Court throws out bid to stop Lansdowne redevelopment

A court in Toronto dismissed an effort to stop the Lansdowne Park redevelopment as an “abuse of process” Friday afternoon, according to the city’s top lawyer Rick O’Connor.

The case had been brought by John Martin, a Glebe businessman and proprietor of the Lansdowne Park Conservancy, which offered a scaled−back plan for Lansdowne as an alternative. The Canadian Football League team at the core of a redevelopment proposal the city accepted without a competition would have to play at any suitable stadium, Martin argued. That would mean there’s nothing special about the bid the city took from the planned team’s owners, a group of developers and sports businessmen fronted by Minto head Roger Greenberg, and that would mean the city was wrong to sign a partnership deal with them.

The case was heard in Toronto Friday. According to a memo O’Connor sent to city councillors, the judges who heard it dismissed it promptly because it effectively duplicates a case brought by a community group called the Friends of Lansdowne Park.

The city won that case at the trial stage last summer, but it and the Friends are awaiting a ruling from the Ontario Court of Appeal.

“The Court was unanimous in its decision that the application constituted an abuse of process in light of the earlier findings of the Superior Court of Justice in July 2011 Friends of Lansdowne Inc. decision,” O’Connor wrote.

   
 

In an interview, Martin said he’s not sure what the three−judge panel meant by “abuse of process.”

“It may very well be that their decisions are, pending a Court of Appeal decision, it would be an abuse of the process to hear the case today,” he said, and so they didn’t make a ruling on the substance of his argument “for a technical reason.”

Martin said he’ll wait to see a written ruling, which hasn’t been issued yet, to understand exactly what happened.

Source: Ottawa Citizen

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