declaration by a newly elected Liberal government was meant to invigorate a refreshed role for the country on the world stage. For Justin Trudeau and the Liberals, the big prize was to be a seat on the UN Security Council.That

did not happen, despite a significant effort and international lobby by the government. In realpolitik and influence terms in world affairs, having a Canadian sitting as Chairman of the NATO Military Committee brings much more real influence and clout for a middle county power like Canada than a temporary seat on the security council. The NATO Chair is the senior spokesman for the NATO alliance on all military matters. It was widely rumoured for months at NATO and at the Pentagon that Canadian CDS General Jonathan Vance would be a shoo-in for the job,

ABOVE: General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff, lays a wreath at a ceremony for the dedication of the newly built Hill 70 Memorial Monument in Loos-en-Gohelle, France, April 8, 2017 PHOTO: MCPL JENNIFER KUSCHE, CANADIAN FORCES COMBAT CAMERA

if the Canadian government supported his nomination. The decision to recommend General Vance for the job rested with Prime Minister Trudeau.Vance was interested in the job, but ultimately his name was not put forth by the PM. No explanation was ever given by the government for not proceeding, but no candidate’s bid for any role is 100 per cent free of landmines. Politics is the only real answer.If it were about competency Vance would soon be on his way to Brussels. In the power

corridors of Ottawa many politicos believe that not nominating Vance was an opportunity lost for Canada and suggest PM Trudeau may have dropped the ball and missed a chance to give Canada some real international influence. We may never know. General Vance has resided at the top of an ancient hierarchical system whose culture has been challenged by 21st century societal standards. He has honourably acknowledged that it is incumbent upon him to manage that recalibration. There are strange new international threats on land, at sea, in the air and outer space and cyberspace, all propelled by accelerating innovations. Furthermore, power and command are now more than ever, checked by public scrutiny. It has been a very tall order for perhaps the most difficult job in the land, but one for which Vance has demonstrated more than ample qualifications and successes. It would be Canada’s loss if the government thwarted his efforts to make Canada strong, secure, and engaged, or, if efforts to communicate success stories were not made to all stakeholders and the Canadian public. The Canadian Armed Forces under General Vance’s command have a book’s worth to tell. That book may come now that Vance has announced his retirement from the top job in a letter to his staff and members of the CAF on July 23, 2020. He concluded his message by reminding them that, “you mean everything to Canada, you are more important to the success of this nation than most will ever know, and I am very proud to be counted among your ranks.” General Jonathan Vance is retiring as Canada’s longest serving Chief of the Defence Staff. The legacy he leaves to his successor and members of the Canadian Armed Forces will be felt for decades. An officer and a gentleman indeed n 29 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020

students first series by Michael Bussière

Clicking with students


orinne Barrette is a brilliant C teacher in either official language. She’s Ottawa born, raised in a francophone family, attended Frenchlanguage schools, and has developed English-language skills that are equally impressive. It’s no wonder that she has translated her talents into teaching French as a Second Language at the Ottawa Catholic School Board’s St. Daniel School in Nepean. This fall, Corinne will devote herself to the kindergarten classroom, following a few years as a French extended and immersion teacher in various primary and junior grades. Corinne completed her first degree at the University of Ottawa in social sciences specializing in criminology with the career goal of becoming a police or correctional officer. She wanted to make a positive contribution to her community, which is exactly what a good teacher does. Corrine has learned through experience that education does not always come easily for everyone. “I did not like university at first and really struggled to complete my first degree because of the way it was taught and the evaluations,” Corinne admits. “It just did not work for me for some reason!”We all know that experience in the classroom when something just does not click. It is perhaps the greatest of many challenges teachers face — connecting with every student equally to ensure they all find their place in the classroom. Once she graduated from uOttawa, 30 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020

Corinne’s number-one goal in the classroom is to ensure that all her students find their niche. Corinne obtained a post-graduate diploma in mental health and addictions from La Cité, qualifying her to work as a withdrawal management counsellor for a few years in a downtown shelter. Once again, she wanted to help those who needed it most. Her athletic inclination also saw her coaching swimming for many years. It was that one pivotal year during which Corinne was working as an educational assistant that the magic of the classroom captivated her, inspiring her to pursue a B.Ed degree and a career as an educator. “It was the first time I felt like I belonged in an educational setting,” Corinne shares. “I realized I could voice my thoughts and advocate on behalf of students who may not see themselves in the curriculum, to advocate for equity, differentiation in the classroom, and on behalf of those students who did not feel like they belonged in school.” Corinne’s number-one goal in the classroom is to ensure that all her students find their niche. This is no small task, and it requires a dedicated and persistent effort to ensure that all her students see themselves in the curriculum. “I remind students that they all have a gift and that there is no such thing as an ‘ideal’ student. We

can explain what we have learned in various ways and connect different experiences in our lives to demonstrate our learning.” It’s hard for us mere mortals to understand exactly what teachers face in the today's classrooms. To begin, Corinne Barrette works fervently to introduce a new language into the minds and imaginations of young children. She acknowledges from personal experience that the classroom is a complex constellation of needs, struggles, and potentials. As Corinne puts it, education is not a 'one size fits all’ proposition, and that requires constant adaptation and sensitivity to ensure that everybody, students and teachers alike, feel the classroom to be a positive learning environment. If experience is indeed the best teacher, then Corinne Barrette is amply qualified to guide young minds in challenging times. “I am sure if you told my past teachers that I have become a teacher they would be very surprised because of my own struggles in the classroom. However, I believe that now I am able to use my personal experience to understand what students are going through and try to create for them the best authentic classroom I can.” This fall, students at St. Daniel will once again benefit from Corinne Barrette’s exemplary commitment to each and every student, in both official languages, no less. Now that’s impressive! n PHOTO: VÉRONIQUE COCHRANE, WWW.NOWFOREVER.CA

students first series op-ed by Liz Stuart

Could the collision course

of school reopening and pandemic second wave have been avoided?

he Ford government had six months T to prepare for the reopening of schools and just as much time in the lead-

up to the second wave of COVID-19. While families across Ontario bought time for infectious disease and public health experts to learn about the virus, and for government officials to heed their advice, teachers urged that the moment schools closed in March was the time to begin consultation and preparation for their safest possible reopening. As an Association representing frontline teachers in publicly funded Catholic schools across the province, we tried and tried again to work collaboratively with the Ford government, and to share our knowledge about the realities of day-to-day-school operations. We also offered creative, cost-effective solutions, for instance to reduce class sizes and to limit the movement of itinerant and occasional teachers. Unfortunately, as has been the case since the Ford government took office, our attempts to engage the government in constructive dialogue about how the publicly funded education system works and what our schools and students need were rebuffed. Meetings would eventually take place, but the consultation was never meaningful – in many cases, it was clear that the decisions had already been made. Why a government would not genuinely consult with the voices of all key education stakeholders during an unprecedented pandemic remains beyond comprehension. It was never going to be perfect. But the Ford government’s unwillingness to move beyond politics is part of the same style

of rash decision-making that Ontarians witnessed before the pandemic. This is a government with a track record of saying a lot more than it is actually doing, and a history of implementing half-measures and hoping for the best. Sadly, this is the same approach the government has taken with the reopening of schools

. . . So many school-aged children have been sent for COVID-19 screening that our testing centres are overwhelmed and now operating on an appointmentonly basis.

LIZ STUART President of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association

across the province. The funding that has been provided, for instance, is about a third of what a comprehensive plan has been estimated to cost, and much of this comes from the federal government and school board reserves, although the Ford government is quick to take credit. The situation playing out in schools is part of the government’s general unpreparedness for a second wave, and it is in communities like Ottawa where the government’s lack of planning, last-

minute announcements, and failure to provide province-wide protocols or sufficient funding are most apparent. In its stubborn refusal to reduce elementary class sizes, the government may have been hoping that parents would opt for virtual rather than inperson learning from the get go. But it is now, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, that more parents are shifting their children from in-person to virtual learning, causing disruptions in in-class organization and teaching assignments. We are also facing a situation where so many school-aged children have been sent for COVID-19 screening that our testing centres are overwhelmed and now operating on an appointmentonly basis – a situation that has doctors and infectious disease experts warning that case counts are set to become artificially low because of this shift in testing. Meanwhile, many health experts advised the province for months to boost COVID testing capacity, as we prepared for a simultaneous reopening of schools and a second wave of the pandemic. We appreciate the complexities of governing during a pandemic. But surely it is now, more that ever, that we need to be able to depend on our government and hold them accountable. Unless the Ford government changes its ways, they will continue to create unnecessary chaos and confusion. Can a leopard change its spots? Not that we have witnessed so far. As we head toward the next provincial election, we cannot lose sight of the government’s inadequate leadership, especially when it comes to children n 31 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020

students first series by Michael Bussière


and a true sense of belonging

huks Imahiagbe’s professional C resume outlines a long list of responsibilities and activities. Teacher,

mentor, Science Department Head at St. Joseph High School in Barrhaven, founder and co-chair Black Educators Network of the Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB), Coordinator of its Black Student Forum, to name a few. Add in coaching the St. Pat’s HS soccer program to championships, convening soccer tournaments to raise funds for sports, leading black history month/career workshops, etc., and one cannot help but be impressed by this teacher’s extraordinary commitment to education and his community. Chuks was born in Nigeria into a supportive family of faith with a deep belief in the power of education to transform lives and the world at large. He completed undergraduate studies and teacher training at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria before pursuing a Master’s degree in Computing & Information Technology at the University of Bedfordshire in England. Chuks first experienced the rewards of standing in front of a classroom in 2003 at Luton Sixth Form College in England where he taught Mathematics and Chemistry. Upon becoming certified as an internationally-trained teacher by the Ontario College of Teachers, Chuks joined the OCSB team in 2008. It was a turning point for him when, in his words, “a lifelong dream to pursue a career of service to humanity and my passion for teaching and learning was fulfilled.” He considers it a privilege to have taught Sciences, Chemistry and Mathematics at Immaculata, St. Patrick’s, Holy Trinity and St. Joseph High Schools. Chuks’ accomplishments


Corinne’s number-one goal in the classroom is to in ensure the classroom promotion that allledherto students as head of the science department find their at Holy Trinity and niche. St. Joseph’s. His

intellectual rigour as an educator has greatly contributed to his practices in the classroom. “My teaching is rooted in differentiated instruction, inquiry-based learning, and leveraging technology that provides the best possible educational experience for students in a dynamic and nurturing learning environment,” Chuks says. He developed an appreciation of datadriven decision-making to inform a departmental culture where all learners are valued and seen as capable of achieving desired outcomes. “I learned to actively listen and build relational capital which helps with arriving at consensus around common goals within the science departments.” Chuks Imahiagbe feels a genuine sense of responsibility to his country and local community of neighbours and educators.He refers to JeanVanier’s book, “Becoming Human,” as an inspiration, particularly the insight that individuals “do not reach true humanness in a solitary state. We discover it through mutual dependency—through belonging.” That concept was partly behind Chuks’ proposal to form the OCSB Black Educators’ Network as a platform upon which teachers could connect, support and mentor one other. As Co-Chair of the Network, he

works in close collaboration with the OCSB’s Equity and Diversity Advisor and the ‘Leading and Learning’ team to improve opportunities for black educators and to foster a more diverse workplace. Chuks also serves as one of the coordinators for the OCSB Black Students Forum. “I value building trusting relationships and engendering desired classroom and school practices,” Chuks shares. “I am motivated by a caring ethos that focuses on the promotion of the dignity, self-esteem, enrichment and full development of the total person. This inspires me to support school programs that add value to overall student experiences.” The inspiration a Catholic faith, and his vision for a just and equitable society, goes beyond the walls of Chuks’ classroom. Building thriving communities is a core motivation of his life and work, as a mentor to young leaders, and as the President of the Nigerian Canadian Association Ottawa, which works to support a thriving African diaspora in Canada. Chuks proudly shares some good news. “I have recently been appointed as Vice Principal at the OCSB and very much looking forward to the new challenge as a school administrator.” His students and colleagues will no doubt benefit from the resilient faith and professional attributes of this dedicated educator n

clean energy op-ed by John Gorman

Nuclear is essential

in addressing most serious issue Canada faces

efore the COVID-19 pandemic, B climate change was a key priority for Canadians and the federal government. That hasn’t changed.

As the government looks to invest in an economic recovery, Canadians still rank climate change as the most serious issue we currently face, one that demands government support. Despite double-digit unemployment rates in Canada due to COVID-19, climate change ranked as the most extreme issue by about a third of Canadians recently surveyed (compared with about a quarter for unemployment and economic growth). This is one of the findings of an Abacus Data survey conducted on behalf of the Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA). Although Canadians say they want change, they have limited knowledge of clean energy options, including only a third of respondents who say they have a good understanding of nuclear. They are not alone.Various federal and provincial government departments and programs use different definitions of clean energy. Internationally, nuclear is often excluded from formal definitions of clean or sustainable energy. Let’s be clear. Nuclear is a clean source of energy. When considering the entire power generation life cycle — including mining, construction, operation and decommissioning — nuclear is one of the cleanest technologies available and on par with wind and solar generation. Its operation provides carbon-free, reliable energy 24 hours a day. It has historically been one of

the largest contributors of carbon-free electricity globally, providing about one-third of the world’s emissionsfree electricity. Canadian oil and natural gas provided about $108 billion to Canada’s GDP in 2018, representing about 530,000 jobs. Fossil fuels are a key part of Canada’s economy and deliver 76 per cent of the energy consumed in Canada. When it comes to the challenge of the energy transition, we have only scratched the surface of nuclear power’s potential to decarbonize the energy mix. Because nuclear produces clean electricity and high-temperature heat, there is huge potential to leverage nuclear to generate not only low-carbon electricity but also lower emissions during the extraction process of fossil fuels. Energy experts agree that nuclear energy contributes strongly to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and more nuclear is needed to transition the world to clean energy. The International Energy Agency (IEA) says nuclear has significant potential to contribute to powersector decarbonization. A doubling in annual nuclear capacity is needed to be on track with the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario. The federal government also cites nuclear energy as a critical part of Canada’s current clean energy mix and that it will continue to play a key role in achieving Canada’s low-carbon future. “I have not seen a credible plan for net zero without nuclear as part of the mix,” Canadian Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan said during

the CNA’s annual conference in February. In December 2018, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance recommended that the Government of Canada develop and deliver a National Energy Strategy. The strategy would consider all forms of low-carbon energy to help achieve a clean environment and a strong economy through the deployment of new technologies, including nuclear power. Despite all that, nuclear is not consistently and clearly being defined as the clean energy source that it is. This has significant implications. It perpetuates misconceptions about nuclear. As a result, clean businesses aren’t receiving financial supports that other clean energy solutions have access to. This hinders urgent environmental progress. Nuclear must be included in all clean energy definitions in all government programs across all departments. We need it to fight climate change. We need it to stimulate the economy post-COVID. We need it for the electrification of our systems. Consistently recognizing nuclear as a clean, low-carbon emitting source of energy would be one way to streamline government programs, making it easier for the nuclear industry to access those support systems. Naming nuclear what it is—clean—is what it will take to ensure our thinking is defined by evidence n

John Gorman is President and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association 33 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020

op-ed by Akylbek Kamaldinov


Kazakhstan: Twenty-five years of constitutional solidarity and development

n August 30, the Constitution O of Kazakhstan turns twenty-five years old since it was adopted in 1995

at a republican referendum. Despite its comparable young age,the Constitution of Kazakhstan, incorporating the best world experience and practice, as well as historical and national traditions, serves as a solid foundation for the unity of the people and the independence of our state. The Constitution made it possible to solve the main task of the transition period — to ensure the formation of a new subject of international relations - Kazakhstan — exclusively within the legal framework.During this challenging formation period, the country managed to avoid armed conflicts that took place in other countries. The progressive legal principles laid down in the text of the Constitution ensured a smooth transition of the country to an independent path of development. The constitution of Kazakhstan has played the significant role for country’s development over the past twenty-five years. 34 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020

First of all, the adoption of the Constitution laid the foundation for the start of large-scale economic reforms.The norms on the inviolability of private property laid down in the constitution served as the starting point for economic development, the emergence of small and medium-sized businesses, and the appearance of a middle class. Developing these norms, Kazakhstan followed the path “first the economy, and then politics” formulated at that time by the First President of Kazakhstan — Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev. The Strategy for the Development of Kazakhstan 2030 was implemented ahead of schedule. A lot of work was done to industrialize and modernize Kazakhstan's industry, agriculture, and transport infrastructure. The peaceful, multi-vector and balanced foreign policy formulated by the state leadership and supported by the provisions of the Constitution allowed Kazakhstan to contribute to the strengthening of the non-

ABOVE: President Tokayev with young generation of Kazakhstan. President Tokayev speaking at the National Council on Public Trust.

proliferation and disarmament regime, create a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia, and become a nonpermanent member of the UN Security Council in 2017-2018. Recognition of Kazakhstan's leadership in the field of nonproliferation was the announcement by the UN General Assembly of August 29 as the International Day against Nuclear Tests. Reforms carried out over the last twenty-five years affected all spheres of life in Kazakhstani society. The world community has recognized the high achievements of our country. Kazakhstan was officially recognized as a country with a market economy and an average income of the population. We have seen how the constitution,while remaining true to its guiding values, evolved as our society developed.

Constitutional reforms aimed to decentralize power and strengthen the role of Parliament created a legal basis for the peaceful transfer of power in Kazakhstan in 2019. All political changes associated with the coming to power of President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev in Kazakhstan were carried out in strict accordance with the norms of the Constitution, and, in essence, are a logical continuation of the modernization of public consciousness. It is important to note that the international community recognized the presidential elections held in Kazakhstan in June 2019 as transparent and fair. After taking office, President KassymJomart Tokayev began building a new political culture of pluralism of opinions through constructive dialogue. One of his first decisions was the establishment

of a National Council of Public Confidence under the President of the Republic, as a mechanism for an open and constructive dialogue between the state and society. Today we see that the National Council lives up to public trust. Since the end of May this year in Kazakhstan, a major package of political reforms is being implemented, developed at meetings of the National Council of Public Trust. These reforms open a new stage in the consistent liberalization of the socio-political life of Kazakhstan, affect the further development of the basic institutions of democracy - the right of citizens to peaceful assembly, the organization of elections and the activities of political parties. Thus,

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transformations launched by President Tokayev are a logical continuation of the institutional reforms initiated by country’s previous leadership and part of succession policy conducted by the new Head of State. For 25 years, the provisions of the Constitution have allowed Kazakhstan to constantly move forward, strengthen democracy and increase public confidence in the authorities. The progressive potential of the Constitution continues to serve as a solid foundation for the rule of law’s implementation in Kazakhstan, its framework also allows a formation of a new political culture of opinions’ pluralism through a constructive dialogue between the state and society n Akylbek Kamaldinov is the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Canada

You belong here





Discover a healthy community and a sense of belonging at the Y! JoiN todAY! ymcaywca.ca

YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region 35 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020

Canada/China friendship op-ed by Cong Peiwu

Upholding multilateralism CREATES A BRIGHTER FUTURE ince my arrival in Canada one S year ago, I have exchanged views on international issues with Canadian

friends on many occasions. And “Multilateralism” is a high-frequency word I’ve heard. I could feel Canadians’ support for multilateralism. The United Nations, the most universal, representative, and authoritative international organization in the world, marks its 75th anniversary this year. Leaders of more than 100 countries attended the 75th UN General Assembly session virtually. In this turbulent and changing world compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s UN General Assembly is of special significance, and it has also attracted worldwide attention. People are looking forward to finding answers to two important questions at this Assembly, namely, where will the world go in the postCOVID-19 era? Where will the United Nations go? 36 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a series of important speeches in recent days and proposed China’s approach and action, which was warmly received and echoed by the international community. Where will the world go in the postCOVID-19 era? President Xi Jinping points out that peace and development remain the underlying trend of the times,and people everywhere crave even more strongly for peace, development and win-win cooperation. COVID-19 reminds us of four important facts. Firstly, we are living in an interconnected global village with a common stake. All countries are closely connected and we share a common future. To pursue a beggarthy-neighbor policy or just watch from a safe distance when others are in danger will eventually land one in the same trouble faced by others. Secondly, economic globalization is an indisputable reality and a historical

trend. The world will never return to isolation, and no one can sever the ties between countries.Thirdly, humankind should launch a green revolution and move faster to create a green way of development and life, preserve the environment and make Mother Earth a better place for all. Fourthly, the global governance system calls for reform and improvement. All countries should stay true to multilateralism and safeguard the international system with the UN at its core. Where will the United Nations go? President Xi Jinping gives four suggestions. Firstly, the UN must stand firm for justice, all countries must insist on mutual respect and equality among all countries, big or small, which represents the progress of our times and is the foremost principle of the UN Charter. Secondly, the UN must uphold the rule of law. The international community must unswervingly keep and uphold PHOTO: MATT READING

the purposes and principles of the UN Charter as they are the fundamental guidelines for handling international relations and constitute a cornerstone of stable international order. Thirdly, the UN must promote cooperation.

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All countries need to replace conflict with dialogue, coercion with consultation and zero-sum with winwin. We need to pursue the common interests of all as we each work to safeguard our own interests. We need to expand the converging interests of all and build a big global family of harmony and cooperation.

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Fourthly, the UN must focus on real action.The UN should aim at problemsolving and move toward tangible outcomes as it advances security, development and human rights in parallel. The issue of development should be highlighted in the global macro framework, and there should be a greater emphasis on the promotion and protection of the rights to subsistence and development. The world is now at the moment of greatest need for solidarity, but a certain country is still carrying on unilateralism, trade protectionism and bullying practices, attempting to create a so-called “new Cold War”, which will plunge the world into chaos and division again. China will firmly stand by the side of multilateralism, by the right side of history, and we will take concrete actions to safeguard multilateralism and promote a community with a shared future for mankind.

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Seventy-five years ago, the representatives of 50 countries, including China and Canada solemnly put their signature on the UN Charter, ushering in a new era of peace and development. Today, 75 years later, we must continue to keep this solemn commitment, to firmly uphold the The world is now at UN-centered international system, firmly uphold the international order the moment of greatest need underpinned by international law, for solidarity, but a certain country and firmly defend the UN’s central role in international affairs. is still carrying on unilateralism,

As President Xi Jinping announced in the General Debate of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, several COVID-19 vaccines developed by China are in Phase III clinical trials. When their development is completed and they are available for use, these vaccines will be made a global public good, and they will be provided to other developing countries on a priority basis. China will honour its commitment of providing US$2 billion of international assistance over two years, further


international cooperation in such fields as agriculture, poverty reduction, education, women and children, and climate change, and support other countries in restoring economic and social development. China will provide

trade protectionism and bullying practices, attempting to create a so-called “new Cold War”. another US$50 million to the UN COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan. China will provide US$50 million to the China-FAO South-South Cooperation Trust Fund (Phase III), and so on. We believe these actions will instill strength and confidence in global economic recovery and the cooperation of fighting against COVID-19.

China and Canada have common or similar positions in many fields such as climate change, environment protection, women's rights protection, international health cooperation, and peacekeeping. We should strengthen communication and coordination in a multilateral context to cope with increasingly severe global challenges. The future depends on our current actions. Let’s act together to safeguard multilateralism and create a better future n Cong Peiwu is China's Ambassador to Canada 37 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020

travel by Dan Donovan


travel restrictions Ilednternational imposed due to COVID-19 have Canadians from coast to coasts to

coast to look closer to home for their vacation getaways. For those living in Ontario, the spectacular 1000 Islands are a world class destination at your doorstep. Gananoque is the heart of the 1000 Islands and is just a short 90-minute drive from Ottawa along the 401. However, the best route is to take the 416 to Prescott and then drive the leisurely Thousand Islands Parkway route along the St. Lawrence waterway that passes the delightful towns of Brockville, Mallorytown and Rockport as you make your way into picture perfect Gananoque. The scenery is spectacular year-round but especially colourful in the fall when the trees converge into a plaid blanket that runs up against the gleaming and clear fresh water of Canada’s most famous waterway. The 1000 Islands


experience is not complete until you have seen them from the roadside drive and then from a kayak or boat on the water and if you're lucky from the air via a helicopter tour. Be sure to make a leisurely stop at BUSL Cider in Mallorytown.They serve hard cider and handcrafted cider in a variety of flavours including their signature Haskap, Apple, Cherry and Blueberry Beet on most days from at 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., Mallorytown is also home to Jones Creek Trails and Brown’s Bay Park where you can go hiking and take in scenic lookouts, rugged rock faces, and tall stands of pine that define the area. (Most park islands have hiking trails that provide excellent views of

C L O C K W I S E F R O M T O P : N o thing compares to the birds-eye view you get from a Fly 1000 Islands helicopter tour. Trail riding is just one of the many Covid-safe activities in the 1000 Islands. The Maple Leaf Restaurant is a local favourite. Gananoque Boat LIne's Lost Ships of the 1000 Islands cruise is a great way to see the 1000 Islands from the water — including Boldt Castle.

the scenic Thousand Islands. Trails vary in difficulty and length). Gananoque is a charming small Ontario town situated on the St. Lawrence Seaway in the heart of the 1000 Islands. We checked into the Comfort Inn & Suites Thousand Islands Harbor District. This modern hotel was uniquely designed to complement the mood and historic features of this wonderful town. It features comfortable rooms with modern amenities, a

complimentary breakfast, indoor pool and complimentary parking and wifi. We parked our car and walked to all our destinations for the next two days from the Inn. On our first night we went for dinner at The Maple Leaf Restaurant on King Street, just across from the town hall. Only in Canada would you find an authentic Czech restaurant in a small-town Ontario. It is both a quaint and pleasant spot serving authentic Czech cuisine. The schnitzel, pierogies, spaetzle and goulash are superb. Oh, and did I mention the dark Czech beer and apple strudel and ice cream. This place is well worth a visit or two when in Gananoque. We walked everywhere during our stay. There are some great local shops and pubs and it's pleasant to just sit at Joel Stone Park in the late afternoon and enjoy the view. Just across the street you’ll find the local ‘GAN brewing Co.’ which serves a hoppy IPA and several other selections that will help set the tone for a great dinner at Muskie Jake’s Tap & Grill — a pleasant ten minute walk away at the Gananoque Inn. There are all kinds of foodie stops in Gananoque including Laverne’s Eatery at 11 King Street East, Panache Bakery & Café at 162 King Street East and the Hot Roast Company, 198 King Street East. We began our second day in the 1000 Islands by taking a three hour, half-day guided kayak tour. There is nothing like gliding along close to the water on a brisk and sunny fall day, jutting in and out of the crevasses and inlets that define the Islands. Local kayak outfitters offer fully guided full day, half day and overnight kayaking excursions along the mighty St. Lawrence River for all experience levels.They also offer an assortment of certification courses, rentals, and powerboat shuttle. Their knowledge of the islands and its history is second to none! The most touristy thing you can do in Gananoque is take the Gananoque Boat Line tour which departs several times each day from the main pier at 280 Main Street. I highly recommend this tour because you will get to see the 1000 Islands from the water in all their beauty and immensity. The boat

is comfortable and calm and has a nice snack bar that serves sandwiches, hotdogs, and beverages.We went for the 2.5 hour ‘Lost Ships of the 1000 Islands’ cruise which is a Destination Canada Canadian Signature Experience. The cruise weaves through the Islands, crossing briefly into American waters (Passports not required because the boat does not drop anchor in American waters.) and then goes around the world famous Boldt Castle on Heart Island!

care — these people love their horses, and it shows. If you want to get a sense of the vastness and unique terrain and riverway that makes up the 1000 Islands you can't go wrong by taking a 1000 Islands Helicopter tour over the region. Based in Gananoque, Fly 1000 Islands offers a dozen tours of historic landmarks and regional activities. Their 20-minute Boldt Castle tour is a Destination Ontario Signature Experience, and their 30-minute Two Castle tour

ABOVE: The Comfort Inn & Suites is within walking distance of the waterfront — perfectly located! GAN Brewing Co. is a great spot to stop for a locally made brew.

The homes and historic buildings that are the soul of the 1000 Islands can all be seen on this picturesque and informative tour. We passed under the international border bridge which I have driven over dozens of times. It provides a completely different scale to the region and you really get a sense of why so many people love this area and have made this their destination summer home for well over a century. Today, people live here year-round! On our final day we decided to go horseback riding and then for a helicopter ride over the Islands. Fort Garry Stables is just a 15-minute drive from our hotel. We went for an hourlong trail ride through the Frontenac Arch Biosphere. The trail rides are suited for all experience levels and they are happy to give you a tour of their stables and introduce you to all their horses.You’ll learn all about equestrian

is a Destination Canada Canadian Signature Experience. We took the shorter 10-minute tour over the Islands on a crisp sunny autumn morning. It was ten minutes of spectacular beauty that I will never forget. Gananoque offers walking trails throughout the town and cycling along the waterfront trail. We are avid cyclists and plan to return to cycle through the region now that we are familiar with its incredible offerings. Plan to spend a day just hanging out and visiting the museums and art galleries in town. Start with a visit to the fabulous 1000 Islands History Museum at 125 Water Street. You will get a real sense of the history of the area and the geography of the region by spending an hour or so here. There is much to do and lots to see in Gananoque. Take your timeit’s well worth the visit and you’ll want to return n 39 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020


travel by Jennifer Hartley


OVID-19 has had dramatic effects C on the travel industry. At time of press, there were only 16 flights out of

YOW to six Canadian destinations in the day.To give you a sense of numbers, in January 2020, the passenger load out of YOW was over 406,000 versus just over 57,000 for the month of August. The effects on hotels, restaurants are devastating. Flying, as it turns out, is not a huge transmitter of COVID. Is it risk free? No, but with all the precautions that airlines (Air Canada in particular) are taking to ensure optimum safety, it is not as bad as you might have thought


and by giving airlines the summer to get their safety act together, now is actually a great time to fly within Canada. Let’s be honest, it is in their interest to make sure flying is as safe as it can be. Air Canada gives you a stay safe package when you get onboard with earphones, water, pretzels, a mask and hand sanitizer.The bathrooms have little hand sanitizer packets in them and if you use common sense and extra care in keeping your distance from people getting on and off the plane, you can protect yourself and your family. Given that Victoria, B.C. is not a hotspot for COVID, why not go from


— from one capital to another

one capital to another for a mini break? For COVID-19 nervous travelers, just follow the same COVID-19 protocols from home and you should be just fine. Physical distance and wash your hands and wear a mask. BC monitors exposure via phone logs for added protection. We should be doing more

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Vancouver Island's coastline had both resident and transient killer whales. These endangered mammals are a popular tourist attraction. Only 16 kms from downtown Victoria, the majestic trees, waterfalls and rivers that flow to the nearby ocean are only a small part of what makes Goldstream Provincial Park a popular destination. Victoria's Chinatown is the oldest in Canada and the second oldest in North America. A Canadian National Historic Site, the family owned Butchart Garderns is 100 years old.

of that in Ottawa, truth be told. PHOTO: DESTINATION GREATER VICTORIA

Victoria is easily doable in four or five days. The area made headlines when Prince Harry and Meghan spent time here last year. They did so for good reason: it is stunning and the weather is fantastic all year round. It was home to artist Emily Carr (whose house you can visit on Government Street). Vic has a fantastic “island” vibe. One of the amazing things about the city is that you have all that you could possibly want in an urban setting and yet a mere 15-minutes away, you have lush rainforest, and five minutes from downtown you have rugged coastlines where you can sit and listen to the surf while looking across at mountains. Nature buffs will be in awe of the area and if you aren’t one, by the time you leave, you will be a hard-core environmentalist. You can’t help it. There are approximately 150,000 trees in the parks, natural areas, boulevards and residential areas. Parks, Parks and more Parks and the Great Outdoors Beacon Hill

If parks are your thing, you can’t go wrong here. One of the most stunning parks in Canada is Beacon Hill Park. With roughly 740,000 square metres, it has everything, including flowers, footpaths and a hill that overlooks the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic

mountains. Sunset here is breathtaking. It has the world’s largest free-standing totem pole as well.The area is culturally significant for Indigenous communities. There are winding paths with ponds, fountains and countless benches to stop and take it all in. There is a kids’ petting zoo too (but it is closed due to COVID). Peacocks roam freely in the park. It is just a perfect oasis. On the edge of Beacon Hill, is Mile “0”, the western terminus of the TransCanada Highway, right on Dallas Rd. This is a runner’s paradise.You can run for kilometres. Head along Dallas Rd. to Clover Point Park. Kites abound and you can hear the surf. Walk down to the huge rocks and take in the beauty of the ocean. Provincial Parks

If there is one thing B.C. does right, it is its parks. They are all stunning, with incredible views that fill your soul with a sense of peace.You need a car but that isn’t a problem. Check out Goldstream Park and Sooke Potholes (amazing). The paths are stunning. Galloping Goose Trail

Sixty kms long and runs between seven municipal areas (Sooke, Metchosin, Colwood, Langford, View Royal, Saanich and of course Victoria). You can rent bikes downtown Vic to do parts of it.The Goose got its name from

the rail car which carried passengers between Victoria and Sooke in the 1920s. Stunning route. Fuel

Vancouver Island has over 2,800 farms, with nearly 1,000 in the GreaterVictoria Region and 700 in the CowichanValley (about 30 minutes away). Everything is fresh and restaurants pride themselves on serving local. You actually can’t go wrong anywhere. Travelling with kids, you aren’t likely going to explore gourmet dining, but even Milestone’s in the Harbour has awesome food. Fisherman’s Wharf is a fun area both to visit and eat for the whole family. Outdoor seafood huts and tables and a genuine coastal foodie experience await you.You can see all the fisher boats that caught your food so everything is super fresh. You can’t go wrong. Walk along the different piers to see residential floating houses.The kids will get a kick out of it. There are some great indoor restaurants around here. Aura Restaurant — everything is delectable and great ambience too. Be sure to hit JAM for breakfast but expect to line up — six feet apart of course. Or head down the street to the Union Pacific Coffee House to grab some java while you wait. 41 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020


Walking around Victoria is an experience as well. While the B.C. Legislature tours are on hold during COVID-19 it is beautiful on the outside and worth walking around the grounds. There are 3,300 energy efficient lights that illuminate the building at night, with a beautiful red illuminated heart in the middle. Early on in the pandemic, the Victoria Times Colonist newspaper started a trend that took off. To thank front-line workers, they changed the maple leaf in the Canadian flag to a heart and it took off. Everywhere you go hearts can be found. It is quite moving. Roam in and out of residential streets in St. James Bay area for incredibly beautiful wood homes that architecturally beautiful. Take in the vibe. Eclectic gardens are everywhere mixed with carefully manicured lawns and gardens. China Town

Vic’s China Town is the oldest in the country and the second oldest next to San Francisco. You can learn more about it in the Royal BC Museum Pop-Up Exhibit in Fan Alley (the narrowest street in the country). Plant Power

For any flower lovers, this is the city to visit. The city has an annual flower count dating back to the 1970s. The total blooms counted in 2018 was over 3.4 billion. Butchart Gardens is a place to see for sure. Over a million visitors per year think so as well. When it Rains…

Even when it rains here, it is beautiful. It comes straight down, almost in a soothing way. If you don’t want to experience that though, and if you are travelling with kids (but even if not) there are indoor options. Royal BC Museum

A new exhibit on Emily Carr runs until January 2021. There is an exhibit on Orcas, which is appropriate since there is whale watching and Victoria’s waters are home to three resident pods of orca (killer) whales totaling over seventy whales (which is not a lot as 42 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020

you will learn). It is rich in history, Indigenous and other local history and natural history, of course. Victoria Bug Museum

Discover roughly 50 fascinating species including giant walking sticks, beautiful praying mantis, glow-in-thedark scorpions, hairy tarantulas, and Canada’s largest ant colony. There are lots of tropical bugs here too to delight the younger set. Sleep

There is of course the Empress, the grand dame of a hotel from the turn of the last century which dominates the harbour but the Delta Hotels Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort has the most stunning view of the downtown core, just across the Johnson Street Bridge, which is worthy of crossing anyway. You can play tennis on its on-site courts,

then take a stroll along the waterfront and see the beautiful Olympic Mountains in Washington State. The rooms are, of course, big and modern and importantly in these times, safety is paramount. You know the rooms have been sanitized and COVID-proofed, just another layer of safety. The bar has a great view or just grab a coffee in the lobby and relax as it has a soothing vibe. The staff are amazing and the beds, as usual, are super comfortable, which you want after all your wandering. All in all, what awaits you in Vic is an amazing visit to an urban oasis, steeped in history, beauty and good vibes. You can’t go wrong here. From one capital to another, it is worth the trip n tourismvancouver.com

travel OLM staff

An invitation to Ontarians to

escape from home and visit Indigenous Experiences across the province

OVID travel restrictions have seen C many Canadians joyfully turning their attention to exploring the

unique and magical travel, touring, and trekking opportunities close to home. In doing so, millions are discovering the spectacular parts of this great land for the very first time. One of the most rewarding travel experiences is learning the rich history, culture, and tourism offerings in Indigenous communities across the country. There are over 700 unique Indigenous communities in Canada (134 in Ontario alone) and each has their own story to tell. — Ottawa Experiences —

Begin your tour right here in Ottawa. Canada’s capital is on unceded Algonquin territory — this is becoming increasingly important as Canadians show a new understanding and appreciation for Indigenous peoples, their history, and their rights. The history of the national Capital region is steeped in Algonquin culture and tradition. The origin of the name "Ottawa" is derived from the Algonquin word adawe, meaning to trade and refers to the Indigenous peoples who

used the river to trade, hunt, fish, camp, harvest plants, for ceremonies, and for other traditional uses. The magnificent Chaudière Falls, whose powerful currents feed the Ottawa River directly behind Parliament Hill are the meeting point for three rivers that have been the site of First Nations ceremonies for thousands of years. They are home to Archaeological evidence of First Nations settlements in this region for over 5000 years. One of the best ways to get a sense of Ottawa and the layered history of the capital is to take the two-hour Indigenous Walks tour that covers 3 kms through downtown Ottawa. You will learn about the city and the greater region from the Indigenous perspective. Guides share the social, political, and cultural issues through architecture, landscape, monuments, and art as you walk through the city. Another popular attraction is the Aboriginal Voyageur Canoe ride. It explains the story of the fur trade and the vital relationship between voyageurs and their First Nations partners. This experience is part of the noteworthy Canadian Signature

ABOVE: (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP) The The Ojibwe Cultural Foundation on Manitoulin Island was created to preserve and revitalize the language, culture, arts, spirituality, and traditions of the Anishinaabe People. Assume the role of voyageur and set off in Montreal Canoes for an hour long paddle. Wikwemikong Heritage Organization Annual Cultural Festival. Camp on the traditional territory of the Anishnaabek people at Point Grondine National Park.

Experiences collection. Indigenous Experiences also offer four other tours, that offer a taste of many First Nations cultures from across Canada. Choose between Tea & Bannok with an Elder, the Traditional Dance and Tour, Feel the Heartbeat or the Creation Workshop. Indigenous Experiences is open from May to mid-October for guided tours with a minimum of 25 people per group. There are a plenty of road trips you can take within a few hours to a day’s drive of Ottawa to enjoy the many wonderful Indigenous tourist destinations throughout Ontario.These aren’t just trips, they are experiences 43 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020

and you will meet some incredible people in some of the most beautiful places on the planet. — Manitoulin Island Experiences —

One of our favourite places in Canada is Manitoulin Island in Northeastern Ontario, on Lake Huron. Manitoulin is the world’s largest freshwater island and is unique in that it contains more than 100 inland lakes, Stay at the Manitoulin Hotel & Conference Centre, a new and unique property on Manitoulin Island. The on-site Wampum Restaurant looks out to the LaCloche mountain range and the breathtaking North Channel of Lake Huron. Friendly staff, great food, warmly lit contemporary rooms with modern amenities and decor reflecting the First Nations traditions make for a comfortable stay. Some of the best fishing in Canada is in this area and you can head out with friendly local professional guides from Wasse Giizhik Tours whose families have fished these waters for countless generations. Go downrigging for salmon, rainbow and lake trout on Lake Huron surrounding Manitoulin Island or head out for rainbow trout, walleye, northern pike and musky throughout Lake Huron or the Island’s lakes. In winter, experience the thrills of ice fishing on a fully guided trip via snowmobile and ATV on Lake Huron or in-land lakes on Manitoulin Island. Take in over 18,000 acres of scenic natural wilderness landscape, oldgrowth pine forest, stunning river vistas and six interior lakes at Point Grondine National Park. The picturesque water trails flowing along the coast of Georgian Bay invite you to many canoe routes, hiking trails, and backcountry campsites located along the traditional routes of the Anishnaabek people. Be ready to be captivated by this historic and majestic place. Canoe routes are open throughout the interior; Tri-Lakes which connect to Georgian Bay and Phillip Edward Island area.The backcountry has a total of 26 campsites with 27.9 kilometers 44 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020

of hiking trails that go to Wemtagoosh Falls and Cedar Lake. Throughout the spring, summer, and fall months explore the park through the Authentic Indigenous Experiences which connects visitors to the territory of the original descendants, or just go for a day and self-guide along the trail of Merv's Landing and the Mahzenazing Lake Access Trails. Make a pit stop at the Manitoulin Brewing Company for some local cheer. Co-owners Blair, Nishin and Joet love what they do and look forward to meeting the people that allow them to do it for a living. At their brewing location, you will find the brew house and a retail shop where you can stock up on beer to take home. Or, stay for a while and sample a pint on their outdoor patio. They even have an onsite food truck. Located on the eastern peninsula of the island is Wiikwemkoong. It is home to the people of Three Fires Confederacy: an alliance of the Ojibwa, Odawa, and Pottawatomi nations. Tourism Wiikwemkoong celebrates its community spirit through several cultural events that draw visitors from all walks of life. Wiikwemkoong hosts an annual cultural festival, a fall fair, an ice fishing derby, a traditional powwow, and an authentic Indigenous theatre: De-ba-jeh-mu-jig theatre group. Indulge in the vast picturesque wilderness that surrounds Manitoulin’s largest community through one of their many private and communityoperated tourism services. There are plenty of opportunities for wilderness exploration while enjoying the culture and traditions of the Anishinabek people. Closer to the centre of the island you will find The Ojibwe Cultural Foundation. It was created to preserve and revitalize the language, culture,

arts, spirituality, and traditions of the Anishinaabe People of the Mnidoo Mnising (Manitoulin Island) and surrounding areas. They promote the expression of Anishinaabe culture in all forms — art, language, stories, songs, and teachings to ensure they remain strong for future generations. The 11,000 square foot facility is home to a museum, public art gallery, gift shop, Mnidoo Mnising Anishinabek Kinoomaage Gamig (a full Ojibwe immersion early learning kindergarten program), Gimaa Radio 88.9FM (the first all Anishinaabe language radio station), language resources, healing lodge, and a performance amphitheater. Visitors can also see the timeless and beautiful heritage art forms of skilled Anishinaabek artisans including, porcupine quill boxes, ash and sweetgrass baskets, and antler carvings. The Debahjemuhjig Theatre Group creates original productions that represent Indigenous world views, culture, and history. The only professional theatre group located on a reserve, they also operate a multi-arts centre in downtown Manitowaning that supports the development of Indigenous artists throughout the area. ‘De-ba-jeh-mu-jig’ translates as ‘storytellers’ from the Cree and Ojibway language. Nestled along the shores of Manitowaning Bay, the Bayside Resort is one of Manitoulin Island’s best kept secrets. Soak up the beauty and tranquility of their deluxe waterfront accommodation and enjoy a modern log cabin for the price of an average hotel room. Choose from three gorgeous newly constructed cedar and pine cabins just 30 feet from the water’s edge. The resort is open year-round with private patio, propane BBQ, outdoor wood firepit, and more n

Visit destinationindigenous.ca to learn more about tourism packages and experiences across Canada! Destination Canada’s website includes current travel restrictions and traveller self-isolation requirement for provinces and territories. As travel and gathering restrictions ease in Canada, many Indigenous tourism operators are welcoming guests while others maintain strict emergency response measures, including closure for the remainder of 2020. For Indigenous businesses that are open, please check the map at destinationindigenous.ca/map PHOTOS: COURTESY ITAC

opinion by Matthew Horwood


for affordable, accessible housing in Ottawa

ight months after declaring a housing E and homelessness emergency, the city of Ottawa is accelerating its efforts to house vulnerable people and build more affordable housing units.

After consulting with more than 100 partners, the city has revamped its 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan, which will now run from 2020 to 2030. The $1 billion plan, which received unanimous endorsement from the Ottawa city council’s committee that oversees social services on June 18, aims to end people sleeping on the streets, reduce overall homelessness by 25 per cent, and create between 5,700-8,500 new housing units by 2030. Also approved on June 18 was the city’s Capital Plan 2020, which includes $17.58 million in federal provincial and municipal contributions to support the development of up to 953 affordable housing units. The previous 10-Year Plan, launched in 2014, was also bold in its aims.The city spent $16 million with the aim of eliminating chronic homelessness and returning emergency shelters to stays of less than 30-days by 2024. But Ottawa’s 2018 progress report on the 10-Year Plan found that homelessness amongst single men and families, the PHOTO: JUSTYNA CZUJKO

number of people using an overnight emergency shelter, and the waitlist for affordable housing had all increased.

ABOVE: Councillor Catherine McKenney is the council liaison for housing and homelessness.

Coun. Catherine McKenney, Ottawa's council liaison for housing and homelessness, said while the previous 10-Year Plan had aspirational goals, it lacked concrete actions for meeting them. “It’s one thing to have a target, but if you don’t have actions and measurable goals that can be reported back, you end up coming back seven years later back with updates of where you did not succeed, and by then it’s too late to change course,” she said.

McKenney said the city’s housing and homelessness emergency declaration will be “used in a lot questioning, and will become a part of the discourse” when it comes to the plan’s implementation.

For the general public, COVID-19 has really highlighted the absolutely critical need for, and moral imperative we have as a community to ensure people are housed. We recognize it as a basic human right.

McKenney said compared to the previous plan, the various agencies in Ottawa that deal with homelessness will be meeting on a more regular basis to discuss progress, and will shift course if targets are not being met. And

The new 10-year plan also lines up with the federal government’s National Housing Strategy. The $40 billion plan intends halve chronic homelessness, decrease core housing needs (those who spend more than half their income on rent) by 50 per cent, and remove 530,000 families from housing need by 2030. “I believe we can now hold the federal and provincial government to account, to ensure they invest that money in the way they need to be doing," McKenney said. Compared to six years ago, McKenney said the country as a whole is having a more serious discussion about affordable housing. “For the general public, COVID-19 has really highlighted the absolutely critical need for, and moral imperative we have as a community to ensure people are housed. We recognize it as a basic human right.” 45 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020

Earlier in the year, the COVID-19 pandemic devastated Ottawa’s homeless population. As drop-in centres and public spaces like libraries, restaurants and gyms were forced to close, simple amenities like washroom facilities and free wifi became even more inaccessible to the homeless. Several Ottawa shelters were forced to temporarily shuttle their social programs addressing mental health, addiction and trauma, and close their education and job creation programs. And fears of contracting COVID-19 at homeless shelters led many to instead sleep on the streets, causing the number of unsheltered people to skyrocket.

retrofit them into affordable housing units. It is expected to create 3,000 new affordable housing units across Canada. For those searching for housing in Ottawa, perhaps one silver lining of the pandemic has been an increase in vacant housing units. In August, Carleton University's Centre for Urban Research and Education released a report predicting COVID-19 would increase the availability of housing stock. The report claimed that as universities moved their classes online, fewer students would be coming to Ottawa for schooling, which would free up 10,000 housing units. It estimated vacancy rates would approach 10

The Alliance is managing the recruitment of landlords and identification of private market units for the Blitz, while the city of Ottawa will review the units offered and match them to people eligible for housing benefit programs. Burkholder-Harris said they intend for the newly-housed to pay only 30 per cent of rent, with subsidies covering the remaining costs. Burkholder-Harris said the more than 30 volunteers with the Housing Blitz have been “very brave in diving right into something new we haven’t tried before, and they gave lots of feedback on how we can improve the process for them.”

In response to this, the city of Ottawa As the two-month Blitz draws to a allocated $8.4 million in funding close, the Alliance has received 52 to support emergency shelters and units and housed just four people. COVID-19 Isolation Centers, and Burkholder-Harris said for the secured hotel rooms to help homeless people trying to get housed, a The federal government's families and individuals physically of units are out of their $1 billion Rapid Housing Initiative, number distance. price range or simply aren’t launched through the Canada accessible. And she said it was harder With several hotels and motels forced anticipated for the Alliance to Mortgage and Housing Corporation. than to close, the city set aside $3 million find available units in the previous The initiative will allow for cities in May to purchase vacant hotels and two months, as the trend of rising retrofit them into affordable housing vacancy rates due to COVID-19 has and housing providers to buy units. But of the seven offers the city only now begun to manifest. properties being sold due to received to buy or lease buildings, none were deemed appropriate to However, Burkholder-Harris said COVID-19, and retrofit them into turn into housing. the Housing Blitz has 100 subsidies, affordable housing units. and so it will continue with its Shelley VanBuskirk, Director of housing initiative until 100 spots are Housing, said none of the offers filled. This is especially important as “represented good value for money winter approaches and Ottawa enters for the intended purpose of providing into its second wave of COVID-19. medium to long-term accommodations per cent towards the end of the year, for people exiting homelessness.” compared to just 1.8 per cent in 2019. Burkholder-Harris said the Blitz didn’t It also suggested that a reduction in work out the way the Alliance had However, VanBuskirk said the city tourism and changes to regulations hoped, but they will continue trying will continue searching for other affecting short-term rentals would different strategies. "Because if we don’t properties that would meet the cause some landlords to reposition the start taking risks and innovating, then requirements for medium to longunits back to longer-term rentals. we can’t solve this problem. Ending term accommodations, and federal and homelessness is not one silver bullet, it’s provincial funding programs would be Capitalizing on this expected trend, the more like 10 million silver bullets." leveraged to pursue opportunities. Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa partnered with the City of Ottawa Despite an updated 10-year housing One of these programs is the federal and the Eastern Ontario Landlord and homelessness plan, an influx in government's $1 billion Rapid Housing Association to launch its first-ever federal dollars and dozens of volunteers Initiative, launched through the Canada Housing Blitz at the beginning of dedicated to assisting people to find Mortgage and Housing Corporation. August. The goal of the Blitz was housing, it is clear that the process of The initiative will allow for cities and to house 100 people experiencing ending homelessness in Ottawa will housing providers to buy properties homelessness before the end of be less of a blitz, and more akin to a being sold due to COVID-19, and September. marathon n 46 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2020


Profile for Ottawa Life Magazine

OttawaLife Magazine Fall 2020  

OttawaLife Magazine Fall 2020