McRae refuses to look at Ledbury-Banff concerns from residents point of view
If you look at this video posted by the Ottawa Citizen on the Ledbury Banff Pavilion uprising, it’s very clear to me that this whole project had more to do about city staff than the community residents.
First off, River Ward councillor, Maria McRae, berates the community members for not asking for a meeting to discuss their concerns about the programming. She says this right after telling the upset crowd that the opening was moved up to accommodate the personal situations of city staff Joanne Poirier, Ottawa Housing CEO and Nichole Nichole Hoover-Bienasz, the councillors assistant. Why didn’t the councillor opt to delay the ribbon cutting ceremony when she learned the week before of the residents’ concerns? I hope McRae doesn’t say this was the first time she heard of these concerns.
The main point, however, the residents are trying to make is that the city took away their previous trailer which played an important part in their summer program plans and replaced it with a new building that excludes the Ledbury Banff community right when summer is upon us and the needs for facilities are at it’s highest. In fact, the councillor admits that there is not access for the residents to the building until the fall and this was how it was planned by the city. McRae says “There is nothing happening other than what Dan[Chenier] had already planned months and months and months ago…”. Months ago the city staff, around whose schedules this opening was planned was designing programs that excluded the residents where the new building sits.
There is a planned meeting between the residents and city staff tomorrow (Friday) to discuss the use of the facility by residents. I don’t know if Councillor McRae can find the time in her busy schedule to attend the meeting of her constituents but she and others at City Hall are the ones that “need to stop talking” and listen to the people for whom it is their job to represent and serve. It’s time that the needs of the residents of Ledbury Banff are put ahead of the needs and wants of city staff.