The Ottawa Citizen from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on February 27, 1993 · 20
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The Ottawa Citizen from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada · 20

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Issue Date:
Saturday, February 27, 1993
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Sun migration Despite crime, higher costs und prejudice, Flori'ii is still a winter warn for Ottawa residents C3 City life 0 ' SECTION PAGES C1-C8: Wvce Consumers Crime Education Ffliniy Health High Priority Justice Municipal affairs Science Trends Valley its Ottawa sks nnnootjf f wf loot W E E K E N D C Jf X- .... r:" By tan MacLeod Owzen staff writer The Ottawa fire department's all-male and virtually all-white firefighting battalion may soon change. A new recruiting effort, announced by Ottawa Mayor Jacquelin Holzman Friday, will place "primary emphasis" on hiring women, visible minorities and aboriginal people as firefighters. As well, fire departments in Ottawa, Nepean, Gloucester, Kanata and Cumberland have agreed to merge their recruitment programs. The move is designed to save time and money and save applicants the trouble of undergoing a long candidate screening process for each local department Only Ottawa plans to target minority groups. Friday's announcement follows recent criticism of the Ottawa fire department's hiring practices from members of Ottawa Council and the city's advisory committee on visible minorities. Ottawa has about 600 firefighters but none is a woman and only one, hired in November, is black. Advertisements appear in today's Citizen and LeDroit explaining the new regional recruiting system and Ottawa's push for minority candidates. But exact details of the plan, such as how the fire department will select between equally qualified white male candidates and women and visible minority candidates, have yet to be worked out City staff will consult with the Ontario Human Rights Commission, the fire fighters' union and others and report to the policy committee in April. Holzman shied away Friday from answering the question of how equally qualified candidates will be treated. "We will be deciding that when it comes to the policy committee and then to council," she said. "But we are giving notice that we will be targeting specific groups. (But) that doesn't mean that we won't be hiring white males as well." The issue, however, could be a major point of contention with the Ottawa Professional Firefighters Association. Currently, would-be firefighters who pass a battery of screening tests are ranked according to ability based on aggregate test scores. The top candidate is chosen for any job vacancy, said union president Al Karkkainen. "Any program that's going to get more applicants interested in getting on the fire department is good," Karkkainen said Friday. But "if they deviate from that (ranking) process, that's where they are going to run into opposition." The chair of the city's advisory committee on visible minorities called Holzman's announcement the strongest signal yet to the city's visible minorities that they will be seriously considered for firefighting work. Chris Harris said the perception over the years has been that people'from visible minorities were wasting their time applying to the department because of systemic discrimination. "You cant say there are no qualified women or no qualified people from the multicultural community in a city the size of Ottawa." NEIGHBORHOODS Community or carpark? Hull's downtown growth drives neighbors away By Sean Upton Citizen Outaouais bureau i y Ihere have never been so many people in Jocelyne Martel's neighborhood and yet it has never seemed so lonely. "You have a lot of people around, but they aren't neighbors," says Martel, who was born in this house 46 years ago and still lives here with her mother. "People don't talk to each other. It isnt like it was before. We used to be able to sit out on the porch and talk to people." Martel's house is on Kent Street in downtown Hull. Unlike its namesake in downtown Ottawa, Hull's Kent Street is a side street and it should be mostly residential. But too many residences are missing. On Martel's one-block section between Victoria and Hotel de Ville streets, three houses including one next door have been demolished and replaced with parking lots. Across the street where there was once a school and a schoolyard, is an office building and a parking lot The cars belong mostly to the 25,000 public servants who work in government complexes at either end of the nearby Promenade du Portage. Known as the island of Hull, the downtown core consists of four square kilometres surrounded by Brewery Creek and the Ottawa River. The island of Hull is about the size of the Glebe and is swamped every day by twice as many people as attend any hockey game or rock concert at Lansdowne Park. Parking lots like the one next door to Martel's house are illegal; they violate the city's zoning bylaws. But for years the city has chosen not to enforce the bylaw. The parking lot owners are small-time speculators lured into the parking business by very simple mathematics: A house on Martel's section of Kent Street on a lot 35 feet wide and 90 feet deep would bring in between $500 and $700 a month in rent. Flatten it put down some gravel, squeeze 10 cars onto the property, charge about $4 a day and the property is generating $800 a month with no repair, heat or hydro bills to pay. Unfortunately for Martel and her mother, Anita Martel, that means no neighbor either. "We had a nice little town here at one time," says Anita Martel, 85, who raised Jocelyne and five other children in the house. "When I moved here 53 years ago we had schools and churches and everything was close. Now we have nothing," says Anita, who was born a few blocks away. Simone Sarrasin used to live next door to the Martels. Sarrasin and her husband Leo sold their home six years ago. Now it's a parking lot But 72-year-old Sarrasin doesn't mourn the loss of the house she lived in for 50 years. She believes the government buildings have done r ' i' i t -T .- Fvx : I - -. V 'SSTOraocw LNU' i I i- ... tmJj H" ' ....... ... " i ... ' .j I ) -..,.r' ' ' 4. J fry of hullHi JJ viS1 Macdonald s Carter bndge y 4 J Alexandra PCt bridge ChaudiereWH Portage xAii;t, j bridge bridge -We!jington - Citizen graphic more good for Hull than harm. At the same time, Sarrasin feels that she was driven out of the neighborhood by the threat of crime. In the 1980s, the Promenade du Portage developed into a bar strip. She was often awakened by rowdy drinkers returning to their cars. Community activist Bill Clennett has lived on the island of Hull for 15 years, fighting for im- Paul Latour, Citizen Unneighborly: Community activist Bill Clennett in a parking lot in what is left of Hull's residential area downtown provements to the residential core.' "We have lost our population; they have gone to live elsewhere," says Clennett He believes many of those who now live downtown are transients lacking commitment to the neighborhood. Clennett with his group, L'ogemen'occupe, advocates more government-subsidized housing. He says downtown Hull may need "gentrification" or up-scale urban housing to spur new housing. Hull Coun. Claude Lemay chaired a city committee that recommended giving the owners of illegal parking lots one year's notice: Come September 1993, they will be closed down. "A homeowner has the right to have another residence next door" rather than a parking lot," said Lemay. With the revenue from parking cut off and a vacant-land tax coming out of their pockets, Lemay thinks the lot owners may be motivated to build what they knocked down: houses. If that kind of development comes, it can't be soon enough for Anita Martel. She would sell her house tomorrow if the price were right "It's not a nice place anymore," she says. Congress Centre offers Walker $16,700 to break contract Citizen staff The Ottawa Congress Centre will have to pay Scott Walker about $16,700 after the centre's board decided to break its contract to hire him as general manager. "Our lawyer has advised us he will settle for two months' salary." board vice-chairman Art Lamarche said Friday. "We have instructed (the lawyer) to agree to that request or try for a lower settlement" Walker was hired as the congress centre's general manager Jan. 11. But the board decided to break the contract Feb. 5 after learning Walker had been fired as manager of the Winnipeg Convention Centre after an audit of expenses there turned up irregularities. Peace group at war with defence show By David Pugliese Citizen defence The Ottawa Congress Centre will be the site of yet another defence-related exhibition that peace activists claim is helping sell military equipment to human rights abusers. External Affairs is holding its HITEC "93 exhibition at the Congress Centre Tuesday to Thursday. The show is to brief 52 Canadian trade commissioners on products Canada's defence, computer software, aerospace and environmental companies can offer to foreign countries, department officials said Friday. The trade commissioners help promote Canadian products overseas. But Richard Sanders, co-ordinator of the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade, said the exhibition is designed to sell military equipment to some of world's most blatant abusers of human rights. The congress centre has been criticized by peace groups before because it is allowing another defence exhibition, Peacekeeping '93. to use its facilities in mid-March. Among the Canadian trade commissioners attending HITEC '93 are those based in China, Iran, Thailand, Chile and Colombia, according to a list obtained by Sanders. "Why are we promoting arms to these countries?" he said. "This is worse than Peacekeeping "93 because this has direct support from the government" But show spokeswoman Gisele Laframboise said defence equipment, isn't being displayed at HITEC "93. Laframboise said over the years the exhibition has changed, moving away from exclusively promoting defence equipment to dealing as well with electronics, aerospace, computer software and environmental products. Sanders said the peace coalition has just started a campaign to boycott the congress c entre. It is approaching groups who might use the centre and asking them not to book functions there, he said. Your guide to what to see and do Discover Mary Cassatt Appeal to your artsy side and attend a lecture at the National Gallery on Sunday. Barbara Stern Shapiro of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston will give a talk about an exhibition at the gallery entitled Mary Cassatt Colour Prints: The Drummond Bequest. Shapiro, a world-renowned expert niiicuwu-WHll ThpLpttpr impressionist if. if Mary Cassatt will By Mary Cassatt speak on the life and work of the artist. The exhibition is comprised of an 1891 set of 10 color prints by Cassatt. The gallery is fortunate to be one of a few public institutions in the world to have a complete set. The free lecture is at 3 p.m. in the auditorium on the main level. Admission to the gallery is free. The gallery is at 380 Sussex Dr. Create a flying toy Drop by the Aviation Museum Sunday and learn how to make a nifty flying toy. Kids ages six and up can join in a workshop to make a cross spinner to take home. There are three sessions 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Sessions will last about an hour. The cross spinner is an Australian aborigine design and is related to a boomerang. Made w ith just a couple of pieces of balsa wood and rubber bands, it flies through the air much like a Frisbee. Each child can paint and decorate their cross spinner as they wish. There's a $2 charge for materials. Admission to the museum is $4.28 for adults, $350 for seniors and students 16 and up, $1.50 for children ages six to 15 years, or $9 for a family. Register by calling 993-2010. Get in the Irish spirit Explore the links between Irish and North American music at a concert tonight at the Glebe Community Centre. The Old Sod Folk Music Society presents the Irish duo Maire Ni Chasaithaigh and Chris Newman. The pair will perform Irish and American songs featuring Maire on the harp and Chris on the guitar and mandolin. Maire's renditions of folk songs sung in both Gaelic and English will be a highlight of the performance. The show begins at 8:30 p.m. and will last until about 11:30 p.m. There will be an intermission and refreshments will follow. Tickets are $12 each or $10 for members and are available at the door or during the day at the Ottawa Folklore Centre, 744 Bronson Ave. The Glebe Centre is at 690 Lyon St S. - M --- Catch family theatre Treat the family to a theatre production Sunday at the Museum of Civilization in Hull. J'ai un beau chateau is a lively musical suitable for the whole family. The play is set in France during the time of the coronation of King Francis I. There is much rejoicing as actors and musicians from throughout the kingdom come to perform before the new king. The play will be performed in French but should be easily understood by children in French immersion. The play begins at 2 p.m. in the theatre and is free with admission to the museum. Admission is $4.50 for adults, $3 for seniors and youth ages 16 to 21, and free for children under 15. Send your ideas Read Weekend Best every Saturday for our picks of what to see and do. And don't forget to check Sunday Best in the Sunday Citizen for a whole page of great ideas for the day. Do you have a suggestion for Weekend Best? Send it to Weekend Best the Citizen, 1101 Baxter Rd. Ottawa, K2C 3M4. Or fax it to Weekend Best at 726-1198. If we use your suggestion, we'll send you a pair of Citizen travel mugs. Luxury 2 & 3 bedroom condos Marble floors Fireplaces Central air Roman tub Designer kitchens Soundproof Steel & concrete construction Only 6 units in each chateau From $146,500 for 1400 sq. ft. to $183,500 for 2200 sq. ft. Sales Centre & Models West on Aylmer RoaJ. Right on Wilfred Lavigne. Left on North St.

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