The Salvation Army’s plan for a community hub on Montreal Road is another situation crying out for leadership. Instead of the binary outcome of a planning committee meeting, at which staff are recommending approval and some local politicians and dozens of community groups are asking for rejection, someone should sit down with the key players involved and negotiate a compromise.
The Salvation Army does terrific work, but that doesn’t mean its development proposal should not be closely scrutinized. And while community activists are right to ask questions about the scope and impact of the proposal, they shouldn’t be able to overrule a plan that could help resolve many social challenges in our community. One very likely scenario is that the proposal will be approved but never fully accepted by neighbours, a dangerous outcome for what is supposed to be the answer to a number of local issues including homelessness and addiction.
There’s still time to salvage a solution that could leave many stakeholders somewhat satisfied, even if they’re not thrilled with the outcome. Instead we’re headed to an all-or-nothing outcome that could leave some people very angry.