Sound Land Use Planning Principles Don’t Necessarily Lead to Sound Decision Making: The Case of the Salvation Army’s Proposed Shelter in Vanier

Between November 14 and 17, 2017, the Ottawa Planning Committee heard 3 days of emotional presentations from members of the public over the proposed Salvation Army social services complex on Montreal Road in Vanier. The large majority of delegations were residents opposing the project, worried what would happen to their neighbourhood if the 350-bed emergency shelter was built in the middle of their community. Continue reading

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WOW! Why is the Ottawa Citizen so down on Eastview?

WOW was my first reaction when I read the Ottawa Citizen Editorial Board’s opinion piece this morning on “Why We Support The Salvation Army”. One of the main reasons the Editors are supporting the Salvation Army project on Montreal Road in Vanier is that the site has already a “rundown motel and poorly maintained parking lot” along a stretch of Montreal Road where few would dare to walk along in the day never mind the night. Presumably, this is because of the rundown character of the area and because, as they state, “many potential clients for the new social services hub are already in this area”. The Editors also claim that there are no developers planning “classy condos” in the neighbourhood. The WOW factor became even more pronounced when reading their statement that they doubt the Salvation Army will not “drag things down much” more than it is and that “Vanier residents…are arguing to protect a gentrified community that doesn’t yet exist”. Continue reading

Dear Mr. Egan Re: My comments on your article on the Salvation Army proposal

Kelly Egan, a journalist with the Ottawa Citizen recently wrote an opinion article giving support to the Salvation Army’s proposed shelter on Montreal Road. I did post a response to the article but kept it fairly short. I decided to write a longer response here. Continue reading

Free Lunch versus Free Market: Did Ottawa Taxpayers Subsidize Downtown Condo Builders?

I read a recent article written by Joanne Chianello, a journalist at CBC Ottawa, about the City of Ottawa’s Brownfield’s policy. This policy, which was approved by City Council in 2007, provides grants to developers to encourage the redevelopment of contaminated lands. Her article points out that City Council has approved over $70 million in brownfields grant since 2007. The article further questioned the public benefits resulting from such grants and the absence of any assessment to see if the policy was actually stimulating investment which would not otherwise occur. Continue reading