Happy Belated Canada Day! Barrhaven Is A True Reflection Of Our Nation

By Wilson Lo, Barrhaven East Councillor

Canada as a country may be just 157 years old, but the human history on this land stretches far beyond that, and is a rich and fascinating tapestry of culture, conflict, and change.

From First Nations residents whose ancestors have nurtured this land here and elsewhere for millennia, descendants of European settlers, and generations of families from around the world who built this country for 157 years and counting to new residents who just started calling Canada home, and everyone in between and to come, we embody everything great and some things that can be better to make this the best country in the world.

I didn’t take very well to Ottawa’s slogan, “Canada in One City,” at first, but the more I go around Barrhaven, the more I see why it’s fitting, reflected in the faces, experiences, and backgrounds of so many people and families I’ve met so far.

I wouldn’t trade it for anything or anywhere in the world.

Celebrating The Creativity of Local Youth

Last month, the Barrhaven BIA (with city funding), unveiled eighteen newly decorated traffic signal control boxes across both wards in Barrhaven.

This initiative reached out to area high schools over the last few months to find talented students willing to give artwork for digitization, printing, and wrapping on otherwise drab signals control boxes.

They complement the twenty boxes wrapped last year, in a design created by another local artist, also through another a successful initiative of the BIA.

Each design speaks to the Barrhaven experience through the lens of local youth. The BIA selected five designs, by six students, from three area high schools, which are now on display across Barrhaven.

Seeing the creativity from our community’s students on full display fills me with immense pride as a Councillor, a BIA board member, and a resident. I’m grateful they were willing to share their creativity, but also to BIA staff for leading the initiative.

The students whose designs are on display can point to signals control boxes bearing their artwork and say “hey, I did that!”

Water Safety

With summer in full swing, people in the community will take full advantage of pools, rivers, and lakes to have fun and/or cool off.

I’ll be taking full advantage of my new kayak when I’m not working, although I do want to take a Teams meeting with the Mayor on the water, just for fun.

Although being in or on the water is fun, without taking precautions or if not following the rules, it can be dangerous. The Ottawa Fire Service has had a busy month with water rescues, including two which ended tragically.

Drowning, particularly in backyard pools, is the second leading cause of preventable child deaths. It is fast and silent. A responsible adult who knows how to swim and who knows basic water rescue, first aid, or CPR, should constantly supervise young swimmers.

Weak and non-swimmers should wear personal flotation devices (PFD), but it’s not a replacement for supervision. PFDs must also fit properly to work.

Residents with backyard pools should ensure required enclosures are in place and functioning properly to prevent children from inadvertently accessing the pool.

Around rivers and lakes, ensure children know to stay away from fast moving water and that everyone is aware of nearby hazards before heading in.

If, like me, you’re heading onto the water in a watercraft, remember to carry the mandatory safety equipment as determined by Transport Canada, which consists of a PFD for each person on board, a buoyant heaving line at least 15 metres in length, bailer or hand pump, sound signalling device (whistle, air horn), a waterproof flashlight, lights if operating in the dark or in low visibility, and fire extinguisher and appropriate licences (motorised vessels only).

Water safety resources are available, including Ottawa Public Health’s water safety portal. Consider giving it a browse!