OTTAWA -- The Glebe BIA is asking Council to remove Capital Ward Councillor Shawn Menard from its board of directors, saying, "The current arrangement was not working."

The Glebe BIA wants Council to appoint a new delegate to act as a liaison between the BIA and the City of Ottawa.

Menard is one of the members of the Glebe BIA board of directors, and the Councillor for the ward that includes the Glebe.

In a statement, the Glebe BIA says, "there was agreement amongst the board that we need more consistent reporting from the city and a more fulsome commitment to our organization."

"The current arrangement was not working in the best interest of our members. It was therefore decided that we would proceed with a request to City Council for a new delegate to act as a liaison between us and the municipality."

On Twitter, Menard said, "I guess the BIA didn't like that I consulted with businesses and residents on turning 19 of 300 parking spots on one side of Bank into space for pedestrians to social distance while accessing essential services during the height of the pandemic?"

In April, the Glebe BIA called for a balance approach to closing lanes on Bank Street for pedestrians after Menard raised the idea of closing sections of the road to encourage physical distancing.

BIA Executive Director Andrew Peck said at the time that 94 per cent of more than 100 businesses in the Glebe and Old Ottawa South believed "new restrictions to parking and vehicular traffic along Bank would have a negative impact on their environment."

In May, Menard said he had been working with city staff to close three blocks of the west curbside lane of Bank Street between Glebe and Third venues for pedestrians and cyclists to practice physical distancing. 

During the May 13 Council meeting, Council voted in support of a motion from Mayor Jim Watson to require the consent of two-thirds of small businesses on each block impacted by the proposed closure.

The Glebe BIA says despite Menard being removed from the board of directors, "we intend to work collaboratively with the Capital Ward Councillor and his office to support the area's economic well-being and serve the needs of the community."


The Glebe BIA is asking Council to remove Councillor Menard from the board of directors.  The story has been corrected with the information.