Residents, community organizations, and local businesses have all raised their concerns to me, that the existing proposal is too large and does not acknowledge the best-practices and advice of social service providers and experts. I share the concerns that, broadly speaking, this proposal does not serve the community or acknowledge the challenges that need to be addressed in the Vanier and Overbrook communities.
I am proud of the work in proposing alternative sites, models and services that our community has put together and presented publicly. It is clear to all involved that this is not merely an issue of ‘not in my back yard’ but rather an evidenced-based discussion on the best way to serve our at-risk residents.
My municipal colleague, Councillor Mathieu Fleury and provincial colleague, MPP Nathalie Des Rosiers, and I all share these concerns regarding this move. Despite the proposal currently being evaluated, experts agree that a smaller decentralized model is a superior direction that I believe should be considered.
On September 13th, an open house was hosted by the Salvation Army with the objective of addressing questions from local stakeholders. The presentations, however, did not reassure me that this was the best solution for the at-risk population served by the Salvation Army. Furthermore, in discussions with the Salvation Army alongside our community, it is clear that this model requires significant further public funding that has not yet been identified.
As we move forward, it is important that residents communicate their concerns to members of the City of Ottawa Planning committee directly. To do this, it is important that residents speak at the public meetings to be held on November 14th, 15th and 17th at City Hall on Laurier Avenue. To register to speak you must email Melody Duffenais (firstname.lastname@example.org), the clerk of the committee. More information is available on this proposal at https://ottawa.ca/en/city-hall/public-engagement/planning-and-infrastructure/salvation-army-new-facility-development-application-montreal-road.
It is critical that we view this proposal in light of the best evidence available and we must address our societal challenges together with the best interests of our communities’ vulnerable.
As always, I will work for your interests in Ottawa-Vanier and my team is available to hear your opinions and your feedback. If you want more information on this proposal, you can contact my team by email at email@example.com or by phone at 613-998-1860.