Email to the Editor: Cornwall needs good faith debate on Joe St. Denis Field

As the person identified as a “plant” in this letter, I would like to clarify things. I work for the City of Ottawa, but live in Cornwall about a block from City Hall and previously worked for the City of Cornwall. I came to advocate for affordable housing because I see it being opposed constantly in public meetings and we desperately need more of it. People are literally dying in this country because they don’t have access to adequate housing. It is an emergency and we need to start treating it like one.

I also think the field should be made into a proper community park. A park that is only a playing field makes little sense in an old, urban part of Cornwall that lacks good parkland designed for a wide range of people on a year-round basis. However, it could be possible to build housing on the former Bob Turner site and maintain the playing field as one option. I think a park with things like a dog run, a community garden, a jungle gym, a pickleball court and so on would be a better use of scarce park space in the Old Square Mile. I think a few concept plans would be helpful regardless of what option is chosen.

This is just yet another example of the conspiracy theories people dream up about the City of Cornwall. Of course, City employees and politicians sometimes make bad decisions or mistakes and we shouldn’t shy away from constructive discussion of areas that could be improved, but many people seem quick to jump to conclusions about conspiracies at the City of Cornwall. We should be able to have a good faith debate about the future of a site in Cornwall, even if we disagree.

Alex Gatien