Mixed message - Metro US

Mixed message

Half of the residents in Ottawa aren’t worried about what happens to Lansdowne Park, as long as it happens quickly, according to a report on the public consultations compiled by Nanos Research.

The results of the feedback from the six open house meetings, focus groups, submissions to OttawaTalks and a survey of 1,000 random residents revealed that 49.6 per cent of residents are neutral when it comes to the Lansdowne Partnership Plan, while 22.5 per cent were against it, 18.7 per cent were in favour of the plan and 9.1 per cent were unsure.

Anyone who was looking to the survey to make their decision was not going to find it, said Nik Nanos, president and CEO of Nanos Research. “You can’t make decisions by polls. That’s an abdication of leadership,” he said. “What you want to do is find out how comfortable and uncomfortable people are with different elements and based on that comfort, figure out how to piece this thing together.”

In a separate question about the timing of the project, 53 per cent of respondents stated it was time to move on. Twenty-three per cent provided the same unprompted comment, “just do it.”

However, Nanos warned that should not be interpreted as an endorsement for the plan.

The survey asked people to rate the concept components of the plan on a scale of one to 10.

Green space scored highest with a score of 7.51 followed closely by a farmers’ market with 7.48. There was mild support for underground parking (6.91), renovating the civic centre (6.66), an open-air football stadium (6.62), and renovating Frank Clair stadium (5.88). A hotel (4.63), a movie theatre (4.71) and office space (4.74) received failing grades.

“A hotel and a commercial office building is not something that people are going to get emotional about,” said Ottawa 67’s owner and member of the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group Jeff Hunt. “There is nothing on here that would be troubling or send us back to the drawing board.”

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