The Ottawa Casino Debacle - Simply a repeat of past performance

The Ottawa Casino Debacle - Simply a repeat of past performance
Posted on September 6, 2013 | Brian Tansey | Written on September 2, 2013
Letter type:


Ottawa Citizen

How City Council has handled the Casino affair should not be a surprise to citizens. We had a foretaste of it under the former Council when they abruptly cancelled the design competition for Lansdowne, then stiffed the competition by 'bonusing' the 'Lansdowne Live' partners. Despite the fact that it is not sufficiently well defined in the Ontario Municipal Act, ordinary citizens who have been paying attention can still understand that this was indeed bonusing or preferential treatment.

Henceforth we need to remember, as we look at other revenue prospects for the City (such as the Casino) that the City, like creditors at a bankruptcy, is lined up in only 5th position to earn income from the Lansdowne deal. The Mayor may now be realizing that Lansdowne might not help the City coffers much.

So lets see what happens if Eugene Melnyk, with much deeper pockets than Friends of Lansdowne ever had, decides to go for the jugular and sues the City for sole sourcing or and/or bonusing. According to Councillor Wilkinson this is 'an entirely different scenario', yet even the City Manager apologized (after it was too late) for his handling of the Lansdowne sole-sourcing, and the earlier shut down of the design competition.

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Its disappointing, I agree. What I don't understand is why they just can't follow due process and consult properly, so they can make an informed decision. Its not like following 'best practices' is something new.