Petition Requesting Public Inquiry into land flip passes 5,500 signatures

Petition Requesting Public Inquiry into land flip for new hospital site from Tunneys to Farm passes 5,500 signatures 

Ottawa, October 1, 2021.  Reimagine Ottawa ( is pleased to announce that its petition requesting a public inquiry into the land flip for the new hospital site from Tunney’s to the Dows Lake/Queen Juliana Park section of the federal Experimental Farm has now passed 5,500 signatures (5,167 online, 340 collected in person).

A public inquiry has been requested for many years now by both individuals like Judge Monique Metiver,(ret.), others and Reimagine Ottawa.  Presently, there are several requests for an investigation filed with the city’s Ethics Commissioner.  The sudden flip from the NCC-approved site at Tunney’s to the farm remains problematic for many reasons.  The first being it is the wrong site.  Geologically, it is on an active, unstable fault line over alluvial run-off.  Environmentally, it is on precious central city greenspace that has always been used as a park, more than 600 hundred trees will come down to make way for asphalt and concrete.  Tunney’s has none of these problems.  It’s on bedrock and has no environmental or cultural constraints.

The second is the Mayor’s announcement that the switch from Tunney’s to the farm site was being made never had the proper Council authority and consequently was never legal.  No member of council has the authority to do this.  To speak on behalf of council for something as simple as the siting of a speed bump of a busy street requires staff reports, committee and council discussion and motions.  This never happened for the siting of a multi-billion dollar, multi-generational medical centre.   If the Mayor wished to change the site from the NCC approved one to the farm he was obliged to respect normal democratic, council procedures.  He behaved as if he was the “make it so” Captain of the Starship Enterprise.

The third reason is it’s not clear who was responsible for the sudden switch.  City planners say the farm is federal land and they are simply aligning the new hospital project with the wishes of the NCC and Agriculture Canada who have now leased the land to the city.  But the NCC had recently chosen Tunney’s Pasture after a six month consultation and 273 page report.  At the time, no reason was given for the switch by the NCC, and the Mayor announced the switch, not the NCC.  Who was responsible?     

It is ReImagine’s Ottawa’s contention that the petition will continue to grow regardless of any present-day decisions at city council and a public inquiry is inevitable. The only question is will it be in time to save the trees and public greenspaces.

For Further Information:

George Laing, 613 447-4616
Clive Doucet, 613 808-0019