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Equality East Citizens Coalition
1612 Baie Verte Crescent
Orléans ON  KIC 3K2
(613) 837-7950

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Media Centre - News Release

Equality East questions City’s piece-meal approach to P3
(Posted March 20, 2003)

Orléans, Ontario – The City of Ottawa’s piece-meal approach to public-private partnerships (P3) is inconsistent with the recommendations of a city-sponsored facility study, and potentially jeopardizes an east end proposal for a multipurpose sports development and training centre, says J.-F. Claude, Chair of the Equality East Citizens’ Coalition.

The Health, Recreation and Social Services Committee today recommended that Ottawa City Council authorize staff to proceed with a Request for Proposals (RFP) for two new indoor sports field domes, including one at the Gloucester Hornet’s Nest in the east end.  If Council approves the move, the indoor sports field dome would be the second sports-related project for which an RFP was issued under the City’s P3 initiative, the first one being a call for additional ice pads.

“The good news is that the City recognizes what every east end hockey dad and soccer mom knows: we have a serious shortage of ice pads and soccer pitches,” says J.-F. Claude.  “Equality East supports in principle the soccer bubble proposal for Hornet’s Nest which, we understand, requires no capital investment by the City.  What’s beyond comprehension, however, is why the City isn’t looking at the bigger picture and pushing for multipurpose facilities as per its integrated service-delivery model.”

Claude notes that an October 2001 feasibility study commissioned by the City of Ottawa recommends that the City develop, in partnership with others as appropriate and available, a multipurpose sport training and development centre to respond to the needs and interests of a wide range of compatible sports.  The study was conducted by dmA Planning and Management Services, a consulting firm specializing in recreation, cultural, sport and library services.

The City simply doesn’t have the capital dollars at its disposal to build new, stand-alone facilities for every sport discipline under the sun,” says Claude.  “Multipurpose facilities provide economies of scale, more bang for the taxpayer’s buck.” 

The same dmA study further recommends that this multipurpose sport facility should support in its services and partnerships the development of coaching excellence, integration of wellness initiatives, and opportunities for athlete training at the introductory, intermediate and advanced training levels.  A project proposal submitted to the City by the east end’s not-for-profit Academic Athletic Community Partnership (AACP) is consistent with the dmA recommendations and the City’s integrated service-delivery philosophy.

There are three main components to AACP’s proposed integrated academic athletic complex: new sport facilities including 4 ice pads, an indoor sports field, 4 gyms and a 6-lane running track; a sport school for high school age athletes; and a foundation to assist with the costs of providing high quality programming.  AACP proposes a four-way partnership between the City, the provincial and federal governments, and the community.  Cost-effective access for community-level recreational sport organisations is a key element of the project. 

Unlike other districts in this city, the east end does not have a suitable multipurpose sports facility capable of attracting and hosting major international, national and provincial competitions and events,” suggests Claude.  “Equality East believes the AACP proposal to be the most expedient way of reaching our objective of securing such a facility.  We call on the City to re-evaluate its P3 approach and to give AACP’s proposal full, timely and due consideration.”

Equality East is an independent, non-partisan citizen’s coalition dedicated to encouraging public and private investment in the renewal and expansion of the Ottawa East / Orléans community’s cultural, economic, recreational and social infrastructure.  We are building a network of community leaders and concerned residents committed to enhancing the quality of life for all members of our community through concerted action in Ottawa East / Orléans’ civic affairs.

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Source:

J.-F. Claude, Chair, Equality East Citizens’ Coalition
(613) 837-7950 -- http://equalityeast.tripod.com

© J.-F. Claude, 2003