Former NDP leader Ed Broadbent joined city councillors Clive Doucet, Diane Holmes and Jacques Legendre yesterday to oppose the sole-sourced redevelopment of Lansdowne Park and call for the re-opening of a competitive bid process.

“I would love to see the Lansdowne Park project opened up to international competitive bidding to get the best design, the best quality, the best dollar value for the people of Ottawa,” he said. Broadbent credited international competition for such notable buildings as Toronto’s city hall, when Finnish architect Viljo Ravel’s design was chosen from among 520 submissions.

Doucet pointed to letters from other politicians, including Green party Leader Elizabeth May, NDP MP Paul Dewar, Liberal MPP Yasir Naqvi and former PC cabinet minister Flora MacDonald as evidence of the growing opposition to the city’s proposed public-private partnership with Ottawa Sports Entertainment Group for Lansdowne Park.

“It is a very, very rare occasion when politicians abandon their partisan concerns … and join together in a common cause,” Doucet said. “They’re doing so today because sole-sourcing is a governance issue that applies to all governments, and no party wants to be associated with it.”

“Recently, our government eliminated sole-sourced contracts for consulting within the Government of Ontario and its agencies,” said Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi.

Holmes blamed the lack of competing designs for the amount of retail space in the Lansdowne Live plan, and held up the Rideau Centre as an example of the likely effect on local business.

“That Rideau Centre sucked up so much square footage of retail that the surrounding streets have been working hard to recuperate for 25 years,” she said.

City council votes on Lansdowne Park on Nov. 16.

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