Lansdowne Legal Challenge Begins Tuesday, June 21 at 2 p.m.
Friends of Lansdowne Spokespeople Available at 1:30 p.m.
Nine months after Friends of Lansdowne Inc. filed its application to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to quash the City of Ottawa's decisions on the Lansdowne Partnership Plan, the case will be finally be heard this week. The hearing begins on Tuesday, June 21 at 2 p.m. at the Ontario Provincial Court House on Elgin Street and will continue through Wednesday and Thursday, likely beginning at 9:30 a.m. each day.
This is a precedent-setting case. It is not about the development itself, but about transparency and accountability at the municipal level. The Friends of Lansdowne contend that the process by which the City approved the Lansdowne Partnership Plan is illegal since:
- the City broke its own procurement by-laws
- the City will give bonuses to developers
- the City acted in bad faith (e.g. misrepresenting the deal to the public and failing to exercise due diligence, among other things)
If the Friends of Lansdowne win, it will not only send Lansdowne's redevelopment back to the drawing board, but it will also make new law for Ontario.
Representing the Friends of Lansdowne is lawyer Steven Shrybman of Sack, Goldblatt, Mitchell along with his colleagues Fay Brunning and Colleen Bauman. Shrybman is known for taking on--and winning--important public interest cases. For example, he won the case that stopped Ontario Hydro from privatizing Hydro One.
The City of Ottawa is clearly taking the case seriously. It has hired Peter Doody of Borden, Ladner, Gervais to argue its side. Doody is known for his defense of Jean Chrétien during the Gomery inquiry into the sponsorship program. The Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group has intervenor status in the case and is represented by Scott Mclean.
The Friends of Lansdowne is a volunteer group that has widespread support all across the city. It has raised $200,000 towards legal costs.
Friends of Lansdowne spokespeople will be at the Court House (standing outside if it is nice weather) and ready to give interviews at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 21.
Contacts (who will be at the Courthouse on Tuesday)
Gord Henderson 613-769-8828
Ian Lee 613-222-7722
Michael Tiger 613-235-3113
Doug Ward 613-294-0518
Jo Wood 613-854-5959