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Lepage Residents Launch Neighbourhood Watch

May 29th, 2009 Comments off
LePage NW

A great turnout of residents and service providers gathered in the Lepage Ave. community last Saturday to celebrate the kick-off of the area's Neighbourhood Watch program. The community has been plagued by crime and safety issues for several years and hopes this will change with the implementation of the program

BY ROSALYN STEVENS  EMC News - A large group of residents‘ from Lepage Ave. gathered last weekend to celebrate the kick-off of their Neighbourhood Watch program. As of last Saturday morning, more than 120 people had joined the watch group. Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCHC) Chief Executive Officer Jo Anne Poirier said she is very happy to see the community rally together in this way. “I’m really proud and excited." she said, ridding that the residents have formed a Strong partnership with OCHC and the Ottawa Po- lice Service. . “What I'm particularly excited about is that our OCHC tenants are working with their neighbours." Ms. Poirier said the watch is modeled after the success of the same program in the Foster Farm community and is hopeful that this neighbourhood will see similar results. Foster Farm residents saw calls for police attendance drop more than half from 96 calls in one year before Neighbourhood Watch was in place. ‘It's a model that's shown that it works." she said, "and it’s also very compatible with the Ottawa Community Housing healthy communities initiative." Harry Kingston, who oversees the program in the Crystal Beach/Lakeview community told the Lepage residents they should be proud of themselves for stepping up to take back their community. "On your floor and in your building and in your community. [you] have the ability to make a change.” He said. “You don't take things into your own hands. You just keep your eyes and ears open." River ward Conn. Maria McRae told the residents she was especially proud of their progress given the level of fear and anger the same group expressed regarding their safety a year ago. She said she is thrilled to see them take the issues on themselves in this form. “I'm not going to give up on your community," the councilor said. “if you look around this room, this is evidence that we're all walking the walk together.’ Ottawa Police Chief Vern White was also on hand, congratulating the group for their effort. He said he drove through the neighborhood, taking note of the issues and concerns residents had and is happy to see the progress to this level. "I do know that your community matters to you and we cannot afford for it not to matter to us," he said. Jerry Pool is the coordinator for residents in 1400 and 1390 Lepage Ave.  He said he was very happy with the turnout or the community for last. weekend's event, noting he hopes this means even more people will join the Neighbourhood Watch. Mr .Pool said the area has already seen some improvements and expects more as the program continues to grow and expand. “it's getting a lot better than it was a year ago," he explained, "because a few of the troublemakers are gone already." Const. Abdul Ahdi community police officer for Parkwood Hills, said he was excited to be a part of the kick-off event, something that the community has worked very hard towards. Assuming his current role just after the initial planning for a Neighbourhood Watch began, Const. Abdi said he hit the ground running and has had great support from the residents. "You don't have to live in this community to care about this community," he said. Const. Ahdi said he wants to see the community grow and prosper, have residents feel confident about their surroundings, and have the -sense that they've taken back their homes. While he said the efforts of Foster Farm are exceptionally commendable, he noted that the work that will be done in the Lepage community could be different on some levels. “Where there's a challenge there’s an opportunity.” Const. Abdi said. “And this is, what I saw in this."

 

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Remembrance & Renewal Event Honours Vets

May 29th, 2009 Comments off

 

Remembrance & Renewal

Remembrance & Renewal May 29 2009

Planning for the Carlington Community Association’s main event of the year “Remembrance and Renewal” officially took place at our September 2008 association meeting. Jim Wiles from the Royal Canadian Legion kindly agreed to advise us on plans for the Veteran’s Ceremony in May of 2009. Jim suggested a day in the later part of May 2009 as being most practical. It would be necessary to obtain a parade permit from the City at least six weeks before the event. The parade permit arrived only two days before the event even though we sent in the application back in November of 2008. On top of receiving the permit only two days before the event, we were also informed that the permit also would not have be granted unless we could show proof of liability insurance. Luckily for us, our community association had already purchased liability insurance for the event several weeks previous to the event so this last minute requirement was not a problem (but it could have been).

Our intention was to honour the veterans and, in particular, to highlight the role of those who lived in and developed the Carlington community after World War II. This would be connected with information on the “Veteran Houses” which make up a large segment of Carlington and tie in with CMHC’s initiative the “Now House”. We also mentioned our missing War Memorial (from the top of the Carlington Reservoir) and our efforts to find or replace it, preferably in the triangle at the corner of Merivale and Carling.

A date of May 24 was chosen, as was the parade route from Harold Place to W.E. Gowling on Anna Avenue. A longer parade route from the Carling/Merivale triangle was considered, but rejected as it was considered too far a march to W.E. Gowling School on Anna Ave for the aging veterans.

Mr Wiles also asked that while we should invite the local politicians to attend the event, it was important that they not be asked to speak since the focus was to be on the veterans. It later turned out that the Ottawa Carleton District School Board no longer allows Sunday use of it school properties. However, Riley Brockington the School Board Trustee for River Ward convinced the School Board to make a special exemption on our part. At a later date we asked if Riley could act as Master of Ceremonies for the event and he whole heartily agreed. Brian Begbie of W.E. Gowling School was also very interested in the project and he was delighted to host the event, as it was a good example of the school and the community working together. It was also a good learning experience for the students at the school.

 

 

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