My statement about Salvation Army’s announcement

Statement by Ottawa City Councillor Mathieu Fleury in response to the Salvation Army’s proposal to establish their emergency shelter at 333 Montreal Rd in Vanier

June 22, 2017. Ottawa, ON.

“I am deeply concerned with the Salvation Army’s proposal to establish a new facility at 333 Montreal Road in Vanier. While we’ve worked together constructively towards addressing concerns at their shelter in the ByWard Market, I remain concerned about their current operations and their plans to move their facility to Vanier.  Although this is a tremendous investment in our community and a sign of relief for Lowertown and the ByWard Market residents and businesses, we need to ensure that this investment finds an ideal location.

Today, I ask the Salvation Army to halt and reconsider their zoning submission to the City of Ottawa for their future site at 333 Montreal Road, and to engage with all levels of government and our community leaders to identify an ideal site for their future emergency shelter. The Salvation Army is making a positive investment in our city, and helps those most in need within our City, and I want to help them to ensure they get this right. To this effect, I do not believe Montreal Road meets their objectives.

In my opinion, Montreal Road is not an ideal location and consideration needs to be given to the potential impacts on our community. We have made significant progress in lowering crime rates in Vanier, and we continue to work to improve outcomes for those who need support and towards revitalizing Montreal Road.

Should the Salvation Army choose to proceed with this site against our advice, many steps are still required before this zoning application is reviewed at City Hall.

I look forward to further collaborating with community leaders, provincial and federal governments to identify an ideal site for this important investment.

Within our community many leaders have highlighted concerns about the state of our shelters. We are asking those leaders and elected official of all levels of government in the City of Ottawa to propose a public or private location that would be ideal for a future emergency shelter.

It is imperative that the Salvation Army engage us in an open, transparent and accountable public consultation process held in good faith. This would help ensure an open and transparent review of any proposed location, allow for concerns of residents, businesses and community groups to be properly heard and addressed, and ensure the services they are offering add value to our neighbourhood.

My vision for Vanier is one that includes a vibrant main street, active pedestrians and cyclists, and a thriving mix of businesses, where families, immigrants, seniors live, work and play.

One thing is certain, I will continue to vigorously and wholeheartedly advocate for our community’s best interests and needs, while we remain actively engaged throughout this process.