Sunday, July 26, 2020

Briargreen Newsletter

Hello Briargreen,

I hope you’re enjoying summer, and able to make the most of our compromised socializing and travel options during this pandemic. More importantly, I hope you and your family are healthy.

As most of you know, our municipal ward (College) has been making news headlines in many of Ottawa’s media outlets over the past couple weeks and months, including our own social media page on Facebook.

While as a community association we prefer to stay out of local politics, we do from time to time get pulled in. I took the time to meet with fellow community association presidents in order to get a sense of the current situation.

The subject is the fallout following the release of the city’s integrity commissioner report on our local city councilor, Rick Chiarelli. I’m not going to rehash or summarize the July 2020 Chiarelli Report.PDF as it’s been reviewed extensively in the news.

Following the report’s release, some of our fellow community associations in the ward have been calling for the councilor’s resignation or removal, via petition, and because some Briargreen residents have suggested we sign on to the calling, I felt we have an obligation to remain informed of the matter and loop you in on the proceedings. The petition was signed by several community associations, however there isn’t a mechanism to remove an elected city councilor, nor does it appear for that matter that our councilor has any intention of resigning following the release of the commissioner’s report.

The question was escalated to our local provincial government members, and they confirmed they are unable to tamper with city council.

We are committed to getting College Ward the representation it deserves and are asking the mayor how our ward can be better served in the absence of an active councilor. As taxpayers, many are concerned that their needs are not being properly heard by the city, especially as so many development projects are pending or under development, and policies are being set that will impact the city for decades to come.

It is not our intent to sway your political opinion in any direction, but rather to keep you informed of what’s going on in our community and surroundings. It’s particularly sensitive in this case as the situation is mired in legal proceedings.

We will inform you of developments, and in the meantime, enjoy the summer!

Robert Welch
President, Briargreen Community Association (BCA)