Library at Parliament Hill from above, overlooking the Ottawa River on winter's day. (Photo by SGC on Unsplash)

Ottawa businesses wait for word on reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic, council votes on expanding the urban boundary and discussing sledding safety at Mooney's Bay.

CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at five things to watch in Ottawa this week.

COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS IN OTTAWA AND GATINEAU

As the Quebec government begins to ease COVID-19 restrictions across the province, non-essential businesses in the city of Ottawa and eastern Ontario wait for word on when they can reopen.

On Monday, non-essential businesses, hair salons and museums will be allowed to reopen in Gatineau and western Quebec.  Visits to private homes will continue to be prohibited, restaurants can only open for takeout and delivery and the 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew will remain in effect.

In Ontario, the stay-at-home order is set to expire on Feb. 9.

Sources tell CTV News Toronto that Ontario is considering extending the stay-at-home order. Public health officials have urged the government to extend the order for at least one more week – until Feb. 16 – across most of the province, while extending it until Feb. 22 in Toronto, Peel Region and York Region.

The Canadian Press reported on Friday evening that Ontario would begin to gradually reopen the economy in select regions on Feb. 10.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson told Newstalk 580 CFRA on Friday that Ottawa is ready to reopen restaurants and other non-essential businesses, with restrictions in place.

MARCH BREAK?

Ontario's education minister expects to receive a recommendation this week on whether to cancel March Break in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Stephen Lecce admitted on CTV Morning Live last Thursday that Ontario is looking at the possibility of cancelling the March 15-19 break for students and teachers across Ontario.

"My decision point is going to be made exclusively on medical advice. If they believe that cancelling the break to disincentive travel is in the best interest of public health, I'm going to follow that advice full stop."

Both the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation are urging the province to give students and teachers the week off.

COUNCIL VOTES ON THE TEWIN LAND PROPOSAL

Council will vote Wednesday on which lands should be included in an expanded urban boundary in the city of Ottawa for development.

A joint meeting of the planning committee and the agriculture and rural affairs committee voted to include 445 hectares of land in Ottawa's rural east end owned by the Algonquins of Ontario (AOO). The land, near the Amazon Distribution Centre, would be developed by the Algonquins of Ontario and Taggart Investments.

Mayor Jim Watson told reporters on Jan. 27 that he supported expanding the urban boundary to support the Tewin project.

"If we're serious about reconciliation we have to take our words, which we talk about land recognitions and so on, and put those words into action."

Last week, the chief of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg called for consultations with the city before council includes the Algonquins of Ontario land into the new urban boundary in Ottawa's rural east-end.  Chief Dylan Whiteduck said the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg has "strong objections and concerns" with the manner in which the city is approaching "what it calls reconciliation with Indigenous people."

"Kitigan Zibi and other Quebec Algonquin Anisinabe First Nations do not recognize the AOO as a legitimate representative of the constitutionally held rights of the majority of Algonquins Anishinabe," writes Chief Whiteduck.

Chief Wendy Jacko of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation and Algonquin Negotiation Representative with the Algonquins of Ontario released a statement to CTV News Ottawa on Friday.

"We are disappointed by the decision of our relatives in Quebec to publicly air their opinions about our transformational development project 'Tewin.' This is not how we work toward reconciliation," said Chief Jacko.

NEW TRIAL BEGINS IN DEATH OF OTTAWA'S JAGTAR GILL

A new trial begins Monday for the two people convicted in the death of Jagtar Gill at a Barrhaven home in July 2016.

The Ontario Court of Appeal ordered a new trial for Bhupinderpal Gill and Gurpreet Ronald, who were convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Gill's wife.

In Dec. 2019, the appeal court found that the trial judge made a legal error in not telling the jury they could consider a conviction of second-degree murder.

Jagtar Gill was found bludgeoned and stabbed to death in her Barrhaven home on her wedding anniversary in 2014.

SLEDDING AT MOONEY'S BAY

Coun. Riley Brockington is calling on the city of Ottawa to assess the safety issues associated with tobogganing at Mooney's Bay Hill.

Council will vote Wednesday on a motion from Brockington to direct staff to look at mitigating the risks to permit sledding at the popular hill.

On Jan. 22, the city issued a directive banning sledding and tobogganing at Mooney's Bay Hill after "consistent large crowds, numbering in the hundreds" gathered at the hill during the COVID-19 pandemic. Medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches had issued a Section 22 Order that limits capacity to 25 people at the top and bottom of the hills.

Brockington's motion notes a 2017 safety audit by the city of Ottawa concluded the hill posed a number of safety issues and was removed from the list of sanctioned toboggan hills.

EVENTS HAPPENING IN OTTAWA

MONDAY

Ottawa's Board of Health meets at 5 p.m. (Meeting available on the Ottawa City Council YouTube channel)

Ottawa Senators vs. Edmonton Oilers. 7 p.m. on TSN 5 and TSN 1200

TUESDAY

Ottawa Public Library Board meets at 5 p.m. (Meeting available on the Ottawa City Council YouTube channel)

Ottawa Carleton District School Board Committee of the Whole meeting at 7 p.m.

Ottawa Catholic School Board meeting at 7 p.m.

Ottawa Senators vs. Edmonton Oilers. 7 p.m. on TSN 5 and TSN 1200

WEDNESDAY

Ottawa City Council meets at 10 a.m. (Meeting available on the Ottawa City Council YouTube channel)

THURSDAY

Ottawa Planning Committee meets at 9:30 a.m. (Meeting available on the Ottawa City Council YouTube channel)

Ottawa Senators at Winnipeg Jets. 8 p.m. on TSN 5 and TSN 1200.

FRIDAY

Ottawa Carleton District School Board PD Day for elementary students.

SATURDAY

Ottawa Senators at Winnipeg Jets. 3 p.m. on TSN 1200.