FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA - Horizon Ottawa is condemning yesterday’s decision by Ottawa City Council to approve the rushed “Lansdowne 2.0” deal without any proper consultation. The $332 million agreement was pushed through council despite many residents throughout the city demanding the project be delayed.
Throughout the meeting, staff stressed that what council was voting on yesterday was approving only $8 million for the next phase of Lansdowne, the rest of the $332 million was in “budget authority” meaning that the rest of the funds were to be approved for future years.
Notably, a petition organized by the office of Councillor Shawn Menard, received over 2200 signatures in just four days which called on the city to delay the deal. Several council members also questioned staff as to why the full approval of the deal could not wait several months for a new council when they just needed $8 million approved for the next immediate phase. Despite the pushback however from residents and certain councillors, the deal passed 17-7.
“This is yet another example of our council’s disdain for democracy” said Sam Hersh, Board Member of Horizon Ottawa. “There is no reason that this approval could not have waited for the next council in just the next few months which would have allowed for proper public engagement and consultation before forking over public land for private profit with very little community benefit.”
Council also saw a motion from Somerset Ward Councillor, Catherine McKenney that attempted to up the percentage of affordable housing units from 10% to 20%, seeing 240 instead of 120 units become affordable - a modest request. That too however failed to pass a council vote.
“It’s absolutely unthinkable that this council would vote down even a very modest motion to increase affordable housing units on a project while acknowledging we have a housing emergency just two and a half years ago.” Said Hersh. “It is clear that many around the council table must go this October if we wish to see any progress in the face of a housing and climate crisis - our future depends on it.”
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