PRESS RELEASE: Horizon Ottawa condemns committee vote against Tewin study


OTTAWA - Horizon Ottawa is condemning today's narrow vote at the Joint Committee of the Planning and Environment Committee opposing a study on what it would look like if the City didn't proceed with Taggart's controversial Tewin development.

The motion from Councillor Shawn Menard asked Staff to do an "environmental assessment" in respect to water infrastructure that would service the Tewin lands and analyze as an option "the possibility that the Tewin development does not proceed."

The motion failed in a 9-8 vote despite staff saying that there would be minimal effects on staff time and resources to do the study, which was one of the apparent primary concerns of those voting no.

Five of those nine councillors who voted "No" accepted campaign contributions from those connected to current and former Taggart development executives and members of their family:

- George Darouze in 2018 ($1000) and 2022 ($2400)
- Catherine Kitts in 2020 by-election ($750)
- Tim Tierney in 2018 ($4400)
- Matthew Luloff in 2018 ($1200) and 2022 ($1200)
- David Hill in 2022 ($3600)

The Committee meeting also discussed the funding for three full-time City of Ottawa staff positions for work exclusively on Tewin that are fully funded by Taggart. Staff noted that there are no other arrangements that exist such as this at the City.

Taggart executives were not present to answer any questions.

"Today's vote is another example of the influence of developers that still permeates the halls of councillors' row" said Sam Hersh, coordinator for Horizon Ottawa. "The massive infrastructure bill does not make up for the incremental gain in the housing supply - this is a gift to Taggart at the expense of billions of dollars worth of city resources. The full cost is still not even fully known."

Earlier this week, alongside several environmental and community organizations, Horizon Ottawa put out a press release demanding the committee split today's vote for the Infrastructure Master Plan and oppose spending on Tewin as well as demanding other assesments for the environmental viability of the project.

Groups including Greenspace Alliance, Just Food, Ecology Ottawa and Reimagine Ottawa stressed concern over moving ahead with spending approval when staff and the developers working this project are not even fully sure the development will pay for itself.

"It's troubling that council is making this spending decision with very little evidence that it will pay off for the residents of this city," said Hersh. "Councillors who voted in favour are basically supporting a gamble that 93,000 residents might live there in 75 years because developers say so - that doesn't sound like a very responsible investment to us."


For media inquiries:

Sam Hersh
[email protected]

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