$data.PageTitle

image.jpg

The fight over the Salvation Army’s proposed new community hub in Vanier resumes today at a provincial tribunal.

The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal has set aside 15 days for the hearing at Ottawa City Hall to hear the community’s appeal of Council’s decision to allow the facility to proceed. LPAT is an adjudicative tribunal that hears cases in relation to a range of land use matters, heritage conservation and municipal governance.

"The shelter doesn't belong where they propose to put it," said the lawyer representing a group of Vanier residents, Michael Polowin.

"Shelters don't belong on traditional main streets, and Montreal road is a traditional main street, shelters don't belong in residential areas, and it's in middle of residential area."   Polowin also says it's a matter of minority rights, referring to the strong Francophone and Indigenous community in Vanier.   "You will separate them from the historical hearts of their community," said Polowin.   "There was no consultation done at all."

In 2017, Council approved the Salvation Army’s plans to build a new facility at 333 Montreal Road.  Councillor Mathieu Fleury introduced a motion last June for Council to reconsider the 2017 decision, but it was defeated by a vote of 12-10.

The facility will include 140 short term stay accommodations and accommodations for 100 men in a variety of longer stay residential programs.

The Salvation Army says its Community Hub will offer a broad range of “community-focused programs”, including community and family services, emergency disaster services, stabilization and addiction programs and a thrift store.

"It's always dissapointing when we feel pushback because were focused on helping the individuals we serve," says the spokesperson for Salvation Army, Glenn Van Gulik.

"This is about a zoning decision by the City of Ottawa."

SOS Vanier has led the fight against the proposed facility, saying "moving a shelter of this size to a site designated traditional main street, in a largely residential area, in vulnerable community will be devastating."

Rideau-Vanier Councillor Mathieu Fleury says while there is growing issue of homelessness, a shelter is not a long-term solution.

"I would oppose any location frankly because i dont think the model works," said Fleury.

"Right now were spending 30 million dollars on making sure people aren't on the street, we're not housing them." 

- With reporting from CTV's Christina Succi.