Ottawa – Statement from Mona Fortier, Member of Parliament, Ottawa-Vanier, Nathalie DesRosiers, Member of Provincial Parliament, Ottawa-Vanier, and Mathieu Fleury, Ottawa City Councillor (Rideau-Vanier).
Today the Salvation Army announced its intention to relocate its present facility at 171 George St. to a newly built modern facility at 333 Montreal Rd. As elected officials from all three level of government who represent the communities of Lowertown and Vanier, we are torn by the Salvation Army’s announcement.
Facilities such as the one proposed by the Salvation Army are critical and necessary investments. Providing a community hub such as this one is important to ensuring that the most at risk members of our City have access to the necessary resources and support programs they need. Emergency shelters and substance abuse facilities, when developed in partnership, have the ability to transform neighbourhoods into communities and truly offer the services that are needed.
When determining the best location for an investment of this magnitude there must be proper consultations with residents, social service providers, local police, and importantly service recipients. The exploratory site evaluation process completed by the Salvation Army requires in-depth consultations with stakeholders. Among other considerations, efficient and affordable access to public transportation will ensure the clients have the greatest number of options for emergency housing, access to meals, employment, health care and support services.
It is imperative that the Salvation Army engages in an open, transparent and accountable public consultation to involve residents in a review of any proposed location, to ensure concerns of residents, businesses and community groups are properly heard and addressed.
Mona Fortier M.P. Ottawa-Vanier
Nathalie Des Rosiers M.P.P Ottawa—Vanier
Mathieu Fleury Ottawa Councillor – Rideau-Vanie