President Glebe Community Association
This is my first report as the new president of the Glebe Community Association, so I would like to thank the members of the board for supporting my nomination and I look forward to working with everyone in the coming year.
Our family moved to the Glebe in 1993 from the Yukon “for a couple of years” and, aside from overseas job opportunities that took us to Denmark and Norway, we have made this our home ever since. My first involvement with the GCA was in the late 1990s as chair of the education committee. I have been one of the GCA vice-presidents for the last couple of years and prior to that the co-chair of the Environment Committee.
Although some of the issues have changed, many have not. And one constant factor remains the dedication and hard work of the many volunteers who give their time, energy and passion to the community association. As I write this, they are (mostly) taking a well-earned rest.
The last GCA board meeting took place on June 28, two weeks after the Annual General Meeting which ushered in a new board with several new and returning members (a full list of board members is on our website at glebeca.ca). It was a full agenda and we passed two motions.
The first was to support the “Starts with Home” campaign. Affordable housing is a national concern, and the City of Ottawa has declared a homelessness emergency. The rising cost of accommodation coupled with increased inflation and higher interest rates is putting pressure on many families, and this is reflected in the fact that the number of homeless individuals and families in Ottawa is increasing rapidly, despite the city adopting a 10-year homelessness and housing plan.
The GCA is actively advocating for a response to the homelessness crisis from every level of government, so our Health, Housing and Social Services Committee introduced a motion to support the Alliance to End Homelessness’s “Starts with Home” campaign. Its goal is to elect a municipal government that prioritizes affordable housing. In supporting this campaign, the GCA joins many other community associations and organizations that have partnered with Alliance to End Homelessness.
The campaign calls for six actions to bring about affordable housing:
- Strengthen tenant protections (protecting tenants against demolition and renovictions);
- Create an acquisition strategy (help non-profit housing providers acquire aging housing stock);
- Develop an inclusionary zoning policy;
- Increase the municipal budget;
- License landlords (to ensure quality of housing);
- Assign a housing ombudsperson (implement the right to housing).
A second motion was passed to renew our Zoom account for board and committee meetings. While this seems like a small thing, as in many workplaces, Zoom has been instrumental in making sure the GCA could continue to meet during the ups and downs of the pandemic. With no crystal ball to predict when we can go back to in-person meetings, we anticipate continuing online sessions in the fall. In fact, the board has discussed the possibility of holding hybrid meetings but given the logistics and need for everyone to be able to participate equitably, we decided not to go that route.
There were a number of committee reports, including from Health, Housing and Social Services, Parks and Environment, Membership and Great Glebe Garage Sale, which this year raised approximately $5,000 for the Ottawa Food Bank.
We also had a brief discussion about the municipal election on October 24. While it seems a long time from now, campaigns are already underway. This fall, the GCA will look at opportunities for Glebe residents to hear from those who are running for mayor and council. So keep up to date by following the GCA on social media or checking our website for more information.
Finally, scooters have returned to the Glebe this summer. Last year, many residents complained about sidewalk riding and improperly parked scooters blocking sidewalks. This year, the technology is improved so there should be fewer problems. But if you have a concern, please report it. There is a tag on each scooter with a phone number and QR code or call 3-1-1. One resident reports that they made a report and the offending scooter was gone in less 15 minutes.
The first GCA board meeting in the fall will take place Tuesday, September 27, from 7 to 9 p.m. Please join us (email email@example.com for the Zoom link) and have a good rest of the summer.