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CBC Ottawa

Retail report delay blamed on Conservancy case

Buried within today's memo from city manager Kent Kirkpatrick on the ongoing legal battle with John Martin's Lansdowne Park Conservancy is this:

"As a result of the pending appeal application in the Lansdowne Park Conservancy case, reports on Governance, Legal Agreements and further progress reports related to the Lansdowne Partnership Plan will be brought forward to Council this fall. Reports related to the redevelopment of the park portion of the redevelopment will come forward in the normal course."


That is to say, various LPP reports expected this spring or summer won't surface until much later. The reason, says Kirkpatrick, is that the Ontario Court of Appeal likely won't render a verdict on Martin's appeal of the lower court decision until "late July or early August."

This seems curious, since the city has all along tended to (and in its factum, continues to) dismiss the Conservancy as an inconvenient but largely benign nuisance. I think it's fair to say City Hall has treated the Friends of Lansdowne challenge as a more significant threat to the redevelopment plan. And yet even before the Friends announced they're giving up the ghost, the city's contractors went to work.

Included in the reports neither council nor the public will see until the fall is a much-anticipated retail update. Has OSEG been able to attract the "unique" businesses council demanded, and was promised? Or have the Lansdowne partnership's legal troubles, combined with competing mall expansions and a tight retail environment, conspired to stymie OSEG's best intentions? We'll have to wait to find out, thanks to one man who we've been told all along doesn't have a legal leg to stand on.

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