Glebe Annex Community Association (GACA)
Board Meeting Minutes – Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021 7:00 p.m.
Via Conference Call
- Carrie Bolton
- David Perkins
- Gabrielle Dallaporta
- Joanne Benoit
- Maja Rakocevic
- Robert Logie
- Sue Stefko
- Jonathan McLeod (Assistant, Office of Shawn Menard, Councillor, Capital Ward), Guest: Constable Stephanie Lemieux
1. Call to Order and Approval of the Agenda
- The meeting was called to order with the approval of the agenda at 7:02 p.m.
2. Approval January 5, 2021 Minutes
- The motion to approve the minutes was made by Sue and seconded by Carrie.
3. Business Arising from the Minutes of January 5th
3.1 – John Howard Society
- John Howard Society (JHS) has reached out to Sue and informed her that they will be hiring a program coordinator in the next few weeks; this will be the primary community contact person. JHS will be setting up a Zoom meeting with the Lakelander and other nearby residents. Sue will listen in – any board member who wishes to also listen in was asked to let Sue know. The meeting will be mostly focused on construction activities.
3.2 – 7 Maclean
- The site plan was approved by the City last October, but the City planners did not notify GACA, as it was considered a ‘standard’ site plan. 2B does not have their building permit yet. The City does not know when they want to start to build, and 2B did not respond to Sue’s question regarding construction timing.
3.3 – Traffic Measures – Clemow
- The petition to change the existing parking from the north side of Clemow to the south side was successful, but there was not enough support to prohibit vehicular entry from Bronson. Gabrielle was commended for her efforts to secure the final required signature to enable the petition’s success. The signage has already been moved, and the change to parking is in effect.
3.4 – Traffic Measure – Bronson offramp
- Councillor Menard reached out to the province to restart the conversation on the Bronson offramp, particularly regarding pedestrian safety.
3.5 – Traffic Calming
- Another walk-through took place in the neighbourhood to identify additional traffic calming possibilities.
4. Guest – Constable Stephanie Lemieux
- Constable Lemieux provided an update on crime and safety in our community. We had previously mentioned to her concerns about an increased police presence at the community housing building in the Glebe Annex. Although Constable Lemieux cannot speak directly to any particularly building, she commented that it is positive that we are seeing police presence, as this indicates that issues are being addressed. She promised to reach out to us if there is ever anything happening in our area that is a concern to public safety.
- COVID lockdown also coincided with an 80% increase in the number of break and enters city-wide. Bicycles were the main target during the summer and early fall, with many stolen from Glendale/Powell. One individual was found responsible for most of these, and when he was arrested, thefts in this area stopped. The police started to promote ‘529 Garage’. This is a program with an app that alerts Ottawa-area cyclists when a bike is stolen. The police were able to locate 30 plus stolen bicycles at a bike shop on Catherine Street. They are still finding bikes and returning them. Constable Lemieux’s belief is that the thefts at 300 Powell were committed by this same person/group. One individual is still in custody and has been charged. She also mentioned the break-in of sheds on Clemow where bikes were also stolen, probably part of the same theft ring.
- We wanted to know how the Glebe Annex compares with the rest of the city regarding crime. In relation to other neighbourhoods in the centre of Ottawa, our community has little reported crime. One concern close to (but just outside of) our area was the tent encampments next to the Rochester 417 off-ramp. This has been a problem for some time. The Ministry of Transport had a number of trees and bushes cut down to remove hiding spots, and the police removed the encampment. It was found that these people were not homeless and had housing – but were using this area to do drugs. There were needles everywhere. The City and the MTO had the area cleaned up.
- Most of the calls to police in the Glebe Annex are for minor crimes and traffic issues, such as collisions.
- Neighbourhood Resource Teams (NRT) – The NRT are police who have a presence in some Ottawa communities. The NRT program, formerly called community policing, was eliminated in 2017. It returned after many communities called for more police presence. The Glebe Annex is just outside of an NRT boundary (the 417). The teams are present in communities most in need of their support. However, it is a dotted line, and Constable Lemieux has asked for additional resources, such as during the rash of thefts along Powell and Glendale. Based on the current crime stats, we have not met the criteria for a constant NRT presence, but if there were to be an increase in crime, they could be deployed to our community, at least temporarily.
- John Howard Society (JHS) – There is concern about an increase in crime and safety concerns when the JHS at 289 Carling has residents. Constable Lemieux would like to work with GACA and the community writ large on this. Sue will connect Constable Lemieux with the JHS coordinator when s/he is in place, and Constable Lemieux indicated an interest in taking part in the Zoom meeting.
- The community police officer in Mechanicsville, where the Carruthers JHS is located, has an exceptionally good rapport with the JHS, and Constable Lemieux wants to have a similar relationship with the JHS in the Glebe Annex. At Carruthers they had some serious problem tenants, but they were evicted. As soon as they moved out, things improved. The 289 Carling JHS is supportive housing – they will have programming on site, which is positive. Constable Lemieux looks forward to working with the JHS and with GACA.
5. Next GACA AGM – Sue – Gabrielle
- Dates and time were discussed. Consensus was reached that the last couple of weeks in May were best. Given our meeting is virtual, we are flexible since we do not need to book a physical room. The date of Tuesday, May 18th was selected as our first choice. It looks like this date works well for Councillor Menard – we will verify the date with other guest speakers.
- Our last AGM was 2 hours – 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Two hours may be long for a virtual meeting. We will see how many guest speakers we will have and the format – ideally, we could reduce the meeting to no more than 90 minutes.
- JHS was suggested as a guest speaker, but it was felt that we should get someone who has not been a guest at our AGM before, that includes the Canada Lands Corporation.
- It was suggested that an area of general interest could be introduced, for example traffic management. GACA has been involved in local traffic calming issues. It was supported to have someone from Ottawa Traffic Services present on initiatives in the Glebe Annex.
- Katasa was supported as another speaker – this could be good timing given their investments in the area, including the upcoming 275 Carling build. Sue will ask them.
- Gabrielle suggested that we use Zoom for the AGM – the cost is $20.00 a month for up to a hundred people to call in. The plan also comes with social media streaming and recording. Social media streaming could be a good idea. We do need to be transparent that we are streaming it or recording it, however. Gabrielle suggested purchasing it for the month of May and doing a trial run at our May board meeting. Her preference is having everyone on the meeting muted and unmuted only when they speak. Alternately, people could ask their questions via the chat function. Everyone was supportive of using Zoom for the AGM.
6. Discussion on Incorporating GACA – Joanne/Robert
- Incorporation really boils down to two questions – does incorporating GACA provide increased protection for board members should we want to do a more ambitious project? And is it worth the cost and paperwork, including annual filing and an administrative burden, in return for the extra protection?
- We require a lawyer to verify if the benefits are worthwhile. It appears that we could obtain a free half-hour consult. It might be helpful for us to ask questions to help us make a better-informed decision. We will also research how burdensome the reporting procedure is.
- Sue recommends looking at this further, and Robert and Joanne are willing to dig a little deeper in the areas where we have outstanding questions.
7. Councillor’s Office Update – Jon
7.1 Official Plan Update
- The date for comments on the City’s draft Official Plan has been extended until March 12th.
7.2 Snow clearing on NCC land at Commissioner’s Park
- Councillor Menard is asking the NCC to clear all, or at minimum, some of the paths in Commissioners park – so far, the NCC has resisted, but they do have a meeting tomorrow.
7.3 Traffic updates
- Tthe Councillor’s office is looking further at possible traffic calming measures for the Glebe Annex. If board members have any suggestions, please reach out to Sue/Gabrielle. The Councillor’s office is still working on the Bronson offramp issue.
- City staff are suggesting continuing the programs and having more e-scooters available this year. They are also talking about expanding the locations they can operate in. Councillor Menard supports this.
7.5 Ward meeting
- Councillor Menard will be hosting a ward meeting to go over the Official Plan on February 11th – everyone is welcome.
- The meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m.