Published on June 27, 2010 1:15 PM by dbo.
Ottawa city council votes tomorrow on the fate of revitalizing Lansdowne Park. Or do they? Councillors have called for a delay in the vote as a city staff report has called for the finalization of certain issues to not occur until November. That is only one interesting turn that has occurred over the past week.
Council has heard all week from city committees, community organizations and individuals on the plan. Many locals expressed concerns over the development in their neighbourhood, including noise, light and expense concerns. Friends of Lansdowne Park sponsored a legal opinion that states the city has broken its bylaws with the partnership.
The Citizen completed its four part series on Lansdowne, covering traffic and parking and cost components in articles this weekend. Ian Hill, chief financial opposer, is “reluctant to admit” the waterfall agreement is improved over the original plan.
Acceptance of facts continues to bother Clive Doucet as well, who states “I don’t trust it” in reference to the Citizen commissioned poll which shows 63% support for the plan.
Much ruckus was created over a clause that would give OSEG first right-of-refusal on any new stadium being built with city funds in Ottawa. Portrayed as a monopoly clause and veto power for OSEG over new public stadium construction, it was intended as protection to OSEG from the city deciding to build or partner with another group on a stadium that could take away events from Lansdowne. This clause was actually in the best interest of Ottawa, providing some focus on Lansdowne, but was removed for political reasons.
In political news, Ottawa Mayor Larry O’Brien stated he won’t publicly announce his candidacy for the fall Mayoral race until after the Lansdowne vote. He previously committed to making an announcement by the end of June.
Finally, a TSN analyst makes a case for stadiums in Ottawa and Hamilton being about more than just for CFL football. As an example, the Carleton University board of governors voted to bring back football to the university in 2012 if $5 million of funding can be raised by alumni. John Ruddy, one of the OSEG four and Carleton alumni, has already raised half of the required amount.
Perhaps Monday night a vote will have occurred in Ottawa and citizens will know the future of Lansdowne. Knowing the desire of Ottawa politicians to defer decisions, anything is possible. For they hold such low opinions of themselves, they don’t believe they are qualified to make decisions that have a 100-year impact on the city, and they probably aren’t. A vote for or against is what they are elected to do; a deferral is the worst possible action to take.
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