Tuesday, June 14, 2011
I will never fully understand why the City of Ottawa so openly shares these speaking points with us. I often suspect staff and some councillors are reading from a page when I'm asking them questions, and this just confirms it. Anyway, here it is: Instructions to the mayor and members of council from the City Manager's office in the event some pesky reporter starts asking about some of the claims made by Friends of Lansdowne in their factum. In short, "no comment."
The purpose of this email is to provide the Mayor and Members of Council with a concise update on the upcoming Friends of Lansdowne Legal Challenge. The City of Ottawa and Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG), its Lansdowne partner, are pleased that dates have been confirmed to deal with the legal challenge that the Friends of Lansdowne (FOL) have put forward.
The Superior Court of Ontario hearing is set for June 21, 22, and 23, 2011. A decision is expected later this summer.
The sooner these allegations are dealt with by the Court and cleared up, the sooner the revitalization of Lansdowne can get fully underway.
A recent media report indicates that the FOL are planning a news conference next week to lay out its argument before the big hearing.
In anticipation of the potential press conference mentioned in this article we are providing the following messages for your consideration in speaking to the media:
It would be inappropriate to speak to the media while the case is before the courts.
The Friends of Lansdowne legal challenge is proceeding as scheduled.
The City remains confident of their position.
The City hopes to have a decision on the FOL application by mid-summer.
The City will not be drawn out into a debate about the issues in the media.
If there is anything left unsaid after the decision by the Court, the City will be happy to respond.
The City is not interested in, nor is it appropriate to, comment on a case before the courts. The City would not want to appear to be influencing the outcome of the case through the media. The City respects the legal process and encourages FOL to bring their evidence before the court.
After the court hears the case and make their ruling the City will present their position to the media.
There will be a time for the City to respond and we are looking forward to that date.
The Lansdowne redevelopment is a large, complex project, and City staff is working to proceed according to Council's direction and the associated timelines.