KANATA NORTH NEWS Marianne Wilkinson Councillor, Kanata North ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

One area in which the city is weak is in economic development. There is too much dependence on federal employment, hotels sponsoring tourism and technology businesses looking after themselves. The present economic downturn is affecting Ottawa with the impact delayed (as always happens in Ottawa) so that not enough attention is paid to what is going on with our businesses. I’m particularly concerned with the layoffs in technology businesses, which depend on exports and hence are impacted by the world wide recession. The most critical is Nortel. This company has existed for 115 years and became a world leader in telecommunications. Virtually all switching systems in Canada, for example, are Nortel switches. Now under bankruptcy protection, Ottawa faces the possibility of having Nortel disappear as a corporation, together with its jobs and the many other jobs in Ottawa that are connected to Nortel through provision of parts and services or by providing services to Nortel families. Ottawa stands to lose more than 20,000 jobs if Nortel closes. That would have a devastating impact on all of our technology businesses. There is no guarantee that operations would remain in Ottawa if the company is sold and our experience with other similar situations (Dell, Digital) show that even profitable operations can suddenly disappear. I am working with some former senior Nortel executives to try to save Nortel and take it back to its core services as a Canadian company. This includes replenishing pension funds that impact on many more thousands of Ottawa residents. You will hear more about this in future weeks. I encourage you to send me your suggestions and to support efforts to get the type of support needed to keep our technology businesses strong.

A TASTE FOR LIFE CONTEST
Councillor Feltmate and I entered a friendly competition to raise funds for AIDS charities a month ago. The results are now in. Peggy’s group ate more so their restaurant donation was larger while my group gave more in donations, edging Peggy out in the total raised ($2012 for my group at Lapointe’s and $1855 for Peggy’s group at The Glen). The big winner was Bruce House and AIDS charities who benefited from the contributions from the restaurants and those who had a great dinner and lots of fun and fellowship. Thank you to all who participated – I look forward to next year’s challenge!

Canada River Heritage Conference - Wild Water, Wild Earth
I’ve been a member of the steering committee for an international conference on rivers to be held in Ottawa in June. There are several events for the general public that you would enjoy.

First, on Monday June 8th at 6:30 pm in the Central Library on Laurier Ave., Max Finekelstein, canoeist, author and river conservationist will present Politics, Paddles & Pollution, showing how these interact on our waterways. There is no charge for this event. Then, everyone is invited to join delegates of the 2009 Canadian River Heritage Conference at the National Arts Centre for a cocktail reception and a presentation by renowned conservationist Mark Angelo on Sunday June 14th at 7:00 pm. Tickets at $15 can be obtained at the National Arts Centre Box Office or from www.ticketmaster.ca or 613 755-1111. Proceeds will go toward river conservation in Canada. Mark Angelo will be presenting “Wild Water, Wild Earth” - a sequel to his highly acclaimed “Riverworld”, which took audiences by storm in 2003. This is a great event, so book your ticket early

HIGHWAY 417 and the TRANSITWAY
Work is progressing on Highway 417. Recently the westbound lanes have been shifted to the right onto a new section of the train bridge as some additional repair work is required over the next few weeks on the south side of the bridge. In June final paving will start with the westbound lanes fully open in July. The eastbound lanes are scheduled to be completed and opened in August. The Transitway from Pinecrest to Bayshore will open in August with express buses starting to use it at the beginning of September.

OPEN HOUSE AT BEAVERBROOK LIBRARY
Remember to drop by the Beaverbrook Library Friday, May 29 from 3 to 5 to meet the teens who are designing a teen section and chat with me.

KANATA NORTH WIDE GARAGE SALE
Take part in our huge Garage Sale on May 30 from 8:00 am to noon. I’m holding one to raise funds for Breast Cancer research at 63 Varley Drive. Anything left can be put out the next weekend (June 6-7) with a sign ‘free’ on Kanata’s Give Away Day. Let’s reuse rather than throwing things out.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR
May 30, 8 am - noon, Yard Sales throughout Kanata North

June 2, 7 pm, Fernbank Ward Boundary Change meeting, Stittsville CC, 10 Warner Copitts Dr., Stittsville June 6 & 7, Give Away Weekend June 19, Support me in the Relay for Life for cancer research

Serving the residents and businesses in Kanata North
To receive the Kanata North Newsletter, to deal with a concern or make a suggestion contact me at 613-580-2474, email Marianne.Wilkinson@ottawa.ca or through www.mariannewilkinson.com.