Hundreds set to speak on controversial Salvation Army relocation proposal
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Hundreds set to speak on controversial Salvation Army relocation proposal

Last Updated Nov 14, 2017 at 3:10 pm EDT

Photo via Google Street View
OTTAWA  – Council Chambers were packed throughout the day Tuesday, with over 150 residents signed up to speak at a Planning Committee meeting that addressed the controversial plans from the Salvation Army to build a 350-bed facility on Montreal Road in Vanier.
The application, first submitted in June, has been met with resistance from many Vanier residents, who list their already troubled area and a high population of seniors and children as reasons why a large shelter would negatively impact the area.
Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Jan Harder, began Tuesday’s meeting by outlining the rules of these discussions, which will continue Wednesday and Friday in Council Chambers.

The meetings  will specifically review the issue of area zoning from moving the hub from the ByWard Market to 333 Montreal Rd. in Vanier.

Groups opposing the move like SOS Vanier say the proposed new facility moving to their neighbourhood will bring in a poorer community. SOS Vanier’s Drew Dobson tells 1310 NEWS that social services shouldn’t be at one central location in one part of Ottawa. “You wouldn’t put 12 gas stations at one corner of Hunt Club. So why would you do this with the new facility? I’m asking the committee to be fair and honest and hear every single group and make a fair decision.”

Salvation Army Area Director Glenn van Gulik says groups like SOS Vanier don’t understand the positive impact a new community hub can have. “For the most part, most people just see what happens at our facilities on the outside. They don’t see our support staff and members helping those who need it most. We believe we’ll be a positive impact of change in Vanier.”

But Dobson and groups opposing it don’t buy it and say regardless of city council’s final decision, an appeal with the Ontario Municipal Board would most likely be filed. “We believe (SOS Vanier) that if Salvation Army loses, they’ll appeal with the OMB. If we lose, we would probably file an appeal.”

Monfort Hospital has also released a statement on the controversial move that was first announced in June, 2017.

The meetings run Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.

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