Community Issues and Solutions

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Fairlea Community Association: Community Issues

Ottawa, Ontario (Fairlea Community Association) 2002 - Heron-Walkley does not have recreational facilities that are very relevant or organised representation that is effective.

Issue: Recreational facilities could serve the community better than currently.
Phenomena: There is one community association representing a small portion of the community and a few housing groups organised around social and private housing. By themselves, all are weak organisations.

Suggestion: Amalgamation or coordination of community and housing groups to move towards the management of the Heron Multi-Service and Heatherington Recreation Centre. This would provide unified organisation for the area and a base of funds to provide useful services, including recreation.

Heron-Walkley has a large number of children receiving child care. Many providers live in the area but they are inadequately paid.


Issue: Despite the importance of child care to the nation and community, child care workers, mostly women are poorly paid.
Phenomena: Repeating the errors of the past, child care workers are largely poorly paid but experienced female workers. Many live in Heron-Walkley.

Suggestion: Increase child care workers wages, and ensure they have adequate resource support for home daycare providers.

Heron-Walkley is not an economically sustainable community


Issue: Low income with skills of little relevance to emerging high-tech economy
Phenomenon: Median Heron-Walkley income is $24K vs. $75K in all of City of Ottawa

Suggestions: Smart Communities, entrepreneurship training, recreational and job skills, training BDC?

Is creation of a special economic zone possible as in USA? Can we create a special planning area authority in Fairlea-Heatherington?

Integration of Youth

Issue: Youth are alienated, disaffected and disenfranchised
Phenomena: Shooting in Fairlea Park, Drive-by shootings between Carib and Blood Gangs

Suggestions: Youth training in high-tech, youth entrepreneurship, Justice and HRDC programs?

Is creation of a youth or community centre on Heatherington or Fairlea possible?

Childcare


Issue: Income drops with drop in welfare means that parents, especially in area with many single parents, cannot afford to stay home to care for children

Suggestions: Implement Red Book promise of National Child Care Program or area-focused special program in special economic zone.

Change provincial welfare laws to encourage working parents, not penalize families, and encourage multi-parent families. Ensure that if parents sharing custody, when one requires assistance that person and child can receive assistance.

Childcare


Issue: Income drops with drop in welfare means that parents, especially in area with many single parents, cannot afford to stay home to care for children

Suggestions: Implement Red Book promise of National Child Care Program or area-focused special program in special economic zone.

Change provincial welfare laws to encourage working parents, not penalize families, and encourage multi-parent families. Ensure that if parents sharing custody, when one requires assistance that person and child can receive assistance.

Greenspace


Issue: Rapid loss of greenspace makes living in deprived area unbearable
Phenomena: Train corridor rapidly intensifying, but Turtlehead now protected.

Suggestions: NCC Heron-Walkley lands did not raise sufficient market interest. Therefore, remove it from market and make it into NCC Park or transfer to Region. Region could facilitate swamp stewardship of preserved greenspace and support trail development to foster youth ownership of environment instead of vandalizing it.

Unsafe Sex and Drug Abuse


Issue: Youth, in particular, turn to sex and drugs to fill their lives

Suggestions : More Health Canada, Ontario and Regional interventions in area-focused public education and addiction program.

Create Special program by Ontario, Justice and Correctional Service Canada for re-integration of Young Offenders

Remove most or all peddled drugs from Criminal Code, regulate and tax them as in Netherlands thereby turning invisible criminals into visible, legitimate, tax-paying entrepreneurs (as Canada did in times of US Prohibition).

Are there future Bronfmans on Heron-Walkley?

Integration of New Canadians


Issue: Many highly skilled new Canadians skills are marginalised and rotting away
Phenomenon New Canadian skilled labour work in taxis or as nannies

Suggestions: Conduct recruitment drive in this and similar zones by different levels of government

More ESL

Further improvements to ensure equivalency via Council of Ministers of Education

Access Heritage Canada and Citizenship and Immigration funds to create local service integration window

Lack of integrated planning and action


Issue: Jurisdictional boundaries and lack of focus on area in clear need means that there is no integration of effort. Therefore solutions, if attempted, are fractured.

Suggestions: Politicians act as broker to seek out integrated planning and solutions regardless of whether authority is federal, provincial, regional or private. Means one-stop shopping for citizens.

Integrated community model incorporating politicians, business, NGO and community representatives to directly create policy in the community, with government officials as facilitators but not holding the pen.