The National Capital Commission will allow out-of-service OC Transpo buses on the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway on a trial basis, one of the ways the City of Ottawa hopes to reduce the number of buses on Scott and Albert streets during LRT construction.

The NCC unanimously approved the trial in principle at a Thursday meeting, saying they still need to work out a few details including how the city will pay for $50,000 worth of pavement damage caused annually by adding buses to the roads.

The city asked the NCC to consider allowing out-of-service buses on the Parkway as a way to lower the number of buses moved to Scott and Albert streets as the Transitway closes during light rail construction.

Residents along those two streets have been very vocal in opposition to the plans, so the city came up with a plan to reduce the amount of buses going there by 18 per cent, which included using the Parkway.

The plan would see the empty buses going the opposite way of traffic during peak periods, according to the city.

Willow tree holding up fireworks festival

The NCC also approved the Casino du Lac Leamy’s plan to move their “Sound of Light” fireworks show to the waterfront near the Canadian Museum of History – on one condition.

Organizers asked the NCC to cut down four trees in the area for a better view for spectators; the NCC said they’ll keep two maple trees and are willing to cut down a willow tree on their land.

The last tree, also a willow, belongs to the Quebec government and the NCC said it will only cut down its tree if Quebec removes theirs as well.

"The ‘Willow Accord’ between the NCC and the fireworks festival is a great compromise, I think,” said NCC chairman Mark Kristmanson.

“The two maples which were planted at the time of the museum’s creation, I think, do have a symbolic value and they add to the cultural landscape of the museum, whereas the two willows affect the sight lines, it affects the viability of their festival.”

Kristmanson said the fireworks show would fit with the commission’s goals to animate the Ottawa River shoreline.

The casino has said it wants to move the fireworks show, set for Aug. 2 to 16, to a new location to save money.