5:30 p.m., Jan. 8)
Crime, politics and store closures dominate headlines
By Fred Sherwin
Trudeau waves to supporters at a rally at
the Shenkman Arts Centre in September. File
2015 was dominated primarily by the federal election and
subsequent landslide victory by Justin Trudeau and the
Liberal Party, it was also notable for the criminal proceedings
both inside and outside the courtroom, and the closure
of a number of prominent businesses including Target,
the Future Shop, Builders Warehouse and the Home Hardware
store in Sarsfield.
year was barely two weeks old when workers at the Target
store in Place dOrléans were informed that
the American retailer was pulling out of Canada. The decision
affected 17,600 employees at 133 stores nation-wide, including
four stores in Ottawa. By years end, Place dOrléans
had still not found a tenant to replace Target.
one story that commanded headlines for the better part
of 2015 was the federal election. In January, soon-to-be
former Prime Minister Stephen Harper paid a pre-budget
visit/rally to Garneau high school where, among other
things he announced the Conservative governments
plans to allow income splitting and increase the Universal
Child Care Benefit.
next day, the City of Ottawa released the preliminary
plans for the eastern extension of the LRT system that
will be built as part of Phase II of the mega project.
The plans received a mainly positive response, except
for the fact that the system will only be extended as
far as Place dOrléans. Most residents were
hoping that it would be extended to Trim Road. A later
report pegged the cost of extending light rail from Place
dOrléans to Trim Road at $160 million.
early February, consultants conducting the environmental
assessment for the widening of Ottawa Road 174 from Trim
Road to Rockland, released their initial findings and
recommendations which were met with criticism from residents
living along the 174 corridor in Cumberland.
with February, a private day care in Orléans came
under fire for offering clients a vaccine free
environment. The debate over whether parents should have
the right to decide if their children should vaccinated
or not, continued to be waged in 2015. It was also announced
that Habitat for Humanity would be building four new homes
on Cousineau Street, and Plasco officially filed for banktrupcy,
bringing an abrupt end to any plans to convert the citys
garbage into an energy source through gasification.
month ended with Orléans lawyer David Bertschi
filing a lawsuit against several executive members of
the Liberal Party of Canada for breach of trust and defamation
for the alleged role they played in revoking his candidacy
for the Liberal nomination in Ottawa-Orléans. The
decision paved the way for Andrew Leslie to win the nomination
end of February also saw the appointment of Dina Epale
as the new executive director of the Orléans Chamber
March, a former coach with an east end soccer club pled
guilty to sexual interference charges laid in connection
with a series of e-mails he sent to a 12-year-old player
that were intercepted by his then girlfriend.
also approved the 2015 budget in March along with a two-per-cent
tax hike. The month ended with announcement that Best
Buy planned to consolidate its holdings in Canada by closing
all of its Future Shop stores. Here in the east end the
company closed the Future Shop store in Gloucester Centre
and rebranded the Future Shop store on Innes Road as a
Best Buy store.
April, an outdoor press conference was held at the Robert
O. Pickard Environmental Centre at which the provincial
and federal governments made a joint announcement to provide
$124 million for the completion of the Ottawa River Action
Plan which prevent future sewage outflows into the Ottawa
River once it is completed.
also saw the first of two homicides take place on Jasmine
Crescent in 2015, when 18-year-old Connor Stevenson was
stabbed to death just steps from his mother`s apartment
unit. Six months later, 17-year-old Issaiah Clashar suffered
the same fate when he was stabbed to death on Sept. 20.
May, St. Peter High School students collect over 36,000
items for the Orléans-Cumberland Community Resource
Centre foodbank, and Cairine Wilson Secondary School students
raised over $75,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society during
their annual Relay for Life.
May 25, Justice Robert Wadden found Orléans real
estate agent Chris Hoare guilty of attempted murder, aggravated
assault with a weapon and choking for attacking his wife
with a baseball bat in their Convent Glen home in April
2014 and then trying to suffocate her.
June, city workers quietly installed a public sculpture
at the corner of Trim and Watters Roads. Entitled
Erratic Field, the work is a collection of
random metal shapes depicting boulders left by the receding
glaciers following the last ice age.
public art installation at the corner of Trim
and Watters Roads as it looked in the artists
rendition (above) and as it appeared after
it was installed in June. File photos
sculpture drew the ire of local taxpayers when it was
revealed that it cost $150,000.
also began on the Millennium Park expansion in June, and
the city announced changes to OC Transpo routes impacted
by construction of the LRT system along the transitway
between Hurdman Station and Gloucester Centre.
celebrating Canada Day on Petrie Island for 10 years,
thousands of residents flocked to Navan to celebrate Canadas
birthday at the fairgrounds for the first time.
July 9, 70-year-old John Frank McRae was charged with
second degree murder after his 51-year-old son was stabbed
to death in their Notre Dame Street apartment.
weeks later, 18-year-old Orléans resident Sam Cudmore
became a YouTube sensation when he was invited on stage
by country music legend Keith Urban at the Bluesfest to
sing Kiss A Girl. Within minutes #SamfromOrleans
started trending on Twitter.
July 16, Blackburn Hamlet lost one of its earliest residents
when Lois Kemp passed away at the age of 85.
Kemp was responsible for establishing many of the communitys
institutions including the Blackburn Fun Fair, the Blackburn
Community Association and the Banar newspaper.
July 31, OrleansOnline.ca published a story about the
Earle family in Avalon and the support they received from
family and friends in renovating their home after Michelle
Earle was left paralyzed in a freak accident at a friends
credited her husband Mike for helping her get through
the first few difficult days following the accident.
one of those situations that can either pull you together
or pull you apart. And for us, its really pulled
us together. In fact our marriage is stronger now than
its ever been, Michelle said. Hes
constantly reminding me that were going to get through
this no matter what and hes not going anywhere.
Its going to be difficult, but were going
to do it."
August, local baseball enthusiasts gathered in Notre-Dame-des-Champs
for the opening of the Miracle League of Ottawa baseball
diamond. The guest of honour was 12-year-old Bryce Desrochers
who was the inspiration behind the project to build a
baseball diamond for children with special needs.
Desrochers gets a little help from his dad
Rollie as he takes the plate during the official
opening of the Miracle League of Ottawa baseball
diamond on Friday. Photo supplied
Aug. 20, Al Blake of Rockland was killed while he was
cutting grass in the median of Hwy. 174 when a truck inexplicably
left the roadway just west of the Rockcliffe Parkway overpass.
September, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau made a campaign
stop at the Shenkman Arts Centre to attend an enthusiastic
rally of local Liberal supporters. One month later he
would become the 23rd Prime Minister of Canada after the
Liberals won a surprising landslide victory.
the newly-elected rookie MPs was retired lieutenant general
Andrew Leslie who defeated Conservative incumbent Royal
Galipeau in Orléans. Touted as an obvious choice
for Minister of National Defence, he was passed over for
Cabinet and was instead name government whip.
November, the city`s social service agencies form Refugee
613 in anticipation of the Liberal government`s commitment
to accept 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of February.
Dec. 9, Ottawa city council passed the 2016 budget which
contains a 2.12 per cent tax increase for urban ratepayers,
and a 2.5 per cent hike in transit fares.
was also the month former Ottawa Police Service high school
resource officer Jason Mallett pled guilty to a trio of
charges including insubordination and discreditable conduct
for failing to turn in two marijuana joints as evidence
in a high school seizure and having a local teen held
overnight under false pretenses.
is a former St. Matthew High School football standout
who spent eight years in the CFL before joining the Ottawa
Police Service in 2005.
year ended with news that Hydro Ottawa and Hydro One had
failed to reach an agreement on the possible transfer
of 45,000 suburban customers to the municipal utility.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
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