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Diane Deans believes 'delegated authority is running amok' at city hall

Councillor Diane Deans was blocked by the mayor and members of the Finance and Economic Development Committee from asking a question about the Ottawa Champions' stadium lease.
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Ottawa City Councillor Diane Deans, December 2018. Mike Vlasveld/ OttawaMatters

Councillor Diane Deans says City Hall has hit "a new low" after incidents at council and committee meetings this week.

Mayor Jim Watson and members of the Finance and Economic Development Committee (FEDCO) denied her from asking a question regarding the Ottawa Champions stadium lease at Wednesdays FEDCO meeting.

Deans had wanted to ask why FEDCO was deciding what should happen with the stadium lease agreement after it was city council which voted on the item. However, the councillor is not a sitting member on FEDCO and members are allowed to vote on whether a non-sitting member can speak at the meeting.

"This is a council decision," Deans told reporters. "It has not been delegated to city staff and yet they have taken it upon themselves with the blessing of FEDCO and the mayor."

"This is delegated authority running amok," added deans.

In June, the city announced it was switching the stadium lease to a facility use agreement, which would allow for hourly commercial rental rate of the stadium. The city explained the champions have not been able to make enough money to continue to use RCGT park, and haven't been able to make lease payments. The team has five years left on the lease and has to pay $400,000 that is left on the contract.

Following Wednesday's heated city council meeting over the Chateau Laurier addition, Deans expressed concern over the democracy within city hall.

"We saw the mayor turn off councillor [Catherine] McKenney's mic recently at a meeting, we saw him try and shut down councillor Fleury's ability to ask question on a very important in his ward and in Ottawa," Deans said. "These are all things we haven't seen before."


Jeff Slack

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