Friends of Lansdowne (FOL) Inc. has won another round in its legal battle against the City of Ottawa and the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) over approval of the Lansdowne Partnership Plan. In a decision released by the Court February 14, 2011, FOL scored a hat-trick -- winning favourable rulings on all three motions argued two weeks ago before Master MacLeod of the Ontario Superior Court.
First of all, Master MacLeod ruled that the City of Ottawa must disclose the financial details of the partnership plan that it was refusing to produce.
Secondly, the Master determined that expert evidence provided by Friends of Lansdowne will be considered by the Ontario Superior Court. The City had tried to exclude independent financial reports by tax expert, Professor Harry Kitchen, and investigative accountants, Rosen and Associates, concluding that the City had grossly misrepresented the financial consequences of the Partnership Plan.
Finally, Master MacLeod confirmed that Friends of Lansdowne Inc. has full standing before the court.
According to Carleton University business professor, Ian Lee, the rulings mark a victory for transparency and public accountability. “For the past two years, the City has used smoke and mirrors and bogus claims of revenue neutrality to hide the facts of this development scheme from the public. Finally, we may get to learn what this deal will really cost taxpayers”.
Read the decisions of the ruling here.