Keeping people safe & well

United Way 2007 Community Builder Award for NCLB


EPIC Award 2007


A Productive Evening

Activity Update


I would like to share highlights of a very successful Community Dinner at Banff Community House on December 08, 2005. The meeting was part of the regular activities under the No community Left Behind Project

Community Dinner falls under the Social Mobilisation component of the project. The objective of this activity is to mobilise the community and bring it around the table for information sharing and action with service providers and partner organisations. 

This activity has been in place for the past three weeks. However, last night, participation of Constable Mario Bergeron added the most required but missing element to the meeting: The dialogue and exchange of ideas and winning confidence of the community. 

Success of the meeting can be judged from the fact that due personal problems, the responsible community member could not prepare hot dinner. The rest of the community members still gathered in time. The meeting started around 6:15 p.m and lasted until 8:30 p.m. without any interruption. The interest on the part of all participants was unbelievable. The length of the meeting testifies to this fact. 

Constable Mario played a great role in sharing ideas, personal experiences, suggestions and clarifying some misconceptions.  There was absolutely no feeling of “us”—the community—and “them”—the police services. Personally, I have never seen such a candid exchange of questions, ideas and information on a variety of subjects related to safety and security in the community.  

I find this short description of the meeting very poor in reflecting on what actually happened. Only personal experience or a video recording could better describe the initial hesitation of the community members to even sitting around the table, and the final display of enthusiasm for jointly tackling the problem and offering help to the police services in weeding out bad elements from the community. After 8:00 p.m., I had to facilitate to gradually narrow down the discussion so as to make a way for concluding the meeting around 8:30 p.m. 

This is just a baby step in the early phase of implanting the approved work plan. However, looking at the progress, I am sure that the dedication shown by concerned Ottawa Police Services staff and other partners will definitely transform Banff community to a great extent. Hopefully, this project will set an example to show how different service providers can fine tune their activities to simultaneously achieve objectives related to both social development and crime prevention. 

Thanks to Constable Mrio for his inspiration and insight.

NCLB Project Coordinator


© 2005-15 South - East Ottawa Community Health Centre
Centre de Sante Communautaire du Sud Est D'Ottawa

Contact: Abid Jan Tel./ Tél: (613) 737-5115 Ext. 2403  Fax/Télé: (613) 739-8199

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