Chelsea Council: River access, booze, daycare, and housing dominate meeting
Reuel S. Amdur
It’s all down hill from here, and not in a good way. During Chelsea Council’s question period on July 4, resident Molly Morse complained about what is happening to the pathway to Gatineau River at the end of Burnett Road. Topsoil has been installed and shrubbery and trees have been planted, but there has been no adequate protection provided from water driving the soil and vegetation down into the river. And that, she complained, is exactly what is happening. “Why is all this money being spent there before Chelsea decides exactly where river access will be located?” That is even aside from the question of the inadequate preparation of this naturalization project.
Moore was also upset by what she saw as the elimination of a pathway providing access to the river. Mayor Pierre Guènard said that the pathway may have been narrowed in the process of the naturalization, but, he argued, there is still adequate width to allow access by the pathway. He was non-committal on the future, as to whether this location would remain as an access point for the river. That decision awaits completion of the shoreline study.
During the session following the question period, Council engaged a law firm to bring civil action against an unnamed resident accused of defamation, harassment, and rudeness towards Chelsea employees, using social media. Details of the behavior were not laid out. However, Vice-Mayor Kimberly Chan took the occasion to make an impassioned plea for civility.
Chan declared that Chelsea staff were hard-working and dedicated and do not deserve this kind of treatment. She noted that Chelsea is short-staffed, and this kind of treatment does nothing either to retain or attract people. While employees may at times make mistakes, nevertheless “we heed a culture of respect and encouragement.” She pledged that Council will protect Chelsea employees.
Council took initial steps toward approval of a micro-brewery in Farm Point. The project will need to go to public consultation. Approval for a daycare building proved more contentious. Councillor Chan felt that the project was being dumped on Chelsea by the provincial government. She called for a full study on the need for child care in Chelsea, including home daycare. Council approved construction of the daycare centre, with the proviso that construction be completed in two years’ time.
At the session Council also adopted a motion to go to CMHC (Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation) for financial support to speed up construction of affordable housing.
Photo Caption: At Chelsea Council’s question period on July 4, resident Molly Morse complained about what is happening to the pathway to Gatineau River at the end of Burnett Road (RA)
Photo Credit: Reuel S Amdur