GACA Board Meeting – September 13, 2023

Glebe Annex Community Association (GACA)
Board Meeting – Wednesday, September 13, 2023, 7 p.m.
Present: Avery Steinberg, David Perkins, Gabrielle Dallaporta, Joanne Wilson, Laurent Carbonneau, Ryan Hampel, Shelby Hildebrand, Sue Stefko, Jonathan McLeod (Office of Councillor Shawn Menard, Capital Ward)
1. Call to Order and Approval of Agenda – Laurent
Laurent called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m. The agenda for the meeting was shared in advance and approved without objections.
2. Approval of the Minutes from June 12th – Laurent
Laurent raised the minutes from the previous meeting held on June 12th. The group reviewed the minutes, which were shared in advance, and there were no amendments or corrections raised. The minutes were approved as presented.
3. Business Arising from the Meeting of June 12th – Laurent
Laurent opened the floor for any business arising from the minutes of the last meeting. No points were raised.
4. Development – Laurent
Demolition of Arthur Lane South Dwellings: The group discussed the ongoing situation regarding the dwellings located on Arthur Lane. These dwellings had been slated for demolition. There was some concern and discussion among the group regarding the implications of this demolition on the community, including potential impacts on housing availability and neighborhood character.
Bell Street South: The group discussed the continued lack of communication regarding the vacant and damaged homes on Bell Street South. Members of the group expressed concern over the absence of updates or information from the relevant authorities or developers. There may be issues relating to property maintenance, safety, and the future development plans for these vacant homes.
Abandonment of Arnon Little Italy: The group discussed the abandonment of the Arnon Little Italy project. This project was initially envisioned to bring new development and revitalization to the Little Italy area but has since been abandoned or put on hold for unspecified reasons. Members of the group expressed disappointment and concern over the loss of potential community benefits and improvements that the project could have provided.
5. Glebe Annex Safety Report – Ryan
Ryan shared updates regarding safety concerns in the Glebe Annex area observed over the summer. The community has been experiencing ongoing issues such as theft, particularly trespassing, drug use, and theft. These incidents have contributed to a sense of insecurity among the residents.
Engagement with JHS (John Howard Society): Ryan mentioned issues involving JHS. He has been actively communicating with the JHS staff to address these matters. There is a plan to organize an engagement session, like a previous one held in July, with JHS staff to foster better understanding and cooperation in managing these challenges.
Engagement with Police: Ryan has been in contact with Constable Stephanie Lemieux, of Ottawa Police Service, who has flagged various items to their neighbourhood resource team to address safety concerns. The aim is to foster collaboration and dialogue between the community, and the police to improve safety and security in the area.
Data Challenges: Ryan expressed difficulties in analyzing and understanding the trends due to a lack of data. The current data available on the police services website is insufficient for a comprehensive understanding of the safety situation in Glebe Annex. Ryan has requested more detailed and specific data from the police to establish a baseline and better understand the ongoing issues.
Reporting Issues: Gabrielle highlighted problems with the reporting system on the police website. Ryan acknowledged this and noted that many incidents go unreported, leading to gaps in the data. The lack of reporting might stem from residents’ frustration with the system or other barriers to reporting incidents.
Collaboration and Future Engagement: Ryan is also exploring collaborations with the police resource team, understanding that this team is shared with other communities. He is looking into strategies and approaches adopted by other communities to address safety concerns.
Ryan and Laurent expressed willingness to engage in future conversations with the police to address these issues. Ryan is open to having others join these discussions to foster community-wide engagement and collaboration on safety matters.
Action Items:
  • Ryan to continue engagement with JHS staff and organize an engagement session to discuss and address ongoing issues.
  • Ryan, possibly with Laurent and other volunteers, will actively participate in discussions with the police to enhance safety and security in the Glebe Annex area.
  • Work on improving the reporting system and encourage residents to report incidents to ensure accurate data collection and understanding of safety trends in the community.
6. Update on GACA’s 10 Anniversary Party – Avery
Avery provided a debrief on GACA’s 10th Anniversary Party. Various details were discussed, highlighting the great showing, and mentioning that the event came under budget. A big thanks was extended to all who helped with the organization of the event.
Laurent suggested another event for Halloween, though perhaps keeping it simple and fun for participants and organizers. There was some discussion regarding the type of event to host, including considerations for treats, costumes, and the target audience. The group also discussed the timing of the event, whether it should be held on Halloween or around that time.
Action Items: Sue will take the lead in organizing the Halloween event, with assistance from interested volunteers. The planning details and budget for the event will be reviewed and finalized at the next board meeting.
7. Debrief from September 12th Ward council meeting – Laurent
Laurent debriefed the group on the Ward council meeting held on September 12th. He provided a summary of the key discussions and outcomes from that meeting, with no significant concerns or issues raised during the debrief. The group had the opportunity to reflect and comment.
8. Councillor’s Update – Jonathan
  • Discussion about urban boundary expansion, land swaps, and concerns regarding the provincial government’s decision-making and governance.
  • Mention of land deals for urban development and dealings by the provincial government, leading to a proposal for investigation by the provincial auditor general and integrity commissioner.
  • Ongoing concerns and works related to land development, heritage preservation, transportation planning, and public realm improvements were discussed.
  • Jonathan addressed questions regarding cash-in-lieu of parkland, mentioning current funds and their usage, as well as the decision-making process and previous projects funded through this mechanism. He mentioned the general approach in managing and requesting these funds, community dynamics and the recent history of fund allocation.
  • A member asked about the possibility of funding crosswalks through cash-in-lieu, but it was clarified that these funds are specifically for parks. Discussions also touched on the challenges and costs associated with establishing crosswalks, particularly on Carling.
9. Fall Clean Up – Laurent
Laurent will take the lead in organizing the Fall Clean UP. Discussion about possibly scheduling the event for September 30th or October 23rd, considering weather and availability of participants.
Action Item: Laurent will submit a registration for Fall Clean Up in the next day or two, decide on a date, and organize the event accordingly.
10. Adjournment
The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

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