John Martin Is Going To The Supreme Court

- October 16th, 2012

Indeed. John Martin of the Lansdowne Park Conservancy is taking his judicial challenge to the Supreme Court. I chatted with him tonight and he maintains it’s a “national” issue of utmost importance to taxpayers.

When the decision came down from the Ontario appeal court, Martin was very silent on whether or not he would continue his case. He went quiet and everyone assumed (including yours truly) he finally threw in the towel.

Well, nope.

I asked him what part of the appeal court’s decision he believes is wrong. He wouldn’t say. I asked about the $11,000 he owes the city from court orders. He wouldn’t go there, either.

Later tonight, the city’s solicitor and clerk Rick O’Connor issued an email to council on the matter.

Here is, first, O’Connor’s email. And second, Martin’s email that he sent to me just after the dinner hour.

Sent on behalf of M. Rick O’Connor, City Clerk and Solicitor
De la part de M. Rick O’Connor, Greffier et Chef du contentieux

Mayor and Members of Council:

The purpose of this e-mail is to inform Members of Council that my office has learned of Mr. John E. Martin’s intention to apply for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada in relation to the Lansdowne Park Conservancy case. You will recall that on April 3rd, 2012, a panel of three judges of the Divisional Court dismissed Mr. Martin’s application for judicial review challenging the Lansdowne Partnership Plan as an abuse of process on several grounds. Mr. Martin sought leave to appeal that decision to the Ontario Court of Appeal. On August 28th, 2012, a panel of three judges of the Ontario Court of Appeal denied Mr. Martin leave to appeal to Ontario’s highest court. On September 27th, 2012, the City was advised that the Toronto law firm was no longer representing Mr. Martin in this case.

As I had advised Members of Council previously, there was an opportunity to seek leave of the Supreme Court of Canada within 60 days of the August 28th, 2012 decision. The test for leave to the Supreme Court is a stringent one wherein it must be demonstrated that the issue raised is of public importance that requires the Supreme Court’s intervention. Based on the decisions of the Divisional Court and that of the Court of Appeal in the Lansdowne Park Conservancy case, as well as the decisions of the Superior Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal in the Friends of Lansdowne Inc. case, which found the Lansdowne Partnership to be legal, it remains my opinion that it would be very difficult to obtain leave in this case.

Anticipating that Mr. Martin will serve his application in the next few days, the City would have 30 days to respond to the application. It is anticipated that in early to mid-December 2012, the written application would then be submitted to the Court for its consideration, with a decision on the leave application anticipated sometime in early to mid 2013. If leave to appeal were to be granted, Mr. Martin would have the permission of the Court to commence a formal appeal. Based on the preliminary timeframes, it is estimated that in the slim event that leave were to be granted, a decision on the merits of a subsequent appeal could occur in late 2013 to mid-2014. In the meantime, the planned redevelopment of Lansdowne Park will continue under City Council’s guidance.

I trust that the above is satisfactory.

Dear Jon,

After careful deliberation an application to the Supreme Court will be presented by the Lansdowne Park Conservancy.

The matter of an open, transparent, and competitive procurement process is of great public importance, particularly when no condition for sole source is available, and the matter involves public and historic land.

Any development to be undertaken on Lansdowne Park will substantially affect the park for present and future generations. The plan at the moment has not been subjected to competitive alternatives.

An open and competitive procurement process adheres to the principles of democratic governance, provides for respect for the fundamental rights of the taxpaying public and follows the rule of law.

An open and competitive process will ensure thoughtful and timely development of Lansdowne Park, that will not impede Ottawa’s readiness for FIFA 2015 or the CFL.

Lansdowne Park has been a public meeting place for over 150 years.

Allowing a few months on a decision that will steer Lansdowne Park in either a private or public direction, is the very least this very special public and historic site deserves.

Categories: Lansdowne

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