This year has been unlike any other we have ever come across, from record snowfalls in the winter, declaring a housing emergency to a global pandemic.
I feel the virtual life shift that took place, at first, felt unknown and uncomfortable. Silly at times, figuring out the logistics, how to ‘meet’ with residents, but I am proud to say (and see) that we not only persevered, but we that in some ways, we have all managed our time, and our attention to issues in the community relatively well.
We had a bumpy year, with a few losses and some grave health concerns across the City. I am proud of the work we had managed to accomplish this year, including organizing all our community partners to ensure our most vulnerable are supported, declaring a housing emergency so the focus on affordable housing could be brought to the forefront and finding innovative ways to keep the community connected.
Most importantly the plans to revitalize Riverain Park finally began. Phase one is currently underway and I am incredibly excited to see the plans come to fruition.
A focus on Vanier’s culture and its heritage are underway, which is essential to how this community grows in the future.
Traffic calming is another win we saw this year. With our Main Street currently entirely under construction, we successfully implemented several traffic calming initiatives. And this is not the end of these initiatives – as traffic changes, construction phases change, this too will adjust to ensure the right type of measures remain in place.
There were a few losses, such as the loss we all felt when LPAT rendered its decision on the Salvation Army’s plans to build a mega-shelter.
This was incredibly frustrating and unfortunate, but if one good thing came out of all of this, it was that once again, Vanier has proven it is strong and does not back down from a fight.
And, at the risk of repeating myself – a shelter is not a home.
This mega-shelter’s future remains unknown – there is no funding source at this time, and the proposal itself is far from perfect. I will continue to oppose and fight against this proposal.
As we make our way to the end of 2020 – many of us will be happy this year has come to a close. I know, in some ways, I will be one that will be happy to put much of the unknowns around a pandemic and virus behind me.
But, like with anything this community faces, we faced it head-on and with hope and determination.
That is one thing I will remember about this year forever.
Thank you for your continued strength, vigilance and ability to adapt in an unknown, changing world.
This will be a Holiday season to be remembered, even though families near and far can’t come together as they normally would, let’s make new traditions sing a karaoke over zoom with family, drop-off fresh homemade desserts, play outdoors where you can safely keep your distance – there are plenty of COVID wise options to make this holiday safe and healthy. Visit Mathieufleury.ca for fun ways to stay active this winter.
Now let’s see what is in store for 2021.