The proposal to build a medical lodge built for the first purpose for the Inuit in Ottawa was met with strong local opposition.
As the city’s planning committee is set to vote on the development, arguments over land use will raise concerns that some in the community do not value Inuit health care.
A new building for Larga Baffin, a hostel for Inuit attending medical appointments in Ottawa, is a junction of Hunt Club Road and Sieveright Avenue, south of Bank Street and south of downtown.
The current location on Richmond Road is more efficient, with staff booking extra patients at local hotels.
The planning agency described the project as similar to Ronald McDonald’s’, with guests sometimes staying for a while to see a specialist, while others stay for months to receive treatment for more involved procedures.
Applications for raising the height of the new building to an additional four meters in some places and to two floors in others are due to go before the planning committee on Thursday from 9:30 am.
City staff suggest changes to the official plan should continue, but in their report 350 comments were collected during the consultation process – 100 in favor of the proposal and 250 against.
In a summary of the feedback received, staff noted that there was “great concern” about increased crime and drug use, as well as concerns about overflowing and declining property values as a result of the facility.
“Residents hope this facility helps visitors outside Ottawa and does not directly benefit the community,” the report says.
Councilor against the present plan
Gown. Diane Deans, who represents the ward that goes into the building, said she opposes it “in its current form.”
In April, the teens held a public meeting, which was attended by nearly 300 people. Many raised concerns against the plan, ranging from traffic jams to “illegal activities” to Nunavut’s high smoking rates.
A neighbor, who identified himself only as Madeleine on the zoom call, was concerned that the building would affect water pressure to homes within the boundaries of the proposed property.
“We’re here first,” he told the crowd.
Other residents, concerned about traffic congestion, said the location for the Inuit was not right because it was already on a busy road.
“My goal is to ensure that this facility, in its final form, is compatible with existing residential environments and addresses community concerns,” the Teens Staff Project Committee said in a statement.
Teens who are not members of the project team have turned down the interview. In an email to the CBC, Deans acknowledged the merits of the facility, but said its importance did not apply to the land use concerns he was passing through.
“We are proud to provide these types of facilities in our city and in our communities,” he said.
Harry Flaherty, chairman of Larga Buffin Ltd., told the crowd that the facility was necessary because it was the only way from Nunavut to Inuit to access medical services.
‘Misconceptions and racist views’
Katherine’s stepmother’s mother is also one of those Nunavut residents.
He is currently hospitalized in Ottawa, but remains in Larga Buffin while undergoing knee replacements and treatment for a brain tumor.
Duckbunny, an artist living in Ottawa, was warned about the meeting when comments from the crowd were tweeted and widely shared in the Inuit community.
“I can feel my nervous system, I can feel my blood rising,” Thakpanni recalled the meeting. “There were a lot of misconceptions and racist comments.”
For Duckbunny, the non-existent pushback in my backyard is another discriminatory barrier that restricts Inuit access to adequate health care.
Takpannie recently approached his mother’s medical records and found that his mother was “confused as a drunkard”, although he remained relaxed for 25 years and helped other Inuits in his work in the Nunavut government.
“If you are a tribal, these are all very subtle … subtle aggressions, but they are not subtle, they are very aggressive,” he said.
He pointed to a number of studies, including the Tungaswingat Inuit, which called on the city to combat the fact that Inuit was receiving treatment in Ottawa. Significantly worse health effects Than non-Inuit patients.
When he heard about the plans of Manitouk Thompson, an Inuit lawyer and Larca Buffin’s pastor, he began to dream.
Mothers in the city are thinking of treating cancer with their young children, and those families need a playground and a library and a sewing room.
“This is a completely different world. It would be very helpful if you were comfortable somewhere … it would reduce loneliness and homelessness.”
Thompson said he was shocked to hear some of the comments made at the meeting and called racism “old-fashioned.”
“We are another human being. Some of us have problems. Some do not. But we do not have a drop of a problem,” he said.
“We are not here to make anyone uncomfortable. We are here because we are in pain.”
Traffic concerns are unfounded, the project manager says
According to Bill McCurthy, the primary concern of residents is transportation, with its company Greva Group Ltd doing project management work for Larga Buffin.
“We really minimize traffic impacts and certainly provide a better buffer between residential environments,” McCurdy said.
Since they come from Nunavut, all Larca Buffin ‘customers fly to Ottawa. They are then sent to their meetings in Larga vehicles.
He said the land currently has warehouses, garages and car dealerships, which will generate more traffic than Larga.
McCarthy said Larga Buffin has good relations with its Richmond Road neighbors.
There were “growing pains” when they went to the building that was the nursing home, but the problems were fixed. When the smoking area on the property was built, the sidewalk residents’ concerns about smoking were resolved.
Although the details of the site plan will be determined after the zone is confirmed, the new building will have 220 rooms, 350 beds, a kitchen and tenants’ community space and a landscaping exterior.
The building is expected to be completed in the next three to five years if the zonal application is approved.