Remembrance Day, the weather, and the future of Lansdowne Park: Five things to watch in Ottawa this week

OTTAWA — Remembrance Day amid a pandemic, possible heat records in November, and the future of Lansdowne Park.

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

Remembrance Day

The spectre of COVID-19 looms over ceremonies across Canada marking Remembrance Day and the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

The National Remembrance Day ceremony will be held at the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa on Nov. 11; however, the Royal Canadian Legion is asking people not to attend the ceremony in person, due to the limited space and requirement to physically distance.

There will be no Veteran’s parade, no Canadian Armed Forces parade and a reduced colour party due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Remembrance Day ottawa

The COVID-19 pandemic

Ottawa’s daily reports of new COVID-19 cases have been trending lower than some other parts of Ontario as the province marked two days in a row of record-high case counts.

There were 1,132 new infections in Ontario on Saturday followed by 1,328 new infections on Sunday and the seven-day average for the province has been climbing.

In Ottawa, the seven-day average fell day-over-day on Saturday and Sunday from 62.5 on Saturday to 53.8 on Sunday.

It is approaching two weeks since Hallowe’en, meaning cases that could potentially be traced back to gatherings that night might begin surfacing.

COVID-19

Warm November weather

Unseasonable warmth is forecast to continue in Ottawa until at least Wednesday.

On Sunday, a temperature of 21.3°C was recorded at the Ottawa Airport at 2 p.m., just surpassing the 1938 high temperature record of 21.1°C. Environment Canada even reported a humidex of 22 on Sunday afternoon.

The average high for this time of the year is closer to 7°C.

Forecasted highs for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week are also in record-breaking territory.

Ottawa sunny warm November

The future of Lansdowne Park

The Finance and Economic Development Committee (FEDCO) meets Thursday to discuss the City of Ottawa’s partnership with the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG), which owns several local sports teams, including the Ottawa REDBLACKS and the Ottawa 67s, and which manages retail space and the stadium at Lansdowne Park.

A report prepared for FEDCO says the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened OSEG’s financial stresses. The report states that if OSEG defaults, it would result in a loss of up to $407 million to the city.

City staff is recommending changes to the agreement that would allow OSEG to:

  • Use $4.7 million from a reserve fund for operations this year
  • Extend its 30-year lease by another 10 years so there’s more time for OSEG to recover some of what its lost
  • Establish a working group

TD Place stadium

City of Ottawa Budget

Consultations continue on the City of Ottawa’s 2021 draft budget.

The $3.9-billion budget was tabled Nov. 4, and includes a three per cent increase to the property tax bill.

It also includes a projected deficit of $153.5-million should the COVID-19 pandemic last for all 12 months next year.

Municipalities in Ontario are legally prohibited from running deficits but Mayor Jim Watson has said he’s not yet ready to make severe cuts to services that people need during the pandemic. He’s, instead, relying on other levels of government coming through to provide the missing funding, though City Manager Steve Kanellakos says there is a contingency plan in place should that money not flow from the provincial or federal governments.

You can have your say on the city’s 2021 budget here: https://engage.ottawa.ca/draft-budget-2021

Ottawa City Hall

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