Five stories to see in Ottawa the week of April 25-29

The city prepares for the arrival of ‘Rolling Thunder Ottawa’, Ottawa’s top doctor provides an update on the COVID-19 situation and the countdown to the start of the Ontario election campaign.

CTVNewsOttawa.ca takes a look at five stories to watch in Ottawa this week.

ROLLING THUNDER OTTAWA COMES TO TOWN

The Rolling Thunder Ottawa event will take place in Ottawa on Friday, for a weekend of events.

Ottawa Police and the City of Ottawa said up to 1,000 motorcycles and other vehicles are expected to take part in the three-day event in Ottawa.

According to the Rolling Thunder Ottawa website, a rally and march is planned Friday night on Parliament Hill. Saturday’s itinerary includes a rally and march on Parliament Hill, a Veterans for Freedom service at the National War Memorial and a bike show. A church service for bikers is scheduled for Sunday morning at the Capital City Bikers Church in Vanier.

The Rolling Thunder Ottawa website does not provide any details as to why the three-day event is taking place. The event partners are Veterans for Freedoms, Live from the Shed and Freedom Fighters Canada, which is a non-profit organization demanding an end to all government mandates regarding COVID-19.

Ottawa Police Acting Chief Steve Bell is expected to provide more details on the planned rally and the police response at Monday’s Ottawa Police Services Board meeting.

Horizon Ottawa calls on the city to publicly condemn the Rolling Thunder event and urges police to withdraw planning and logistical support from Rolling Thunder Ottawa organizers.

COVID-19 IN OTTAWA

Ottawa’s top doctor will provide an update on the COVID-19 situation in Ottawa on Monday, as health officials predict the worst of the sixth wave will soon be over.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches will speak at the Ottawa Board of Health meeting, her first public comments on the COVID-19 situation since before Easter.

On Friday, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health told CTV News that COVID-19 hospitalizations are expected to peak next week. Dr Kieran Moore says sewage and limited PCR test positivity data suggest the peak in case numbers occurred on April 10, but the peak in hospital admissions will occur this week.

Moore added that he expects the majority of cases by mid-June to return to “very low endemic risk” across Ontario.

File picture. (Jeremie Charron/CTV News Ottawa)

ONTARIO BUDGET

Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy will table the Ontario government’s budget on Thursday, days before the start of the provincial election.

“I will present our government’s vision for a better and brighter future and our plan to get there,” Bethlenfalvy said in a Twitter post announcing the budget.

The budget will be tabled five weeks before Ontarians go to the polls on June 2.

This weekend, Progressive Conservative candidates in Ottawa began handing out campaign signs, while Liberal candidates opened pre-campaign campaign offices.

Queen’s Park seen in August 2021. (Craig Wadman/CTV News)

LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT CONSTRUCTION UPDATE

Ottawa’s finance and economic development committee will receive an update on the construction of stage 2 of the light rail project on Friday.

The project involves extending the Confederation Line to Tenth Line Road on the east and Moodie Drive and Algonquin College on the west end. The Trillium Line will connect Bayview Station to Riverside South.

In December, staff said the Trillium Line extension was nine months behind schedule as the COVID-19 pandemic caused construction delays.

Staff said the city is considering a 10-month delay for the Confederation Line west extension. The east section of the Confederation Line, from Blair Station to Trim Road, was on track for completion in 2024.

Staff are expected to provide an updated schedule on construction projects at Friday’s meeting.

In the meantime, staff will also provide an in-camera update on the legal disputes between the City of Ottawa and the Rideau Transit Group. Rail Construction Manager Michael Morgan told council on Thursday that Rideau Transit Group is filing a counterclaim against the city over LRT construction delays.

An eastbound OTrain stops at Rideau Station on the Confederation Line of the light rail transit system in Ottawa, Ontario. (Brenda Woods/CTV Ottawa)

HOMETOWN STAR FOR BRUCE COCKBURN

Bruce Cockburn will receive a hometown star in Ottawa on Monday, in honor of his recent induction into Canada’s Walk of Fame.

The Hometown Stars initiative provides all inductees with an additional opportunity to celebrate their induction in their hometown with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque.

L’Étoile d’ici will be unveiled at the National Arts Centre.

Cockburn, the Ottawa-born singer-songwriter, was inducted onto Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2021. His five-decade career includes 13 JUNO Awards and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

EVENTS IN OTTAWA THIS WEEK

Monday

Ottawa Police Services Board meeting – 4:00 p.m.

Ottawa Board of Health meeting – 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday

Ottawa Senators vs. New Jersey Devils – 7 p.m. at Canadian Tire Center (TSN 5 and TSN 1200)

Ottawa Carleton District School Board Meeting – 7:00 p.m.

Ottawa Catholic School Board Meeting – 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday

Ottawa City Council meeting – 9:30 a.m.

Thusday

Ottawa Planning Committee Meeting – 9:30 a.m.

Ontario Government Releases Spring Budget

Ottawa Senators vs. Florida Panthers – 7 p.m. at Canadian Tire Center (TSN 5 and TSN 1200)

Friday

Ottawa Finance and Economic Development Committee Meeting – 9:30 a.m.

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