It is the duty of elected officials to protect the rights and safety of Ottawa residents. I am appalled at the way our Mayor conducts himself in managing city business. He has become a dictator in presiding over City Council and rides roughshod over our communities, ignoring their input. The Mayor’s insistence on forcing approval for the Salvation Army’s disastrous proposal to build a 350 bed homeless men’s emergency shelter on Montreal Road is a prime example of what propelled me to run for Mayor. The plan is for this mega shelter to be situated in the heart of a residential neighbourhood.
With no accountability, the Mayor negotiated a secret deal to enrich developers and destroy a vulnerable community’s prosperity and safety for future generations. This should not be allowed to happen in any part of our city.
The Salvation’s Army’s proposed facility in Vanier, unfairly places the burden of dealing with the city’s homeless problem and the related issues of addiction and mental illness onto one community – Vanier. This affects every part of our city and to stop it, we all have to be in it together. We can stop this from happening before it’s too late.
The city needs to embrace a Housing First policy. This philosophy holds that people in crisis should be given a permanent home right away, rather than moved in stages through shelters, addiction treatment and group homes. A serious shortage of Affordable Housing compounds the homeless problem.
When elected officials ignore its own taxpayers, social change becomes necessary and people are compelled to stand up for their communities and take direct action. We have a dire affordable housing shortage in this city and it’s time our politicians make it a priority.