Premier Ford speaks to municipal leaders in Ottawa and new OC Transpo drivers hit the road: Five stories to watch this week

Premier Doug Ford is in Ottawa to address municipal leaders, the deadline is approaching to register for the 2022 municipal election and 32 new bus drivers hit the road.

CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at five stories to watch in Ottawa this week.

MUNICIPAL LEADERS IN OTTAWA

More than 1,700 municipal leaders will be in Ottawa this week for the annual Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s conference.

The AMO conference is a chance for municipal officials to work together on solutions to the challenges facing municipalities across Ontario, to learn and to create new opportunities that benefit our communities.

Premier Doug Ford will address municipal leaders on Monday, followed by Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark on Tuesday and Health Minister Sylvia Jones on Wednesday. The conference comes just days after Clark introduced legislation for “strong mayor” powers for the mayors of Ottawa and Toronto, including giving the mayor the responsibility of preparing and tabling a municipal budget each year and veto powers to override council on matters of “provincial priority.”

On Monday, Mayor Jim Watson will help welcome delegates to Ottawa, the final time he will speak at the AMO conference.

The conference runs until Wednesday at the Shaw Centre and Westin Hotel.

FINAL DEADLINE TO REGISTER FOR 2022 MUNICIPAL ELECTION

The deadline to register to run for mayor, councillor and school board trustee is 2 p.m. on Friday.

As of Friday, 13 candidates registered to run for Mayor of Ottawa, while 80 candidates are registered to run in one of 24 wards across the city.

There will be at least 10 new councillors in Ottawa after the municipal election. Councillors Jean Cloutier, Diane Deans, Keith Egli, Jan Harder, Mathieu Fleury, Carol Anne Meehan, Scott Moffatt and Eli El-Chantiry are not seeking re-election, while Somerset Coun. Catherine McKenney is running for mayor. Ottawa will also have a new councillor after the election representing a new ward.

Mayor Jim Watson is not seeking re-election.

There were 114 candidates registered to run in the 2018 election, 132 candidates in 2014 and 130 candidates in 2010.

Election Day is Monday, Oct. 24.

COVID-19 IN OTTAWA

All eyes will be on the COVID-19 situation this week as the start of the school year approaches.

Ottawa Public Health says while key COVID-19 indicators are showing a decrease, “the levels of COVID-19 in our community are still high.”

As of Friday, 26 Ottawa residents were admitted to hospital with an active COVID-19 infection, while there were 51 ongoing outbreaks in long-term care homes, retirement homes and hospitals.

NEW OC TRANSPO BUS DRIVERS

OC Transpo is hoping 32 new bus drivers hitting the road on Monday will help provide more reliable bus service this summer and heading into the fall.

Hundreds of bus trips a day have been cancelled this month as the transit service deals with a shortage of bus drivers caused by summer vacations, higher-than-usual sick leave absences and vacancies.

Director of Transit Service Delivery and Rail Operations Troy Charter told CTV News Ottawa that 4.5 per cent of trips were cancelled last week.

Charter says OC Transpo has implemented a “robust recruitment campaign” to increase the number of bus operators available for service “as quickly as possible, and, in turn, provide more reliable bus service.”

“Fifty-eight bus operators started with us earlier this year and another 32 are starting on Monday,” Charter said.

An OC Transpo bus turns onto Elgin St. from Wellington St. in downtown Ottawa, Ont. in this undated photo. (Photo by Shubham Sharan on Unsplash)

HELP WANTED AT THE OTTAWA AIRPORT

The “Help Wanted” sign is hanging at the Ottawa International Airport.

The Airport Authority is hosting a job fair at the Infinity Conference Centre on Wednesday looking for applicants.

According to the Ottawa International Airport website, there are more than 20 positions available including:

  • Human Resources professionals
  • Skilled trades
  • Information Technology
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Airport Operations Coordination Centre (AOCC) positions (likely Gate Coordinators and Security Coordinators)
  • Seasonal Heavy Equipment Operators
  • On-Call Snow Removal Operators

Potential candidates will also be able to get information about working for airlines, passenger security screening and Customs and Immigration.

For more information, visit the Ottawa International Airport website.

The Ottawa airport on Thursday, March 10, 2022. (Katie Griffin/CTV News Ottawa)

EVENTS HAPPENING IN OTTAWA THIS WEEK

Tuesday

A mayoral debate on the environment will be held at Barrhaven Fellowship Christian Reformed Church, beginning at 6 p.m.

Friday

The Ottawa Redblacks host Edmonton Friday night at TD Place. Kick off is 7 p.m.

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