In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need the Salvation Army to provide the kinds of services it’s proposing to offer in a new facility on Montreal Road. But despite being the capital city of a prosperous first world nation, Ottawa still has many challenges. We’re lucky there are organizations like the Salvation Army ready to take them on.
Unfortunately, the debate over whether to proceed has descended into bitter letter writing over who knew what and when they knew it. That doesn’t help resolve anything.
Whether city officials were aware of the plan or not, members of the community weren’t. And the concerns they raise are legitimate, including whether or not a facility of that size, with such a wide range of services, is appropriate for that location.
In situations like this, you can’t get what you want simply by winning the argument. You have to find consensus in the community. The Salvation Army does terrific work. But it can’t build this facility without the support of the people of Vanier. It should focus on getting that rather than attacking city hall.