Heritage vote for museum district in Gatineau ends in a deadlock

A vote on whether to put a heritage designation on the neighbourhood around the Canadian Museum of History led to a deadlock Tuesday, but one Gatineau councillor plans to take a second shot at the debate.

Vote ends up 9-9, which means it fails; it could be revisited in August

This is what the towers would look like from the other side of the Ottawa River. (Brigil)

A vote on whether to put a heritage designation on the neighbourhood around the Canadian Museum of History led to a deadlock Tuesday, but one Gatineau councillor plans to take a second shot at the debate.

The vote on the designation at Gatineau's planning committee was split evenly, with nine councillors on each side, which under the city's rules of procedure meant that it had failed.

While many residents in the neighbourhood wanted the change, development company Brigil opposed it and raised concerns that it would scuttle its Places des Peuples development.

That development proposes two large towers across from the museum, one at 35 storeys and the other at 55 storeys, with a plaza in between.

Hull-Wright Coun. Cédric Tessier said he does not plan to let the issue die.

Quebec legislation allows an individual councillor to bring a heritage designation forward for a vote and Tessier, who represents the area, said he will do that at the next meeting.

Yves Ducharme, Brigil's lobbyist and director of commercial development, warned against the designation in an interview with Radio-Canada earlier this week.

"If we lock up the possibility of building such a building, it will be a terrible mistake," he said.

"That would be a terrible mistake that will be with us for many generations."

The second vote on the issue would then likely take place in August.