Today, the provincial government announced that Ottawa will be transitioning to an Orange-Restrict zone on Tuesday, February 16th. This change is a reflection of everyone’s hard work to lower cases of COVID-19 and I want to thank you all for your efforts. It’s important that we keep taking as many precautions as possible and following guidelines to ensure that we can stay in this new zone. You can read more on the new restrictions at this link.
The provincial government also announced yesterday that March Break has been postponed until April 12. You can read more about their decision in their press release here. I know that many education workers and students are eager for a break and that the decision raised many concerns. The good news is that it has simply been postponed, not cancelled! April is sure to bring warmer weather that will allow students and education workers to enjoy their break even more. Let’s hang in there!
Supporting local is always a good idea. As you think of eating a special meal this weekend or just taking a break from cooking, our amazing local businesses offer many options. Over the next few updates, I’ll be sharing some local spots from across the riding. First up, Manor Park and Beacon Hill! I invite you to check out Epicuria on St Laurent Blvd for healthy, handmade meals and El Mazaj on Canotek Rd for an authentic Lebanese meal.
Long Weekend Activities
Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day and Family Day are all causes for celebration this weekend! It may take some getting creative and new traditions, but we can certainly all enjoy the weekend while safely following guidelines. Looking for something to do with the family? Whether it be participating in Winterlude online, building a snow creation to enter in the Snowfest 613 contest, or going for a walk on your local trail, there is lots to do! For more options, Ottawa Tourism has put together a list of ideas on how to enjoy this weekend safely.
Black History Month
February is also Black History Month, which means there is lots of great programming happening virtually in Ottawa this month, including talks, performances, virtual events and more. Visit Black History Ottawa for the full list of opportunities to learn, honour, and celebrate.
Enjoying the Outdoors
Many of us are finding ways to spend more time outdoors this winter than we normally might, so it’s important to remember cold weather safety precautions. Ottawa is one of the coldest capitals in the world and over-exposure to the cold can cause a number of problems. Check out Ottawa Public Health’s page on cold weather for tips on how to safely enjoy the outdoors.
Yesterday was 211 Day, an opportunity to raise awareness about the helpline and express our gratitude for the 211 Navigators that connect our communities to important services. If you are struggling with mental health, finances, or navigating the new COVID-19 relief programs, 211 can help. Simply dial 2-1-1 or visit 211ontario.ca to connect with a Navigator who will talk to you about your situation and help you find the programs or services that are right for you. This service is free, confidential, and available 24/7, 365 days a year in 150+ languages.
As the House resumes next week, I would love to hear what issues are top-of-mind for you right now. Your stories and experiences help me best represent your interests at Queen’s Park.