City of Ottawa grossly misrepresented Lansdowne financial impacts says Rosen and Associates
One of Canada’s leading investigative accounting firms, Toronto-based Rosen and Associates, has produced a scathing review of the business plan for the Lansdowne Partnership Plan (LPP). In a report prepared for the Friends of Lansdowne Legal Challenge, the firm contradicts the City’s claim that the plan will be revenue neutral and concludes that the Lansdowne Partnership Plan may result in a City deficit of between $111 and $208 million dollars.
The Rosen report is the first independent financial review of the Lansdowne project. In the firm's expert opinion, the business case prepared for the LPP by PricewaterhouseCoopers has multiple conceptual and technical deficiencies and as a result "the analysis is not reliable and tends to grossly misrepresent the probable financial impacts of the LPP to the City."
The report also concludes that "the project's financial terms raise serious concerns" as the "City will provide the majority of the required investment but the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group will receive the greater proportion of the cash distributions." In other words, taxpayers will fund most of the project, but the developers will reap most of the profits.
Rosen & Associates Limited was retained by Friends of Lansdowne Inc, Doug Ward and Gary Sealey to reply to evidence by the City of Ottawa and its private sector partner, the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, claiming that the Lansdowne Plan favours the City's interests.
FOL has filed an application with the Ontario Superior Court to quash Ottawa City Council decisions approving the public private partnership scheme to redevelop Lansdowne Park. FOL contends that the City acted unlawfully by approving the scheme without competitive bids or otherwise complying with City bylaws, and by failing to meet the standard of good faith decision-making required of municipal officials.
The Rosen report and a backgrounder can be found here: