Does Ottawa Need What Lansdowne Offers? BENN

Bulldog Saturday columnist and financial executive Ron Benn sets down the boundaries of yes or no votes at Ottawa City Council committee of the whole on Lansdowne:

Former councillor Alex Cullen makes a very important point.

Lansdowne Park was part of the city’s infrastructure. Not at the same level of importance as water mains and sewers, but part of the infrastructure nevertheless. Infrastructure is, by its very design, meant to be for the common good of the city. It is not meant to be a profit centre.

The Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group’s proposal seeks to leverage this second level element infrastructure to become a profit centre for their specific purposes. Most notable are the opportunities to, on a sole source basis;

  • earn profits as the project manager; and
  • earn profits on the construction and operation/resale of residential towers.

All of the other discussions, be they degree of intensification, the accounting allocation of cash flows are but distractions.

Does the city need an upgraded sports-oriented stadium? Does it need a high-end mid-capacity event centre? Does it need more retail and commercial space?

Welcome To The Trump Lansdowne Event Centre

If the answer to any of these questions is no, then vote against Lansdowne 2.0. Why? Because the OSEG proposal is an all or nothing decision.

If the answer to all of these questions is yes, then, as Cullen points out, make a decision, noting that that decision must take into account all of the other demands on the limited (and yes all resources are limited, by definition) resources of the city.



Ex-Councillor Admonishes Sutcliffe Over Lansdowne

Don’t Be Petty, Councillors: MULVIHILL

Lansdowne: What’s In It For Us: PATTON

LANSDOWNE LIVE CHAT: Here’s The Transcript




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1 Response

  1. John Langstone says:

    If we only had this clarity of thought from City Council. Here we have a budget debate that gives every indication of the City being under pressure financially, and we are to believe that diverted taxes from development and a waterfall that has always run dry are going to pay ~$16 million/year for 2.1 plus the ~$7 million/year for 1.0 to handle the debt.

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