Here’s what Glenn van Gulik, the area public relations director of the Salvation Army says of his organization’s dealings with Councillor Mathieu Fleury and the City of Ottawa:
“In fact, as we look back at all of the meetings over the past two-and-a-half years, not only have we never been requested to engage community groups in discussion or consultation, but there was insistence by yourself and the city staff to keep this proposal for 333 Montreal Road private until the announcement on June 22nd, 2017.”
So Fleury and city staff asked the Salvation Army to keep the homeless shelter proposal quiet until it was a done deal, according to the Salvation Army.
And while Fleury has been calling recently for more time so there can be more public consultations, Fleury and the city had been asking the Army not to engage community groups.
Wasn’t that the MO at Moody’s Bay for the playground? The playground was a done deal when the community found out about it. River Councillor Riley Brockington then held a consultation where staff members fielded questions from the public. But the meeting didn’t matter … the playground was going in, consultation or not.
Fleury asks the public to believe him that more consultations are needed. But the scenario the Salvation Army describes is very similar to the city’s way of dealing with the Mooney’s Bay playground. Don’t let opponents of a controversial enterprise get a chance to stop it.
So now Fleury is in big trouble. He knew about the homeless project but didn’t tell the public. In fact according to the Salvation Army, Fleury asked that the decision remain private until the announcement date. Now he says he wants consultations but privately counselled the Army against going public with the project until it was done.
Shades of Mooney’s Bay.
Fleury has his constituents mad at him for allowing the homeless shelter in Vanier. As well he has been caught in a lie. And Mayor Jim Watson has turned against him because His Worship wants the shelter in Vanier.
Fleury has a lot of explaining to do before the 2018 municipal election.
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