Featured City Issue: Yes to Lansdowne

The proposal to rejuvenate Lansdowne Park has been the subject of endless debate in recent months.  The proposed multi-million-dollar revamp of Frank Clair Stadium into a complex that could accommodate sports on a large scale - including a CFL franchise and a pro soccer team - has come under fire from citizens concerned about downtown congestion and logistics issues.  But with careful planning, the project could not only surmount the logistical obstacles, but would revitalize Ottawa's downtown core by creating new green space along the canal and adding over 400,000 square feet for retail shopping.

Learn more about Ottawa Sports & Entertainment Group's Lansdowne Live Plan

Mayor O'Brien has described the project as "a part of a city-building exercise," one that not only benefits the sporting community in Ottawa but that could bring significant improvement to the downtown core and extend its benefits to the population of Ottawa at large.  However, much of the criticism comes from Lansdowne's immediate neighbours, who are concerned that the new structure would be too massive and would overwhelm the neighbourhood. The residents of the Glebe need to ask themselves whether they are opposed to the plan for selfish reasons.

As citizens of Canada's capital, we must think about the greater good of the entire city and its reputation on a national scale.  Should we set aside a plan that benefits all our citizens because of a small minority whose interests it does not serve?  Should this minority once again dictate the outcome of a debate that affects everyone? 

A state of the art sports facility is not a luxury, but an expectation.  This is Canada's capital city, and it is difficult to understand how anyone could question the need for such a facility.  Perhaps Jeff Hunt, owner of the Ottawa 67's, put it best: "Do we need a library?  Do we need a museum?"  Having a sporting facility that we can be proud of is essential to revitalizing the interest in professional sports in the capital, keeping the sporting action at the heart of our community and introducing a new generation of sports fans to the culture. 

If the nation's capital cannot even build a decent sports complex, is it any wonder that interest in Canadian sports is on the decline?  It is our responsibility to lead the way, and the new Lansdowne Park would set the pace for a new downtown, a new leadership in sports and entertainment, and a new Ottawa.

Check out the Yes To Lansdowne petition

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