Sole sourcing not the right approach for Lansdowne redevelopment | Unpublished

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Unpublished Opinions

James OGrady's picture
Ottawa, Ontario
About the author

I am the founder of Unpublished Media Inc., a company I started in 2012. I am also a communications professional and community activist, living in Nepean, Ontario. And, I am a hockey goaltender, political hack and most importantly, an advocate for grassroots, participatory democracy at all levels of government.

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Sole sourcing not the right approach for Lansdowne redevelopment

September 27, 2009

Now that Mayor Watson is trying to close a 'Lansdowne Live' type development deal to renovate Ottawa's baseball stadium, I thought it would be a good time to dust off a couple of the letters I wrote in 2009 about the perils of sole sourcing. I really hope the Mayor will follow due process this time so we can get the best answer for this location and the best bang for tax payer dollars.

If you are still concerned about sole sourcing at City Hall as I am, please write a letter to City Council and then publish and share it on Unpublished Ottawa!

This letter was the first of two letters I submitted in the Fall of 2009 through the 'Lets Get It Right' letter writing tool I created to help bring the many different groups together who opposed OSEG's Lansdowne Live sole source proposal to redevelop Lansdowne Park.

Dear Mr. Mayor, City Councillors and the Media,

I don't believe it matters whether the Lansdowne Partnership Plan is a good idea or not, the process that has been used to get to this point is completely wrong. Your own procurement rules call for a competitive bidding process yet you seem to be making up the rules as you go along, and now it appears that its ok NOT to follow these rules because as Kent Kirkpatrick claims, this deal is 'special'.

Whether or not this is legal is still to be determined, but I can tell you that I don't consider it ethical, and I know that the argument in favor of sole sourcing fails when logical reasoning is applied because no valid answer can result from a flawed process. So, as long as this deal is a sole source deal, the result will be flawed. This is logical reasoning 101.

Why OSEG and the City are afraid to open it up to competitive bidding is beyond me. They have such a head start on anyone else it would be hard to imagine that they would lose even if there were a competitive process... which is why it NEEDS to be a competitive process!

If Lansdowne Live succeeds and goes ahead, it needs to be clear of any controversy to be successful. As it stands now, it is mired in controversy and will never be free of it unless competitive bids are allowed.

Then and only then can the public be able to properly determine which proposal they like best. To ask for feedback when there is only one proposal is kind of like asking people to vote for their favorite political party when there is only one choice.

Its not democratic. Its not ethical. Its not acceptable.

If you did not vote in favor of an open and competitive bidding process, please do the right thing and change your vote. The citizen's of Ottawa will thank you for it.

Read my second letter on this issue: