GCA meets – in the same room


John Crump
President Glebe Community Association

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We are still living in the shadow of the pandemic. Over the last two and a half years, we have become used to seeing one another on a screen. This has been the story for the GCA since March 2020 – monthly meetings, Annual General Meetings and federal and provincial all-candidates debates viewed from the comfort of our living rooms.

We broke the pattern on October 25 when the board got together in person at the Glebe Community Centre. We had to figure out where the tables were and how to arrange the chairs, but it all came back. The meeting followed a survey of members that confirmed a majority wanted to meet in person but only every other month. So in November, the GCA will again meet on Zoom. We’ll reassess in the New Year.

Visit from Community Police

Two community police officers – Constables Sylvie Lemieux and Meg Arbuthnot – were invited to speak after reports over the summer and fall of break-and-enters, car vandalism, an assault, a fire and bike thefts in the community.

The officers explained the concept of “intelligence-led policing” – when people report, the information goes into a database that identifies “hotspots” which in turn help drive where police resources are deployed. The Glebe is not a hotspot, we were told. They also explained important steps bike owners can take to increase the chances a found bike will be returned if located by the police or abandoned in the neighbourhood. These include keeping a record of the serial number and registering the bike at project529.com/garage.

The bottom line: community policing is driven by statistics. We were told that the more incidents are reported, the more accurate the statistics and the better able police will be to put the right number of people in the right places. We will be looking to help promote the many ways to report to police over the coming months.

Mutchmor Rink Update

As reported last month, the Mutchmor rink will return this winter. It will be operated by the Glebe Neighbourhood Activities Group (GNAG). Director of recreation Paul O’Donnell said the goal is to maximize programming and get as many people as possible on the ice. To help make this happen, the GCA was asked for financial support to purchase a new snowblower, set up a storage pod and buy shovels and other equipment. GNAG is approaching businesses and other potential supporters, Paul said, given that the organization has a deficit caused by the long shutdown during the pandemic.

Budget Motions

The request from GNAG came as the board passed its 2022-23 budget with a “placeholder” for support for the Mutchmor Rink. We also approved a motion to extend the current contract to maintain the GCA website for the next three years (and thereby secured a discount) and to hold a half-day gathering of board members to discuss issues on the horizon. That meeting will be facilitated (for free) and further details will follow.

What’s in a name?

After many years of discussion, a new park was created this summer next to the fire hall on O’Connor at Fifth Avenue. In June 2021, the GCA Parks Committee’s recommended to the City that it initiate a consultation process to choose a name for this park. The committee recommended that the park and that the process be consistent with the City of Ottawa Reconciliation Action Plan with Indigenous Peoples as well as focusing on honouring honouring our senior citizens. Some work was done to bring this about, including meeting with an Algonquin knowledge holder to discuss possible names and meaning.

On October 21, the Parks Committee learned that the City was planning to go ahead with a name – Fire Hall Park – and that a decision needed to be made immediately due to contract requirements. The GCA discussed the issue and passed a motion recommending “that the city does not proceed with naming and signage at the new park at 625 O’Connor until it has completed a process that adheres with the City of Ottawa Action Reconciliation Plan.”

Municipal election vote of thanks

The municipal election is over. We have a new mayor and many rookie councillors along with some veterans – Shawn Menard, councillor for our ward, was re-elected. Congratulations to all. Here’s hoping the work of the new council will be noteworthy for its openness and willingness to welcome the voices of the many communities that make up Ottawa.

While voter turnout was less than stellar, just over 51 per cent of Glebe residents cast their vote for councillor, mayor and school trustees. Interest in elections and the democratic process is always high in the Glebe. This was demonstrated once again at a mayoral debate at the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne organized by the GCA as part of a consortium of 20 community associations.

A special thanks is owed to GCA board members June Creelman and Bob Brocklebank who were the driving forces behind this event and who, with many other volunteers, worked many hours to bring it about.

The next GCA board meeting will be held online Tuesday, 22 November from 7–9 p.m. Email secretary@glebeca.ca for the Zoom link to attend the meeting.

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