Re: Via puts policy before protocol | Unpublished

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Unpublished Opinions

James OGrady's picture
Ottawa, Ontario
About the author

I am the founder of Unpublished Media Inc., a company I started in 2012. I am also a communications professional and community activist, living in Nepean, Ontario. And, I am a hockey goaltender, political hack and most importantly, an advocate for grassroots, participatory democracy at all levels of government.

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Re: Via puts policy before protocol

September 2, 2010

I wrote this letter to the Ottawa Citizen during the 2010 municipal election when it became clear the residents of the Glens community had not been consulted or even informed of the tree cutting Via Rail conducted in order to make their rail line more safe. I doubt these action had anything to do with safety when there is a railroad crossing not 500 ft away on Merivale Rd. A point of access for anyone who may wish to access the rail line. If you know why this happened, please feel free to comment.

I was disappointed to hear and then read in today's paper about what transpired in the Glens community over the last week. It is, unfortunately, another example of local communities not being informed or engaged in decisions that affect them in a very personal way.

Removing the trees and bushes that provided a natural buffer for residents who back onto the railroad track, in order to install a chain link fence that does nothing to block the sights and sounds of the rail line, is not only a weak solution to solving the safety issue, but it also demonstrates a clear lack of respect by VIA and CN for the residents who have been affected. I hope the Glens Community Association will push these companies to do something to mitigate the sound problem they just created.

As City Councillor for Ward 9: Knoxdale-Merivale, these are the types of things that I will work hard to prevent from happening in the future.

By being proactive, identifying potential problem issues before they happen and engaging all the appropriate stakeholders upfront, I believe we can find solutions that will be mutually beneficial to everyone.

James O'Grady
Candidate for Ottawa City Council
Ward 9: Knoxdale-Merivale