As many of you will know, the Salvation Army’s proposal to move and expand their shelter to 333 Montreal Road passed at Council on November 22nd. Obviously, we’re extremely disappointed with the results. I’d like to thank all the residents who came out to committee to speak against this proposal, and I’d like to remind everyone that the fight is far from over. Our next step is to go to appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), and we are prepared to do so.
It is a tragedy that this proposal came down to a vote on land-use planning grounds because there are so many other factors that need to be considered. As a government, I think it is important to be open and transparent, and be clear on where the systemic gaps are. We need further investments in supportive housing in order to see a reduction in shelter use.
While we appreciate the work of the Salvation Army and the funds they are prepared to put into our city, Montreal Road is not the right location. Main streets are the economic lifeblood of our communities. Vanier has worked hard to remove the stigma of criminality that’s haunted it since the 1990’s. The community of Vanier is improving, but it is far from being on solid ground. For this reason, among other, we will continue to fight against having this mega-shelter on Montreal Road.
Vanier remains strong and united. We will persevere, just like we did with l’Hopital Montfort. For my full comments from the most recent council meeting please visit Mathieu.fleury.ca.