OTTAWA, June 25 /CNW Telbec/ - Ottawa is engulfed in protests over City Council's drive to drop a megaproject into Lansdowne Park, the last sizeable downtown public space. Objectors warn that it's a sweetheart deal for developers, the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG), which will result in huge costs to taxpayers and loss of public land.
Right next to a world heritage site, OSEG wants to build a shopping mall and condos. Millions of tax dollars would refurbish an aging stadium for a new CFL team.
Football has failed twice in Ottawa - citizens object to using tax revenues to revive it and say, football's a veneer - the real goal is lucrative property development.
There's been no competitive tendering, contrary to City policy. There's no mass transit. Parking is grossly inadequate. Existing local businesses may be undermined through the deal.
In the local newspaper, the Ottawa Citizen, a major advertiser is Minto, whose CEO Roger Greenberg leads OSEG. The Citizen has endorsed the project, while shutting down a critical design reporter's blog.
Lansdowne is becoming an election issue. Can the park be saved? Can Ottawa recover from banana-republic politics? And this fall, will voters restore integrity to its governance?
SOURCE FRIENDS OF LANSDOWNE
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