Skip to content
live

Residents, election candidates fighting for better communication with Ottawa developers

Ottawa Centre MPP Joel Harden held a town hall-style discussion Saturday afternoon, welcoming more than 50 people to the Ottawa South Community Centre to share their opinions on the state of housing development practices in the city.

“That collaboration [by developers] with communities has to happen at the very beginning of the process,” said Laurie Urrechaga, planning and zoning with the Old Ottawa South Community Association. “In order to do that, there have to be some obvious change. There has to be time for the community – if they have the funds and resources – to hire their own professionals to parse through [development proposals].”

Urrechaga was just one of many delivering a message  that the City of Ottawa and the developers who work within it, need to do a better job consulting with residents before going ahead with projects

Ottawa Centre MPP Joel Harden held a town hall-style discussion Saturday afternoon, welcoming more than 50 people to the Ottawa South Community Centre to share their opinions on the state of housing development practices in the city.

Harden invited Ikram Dahir, organizer of the Heron Gate Tenant Coalition, to speak to the crowd about her opposition to the recent eviction of tenants in the Heron Gate community. Property management company Timbercreek Communities recently evicted residents from 150 properties in the Heron Gate area in order to demolish old units, forcing tenants to find new homes.

Dahir said the coalition started a legal defense fund, and more recently held a rally against Timbercreek, which Harden attended.

“Right now, we’re actually filing a human rights case,” she told the crowd. “This needs to be known to everybody that this is unacceptable and this happening parcel by parcel by parcel… If one landlord is able to do this, I think more landlords are going to think that this is going to be allowed to done.”

Harden said Dahir’s response to the Heron Gate evictions is a good example of grassroots organization in Ottawa.

In addition to members of community organizations and residents in attendance, some Ottawa municipal candidates joined the event to express their frustration with city building developers.

Ottawa mayoral candidate Clive Doucet, who was seated in the audience, spoke to the crowd to criticize housing development in Ottawa.

“You look around in our city in the neighbourhoods, you see lot line to lot line, every tree on that lot coming down… There’s no criteria except height and density and profit for developers,” Doucet said. “You can intensify your city without making it less green, more ugly and more dark. You can do it, but you have to be thinking about the people and the communities you serve.”

Doucet said if elected, the community would be in charge, instead of developers.

Shawn Menard, city council candidate for Capital Ward and who was also part of the audience, said he advocates for a more “rules-based system” to govern city officials, to ensure developers have less influence over members of city council.

Rogers Sports & Media
2001 Thurston Drive Ottawa, ON, K1G 6C9
© 2006-2023 Rogers Sports & Media. All rights reserved.
push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks