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Packed house for day one of Salvation Army fight at provincial tribunal

City council approved the original plans in 2017.

It was a packed house in the Keefer Room at Ottawa City Hall where the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal began hearing the case of the proposed Salvation Army facility.

The LPAT has set aside 15 days to hear the community's appeal to Council's controversial decision.

Michael Polowin, the lawyer representing the community and SOS Vanier, the group that launched the appeal, said their issue is not with the Salvation Army or the idea of a shelter, just the location.

"The shelter is needed, the shelter is valuable, the shelter doesn't belong where they propose to put it." he explained.

Polowin said a shelter doesn't belong on a traditional main street such as Montreal Road or in residential areas, while saying there would be social impacts as well.

"The reality is that statistics show that shelters attract crime," explained Polowin, adding "that will have an impact on the protected Francophone minority and the protected Indigenous minority."

Drew Dobson is the owner of Finnigan's pub and the founder of SOS Vanier. He outlined the community's reasons for opposing the plan. 

"If you looked out your back door and they bulldozed your neighbour's houses and they put a shelter in, do you think that would help your property value? Or if you had a business on Montreal Road by a shelter and you wanted your customers to walk down the street and feel comfortable coming into your shop to buy your goods, and I think any reasonable person would say it wouldn't be good for my property or my business.

The Salvation Army says its hub will offer a broad-range of programs, and even have a courtyard, so as to eliminate the need for shelter users to hang out on the street.




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