Ottawa / Gatineau Tornado Relief

On Friday, September 21st, the city of Ottawa / Gatineau was hit by two separate tornadoes which damaged or destroyed several hundred properties, and have left many people across the region homeless. Luckily, injuries were minimal, but some have lost everything. The efforts thus far have been focused on making the affected areas safe. Ottawa/Gatineau residents have always been extremely generous, and there has been considerable confusion on how best to help out as our amazing community rises to the occasion.

The foremost thing to note is that residents are asked to stay away from affected areas so official crews and residents can get to the work of recovery. Here is a list of the many ways you can help:

  1. The Canadian Red Cross is accepting financial donations online, by phone, at 1-800-418-1111
  2. Donations of clothing, furniture or other household items in Ottawa should be dropped off at Salvation Army thrift stores or request pickup of larger items by calling 1-613-247-1435 ext. 228 There is an immediate need for:
  • Non-perishable food;
  • Water;
  • Clothing;
  • Toiletries / toothbrushes;
  • Baby clothing/supplies;
  • Pet food
  1. The Ottawa Senators is running a city-wide GoFundMe Campaign that has raised over $60K so far.
  2. Consider donating cash and non-perishable food items to the Kanata Food Cupboard, the Parkdale Food Center or to the Ottawa Food Bank.

Neighborhood-Specific Relief Efforts


Immediately following the event, there have been several Facebook groups set up to organize relief. They have been organizing them into one, currently called “Dunrobin Disaster Assistance Group”. After the merge, it will be renamed “Dunrobin Community Center / Tornado Relief”.  (

There is an official GoFundMe Campaign that is monitored by the Dunrobin Disaster Relief team.

The Kanata Food Cupboard is running point on food donations to the Dunrobin / Kinburn area.

Cleanup in Kinburn is still being coordinated. You can find more information by following their Facebook Page.

Arlington Woods

  • For Arlington Woods the most up-to-date info can be obtained by following counsellor Keith Egli’s Twitter @KeithEgli
  • Hot meals are being handed out at Manordale Community Centre at 68 Knoxdale Rd Ottawa. Volunteers are encouraged to come in person.
  • They are trying to organize hot meals for the Tanglewood area.  You can email the city councilor’s office at .


  • In Gatineau, the city is encouraging donations of “clean clothing in good condition, personal hygiene products and non-perishable foods” to be dropped off at the former Sears location at the Galeries de Hull on Boul. Saint-Joseph.


Ten Actions for People Too Busy for Climate Action (DRAFT)

There have been a lot of super-apocalyptic articles coming out recently that would lead us to believe that the climate-change-induced end is nigh. Should we be worried? Probably – but as the saying goes “Ain’t nobody got time for that”! Fair enough. Maybe you don’t feel confident in your knowledge. Maybe you don’t know where to begin. Buying a Hummer, dining on steak and generally going out in a blaze of nihilistic carbon-powered glory seems rather unproductive, and you’re too busy for an apocalypse-induced nervous breakdown. So, how does the average person with average concerns find the middle road?

Well, I’m here to say, “Not to Worry”! You don’t need to be an expert, make big sacrifices or go join a doomsday cult. There are plenty of folks passionately working on climate change issues and even small actions on your part can help them get on with the big work. Being supportive in small ways means a lot, and knowing you have their back helps keep them going. Here is a list of ten things everyday folks can do to help us to a brighter climate future.  Read More

Green Certification and the Democratization of Sustainable Lifestyles

I Pity The Fool Who Doesn't Recycle

Environmental Ethics asks questions about how one ought to act, from which we derive social mores. Based on these, we develop rules, regulations, the social contracts that govern society. Moving to a green economy and a green society is essentially a project in the movement of societal values. There are a handful of tools that are typically used to move social values, some more effective than others. Mass coercion is generally frowned upon, and proven to ultimately be ineffective. So, we are left to the hearts and minds campaign. Meanwhile, we work to improve some of the legal, regulatory and business frameworks in ways that minimally impact people’s general happiness. The tools most often employed by NGO’s, grassroots groups for hearts and minds are typically some combination of education and/or incentives and good ol’ shame (which is just a negative incentive). We educate on the problem, offer a solution, incentivize the transition and shame those who don’t comply. (If you don’t recycle, you obviously hate nature!) Read More

Canada Needs a National Policy on Green Infrastructure

Despite its ubiquity in certain circles, you could be forgiven for not knowing what Green Infrastructure is. Unless you are one of those rarefied beasts that has a burning passion for environmental and/or municipal infrastructure and urban design policy. You may not have given more than a passing thought about the form and function of your urban green spaces, how urban water flows, or how big your watershed is. That is, unless you live in Windsor, Ottawa/Gatineau, Michigan or Houston, or one of the many communities across North America who have been hard-hit by the near endless rain that has marked the summer of 2017. If you live in one of these towns, you may be asking these very questions. You are certainly aware that a city’s infrastructure is tasked with managing water, and well, it seems many places aren’t managing very well. This is where Green Infrastructure comes in. Read More

Why Racism is Bad

No, I’m not going to actually discuss why racism is bad. If you’re seeing this article in your feed, then you likely already have a pretty good grasp as to why racism is not acceptable or beneficial in any way. That said, it would seem it’s a conversation we are going to have to have. And no, I’m not just talking about the USA, that troubled kid next door. Racism is a real and present issue in Canada too. One only needs to read comment threads on any news story that deal with any story even tenuously related to race issues or members of any racially marginalized community for that matter, to see the misguided, uninformed racially charged vitriol pour forth. Wait – I know what you’re thinking: “Misguided”!? “Uninformed”!? Yes. Don’t get me wrong – racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, ageism etc. are all repugnant. But to paraphrase Nelson Mandela, “People are not born with hate in their hearts”. These attitudes are taught, and somewhere along the line, right attitudes are not taught. Read More