Gatineau council votes against police HQ in Robert-Guertin Centre lot
Gatineau, Que., city council is moving away from a proposal to build a new police headquarters in the parking lot of the Robert-Guertin Centre.
Five locations were proposed and the Robert-Guertin site near boulevard des Allumettières in Hull was favoured by city administration and Mayor France Bélisle.
An emergency shelter and supervised injection site also sits across that parking lot. Some were worried about what a heightened police prescence in the area would mean for people who use those services.
After Wednesday's meeting, it appears there is support instead for a new headquarters further north in Hautes-Plaines on boulevard de la Technologie alongside autoroute 5.
The final vote is scheduled for March 21.
The vote taking Robert-Guertin off the table is welcome news for Daniel Cayley-Daoust, president of the Association des Résidants de l'Île de Hull.
His association, alongside others, has demanded that the Robert-Guertin site be used for another purpose, such as a community centre.
"In the context of downtown revitalization, the site has enormous potential to meet the needs of the local community," he said in French.
"My choice until the end of my mandate, then in the next one, will remain Guertin," Bélisle said in French. "And I will always say that, in my opinion, the HQ should have gone to Guertin."
The Robert-Guertin Centre was the home of the Gatineau Olympiques junior hockey team until their move to the new Centre Slush Puppie in 2021.
Gatineau police need a new headquarters because their current location is pegged for a new hospital.