Lansdowne study never shown to council

A city-staff commissioned report that was critical of aspects of OSEG's proposal to redevelop Lansdowne Park was never shown to council, with some councillors only learning of it last week.

A city-staff commissioned report that was critical of aspects of Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group's proposal to redevelop Lansdowne Park was never shown to council, with some councillors only learning of it last week.

City staff asked the accounting and consulting firm Deloitte to review the financial aspects of OSEG's proposal to redevelop Lansdowne, and the consultancy filed a 44-page report in 2009, in advance of the city negotiating a $300 million partnership with the developer.

The report raised a number of red flags, in some cases pointing out that money that should go to the city — for advertising, concession sales and corporate suites — was instead going to OSEG.

The accounting firm also offered several suggestions as to how the city could improve its financial return on the deal.

But the report was never shown to Ottawa city council.

'Council should have every document'

Former councillor Christine Leadman, who now is head of the Glebe Business Improvement Area, said she knew nothing of the report.

"The council should have every document that is commissioned on behalf of the taxpayer in order to make decisions for the taxpayer," said Leadman. "That wasn't done."

Carleton University public policy professor Katherine Graham said the report warned city officials about potential issues with the deal far enough in advance.

"So the question becomes why did they not act either to avoid the problems that were identified or to advise council and then work on remediation," she said.

The report and its contents were raised last week by the group Friends of Lansdowne, who have taken the city to court over what the group describes as an unequal partnership with OSEG that favours the developer.

The legal challenge continues in court Monday.

City officials will not comment on the Lansdowne deal while it remains before the courts.

Corrections

  • An earlier report from CBC initially referred to the Deloitte study as a review of the deal between the city and OSEG. The report was actually a review of OSEG's proposal in advance of the deal.
    Jun 29, 2011 10:07 AM ET