Thu. Jan 13th, 2022

Monday, December 6: You can write to us at letters@ottawacitizen.com

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Just do something at LeBreton Flats

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Re: NCC ready to hear great ideas for LeBreton, December 1st.

The story of LeBreton Flats is truly the story of Ottawa itself: worn in the beginning, so neglected and studied for years, then finally a promising new start and a new look. The only difference is that Ottawa itself has grown and for the most part has moved on, whereas LeBreton is still apparently stuck.

The original dwelling on the Apartments should probably not have been demolished, but when it was leveled, it could have been replaced with a new dwelling. As it looks now, the apartments are destined to become a kind of pseudo Disney / amusement-like park area with a possible aquarium, a showpiece library complex, maybe a hockey entertainment arena, etc. The land would also provide a fantastic land space for a collection of national museums, similar to Washington’s Smithsonian museums. The ideas for the land are too many to mention, but most just want a final closure of the longest-running history with no development in the history of the capital.

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It has been said that Ottawa will be a lovely city when it is finished and the Flats are a big part of that reasoning.

Douglas Cornish, Ottawa

We already lack routine law enforcement

Re: Council should say no to increasing Ottawa police budget, December 1st.

Michael Spratt’s remarks seem to indicate the need for better police funding, if nothing else, to improve the level of training, supervision and safety of officers. “Defund police” advocates may do well to study the rising level of crime in major U.S. cities since the call for defund went out.

We have recently seen a car drive down our street at double the set limit, and then drive a stop at an intersection that has seen two major collisions in the past year. One neighbor who was walking his dog was threatened, another got someone to walk into their patio and steal a number of items. In both cases, the answer to 9-1-1 calls was, “Well, you live in Vanier.” Simply lack of routine enforcement.

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There are valid arguments for increasing the use of social benefits with budgets to fund them. But how many psychologists are prepared and able to deal with an unstable individual with a knife at. 02.00?

David Prichard, Vanier

Spend the money on social benefits

Police are supposed to make us safer, but PPP scandals – Anthony Aust’s deaths, exaggerated and militarized “no knock raids” into people’s homes, pulling guns against a group of unarmed black youths – show a different reality.

Even at its best, policing largely involves dealing with social issues politicians do not want to deal with: homelessness, addiction, mental illness, poverty.

We would not need so many officers if we addressed the gaps in our social safety net. Ottawa could better spend its $ 332 million police budget (which will soon have a $ 11 million charge) on: affordable housing and Housing First programs; available advice; a mental health response team separate from OPS (as Toronto does); and free and improved public transportation.

We can create a truly safe, healthy and livable city by redistributing police funds to programs that serve people more effectively.

Nick Grover, Ottawa

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