Lansdowne supporters don't think appeal will delay construction
Published Thursday, August 18, 2011 5:26PM EDT
The group behind the redevelopment of Lansdowne Park doesn't think an appeal by the Friends of Lansdowne will change the start date for the project.
"The key will be to try and get an early hearing of the appeal and then an early decision from the appeal court and if that happens there shouldn't be any kind of extensive delay," said Roger Greenberg, of Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group.
A provincial judge ruled last month that the city didn't break any rules when it awarded a contract to redevelop Lansdowne Park to Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group.
Friends of Lansdowne, the community group behind the lawsuit, alleged the city sole-sourced the project when it made the deal. The group announced late Wednesday that it plans to appeal the judge's decision.
Ian Lee, one of 7,000 members of the group, says he believes there is solid ground for an appeal.
"We have a constitutional right as all Canadians do under the Constitution Act of Canada and the Charter of Rights to go to court and appeal and take governments to court when governments break the law," said Lee.
The Lansdowne Park Conservancy, another opponent of the redevelopment plan, filed its own application for judicial review of the deal on Thursday.
However, an Ottawa councillor, who has been a strong supporter of redeveloping Lansdowne Park, says he doesn't think lawyers will be able to find holes in the judge's decision. He also doesn't anticipate any further delays.
"I really don't think so (that the project will be delayed again) because the completeness and the solid character of the decision that was reached by the court really leaves very little room for an appeal," Coun. Rick Chiarelli told CTV Ottawa on Thursday.
"In Canada, you can't just appeal because you don't like the decision, or you disagree. You have to find errors in law. And I think there are very few areas where anyone could even contrive that there was an error in law there."
The lawsuit has already cost the City of Ottawa millions of dollars and has delayed the entire project by two years.
The timeline to complete the project has been delayed until summer 2015; the football stadium should be ready for CFL football by June 2014, according to a massive report that was given to city council last week.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Norman Fetterley
Plans to redevelop Lansdowne Park has landed the city in provincial court. A two-week trial got underway in Ottawa, Tuesday, June 21, 2011.