LeBreton Flats redevelopment process 'cloaked in secrecy': Watson
Published Wednesday, December 23, 2015 2:22PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 23, 2015 6:44PM EST
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson is coming out against the National Capital Commission's plan to redevelop LeBreton Flats saying the process is "cloaked in secrecy."
Watson said councillors and the public have been left in the dark when it comes to the long awaited redevelopment of the crown land.
"The process the NCC has set up has been cloaked in secrecy and I for the life of me don’t understand," Watson told CTV Ottawa's Chief News Anchor Graham Richardson during a year end interview.
Last February the NCC released a request for proposals to four groups pre-qualified to submit detailed plans for the redevelopment of the federal land. After months of silence, the NCC published two proposals online on December 15th. Only DCDLS Group, formerly Devcore Group, and RendezVous LeBreton Group submitted a proposal.
"The deadline came and then we have this two month period of rumour and innuendo," the Mayor said.
Despite some concerns about the secrecy of the process, the Mayor said he is hopeful the new government will bring more transparency and accountability to the process moving forward.
"My hope is that when these bids do come out there is a good opportunity for the public to be better informed and us at the city to be better informed because I don’t know what the asks are of the two proprietors that are putting these bids forward," he said.
Before public consultations begin on January 26 and 27, 2016, the NCC will be reviewing the submissions to the request for proposal.
One submission comes from a group that has partnered with the Ottawa Senators, making a move from Kanata to downtown more likely. Although the other submission also includes an NHL sized rink, Senators' Owner Eugene Melnyk said his team will not move unless his group's proposal is accepted.
Although a move downtown will have a economic on the west-end, Mayor Watson supports the move if there is a contingency in place to reduce the losses in Kanata.
"I have no objection to a downtown arena. I think that when the Sens came here the first time it should have been downtown," he said.