8:30 a.m., April 9)
MPP trying to block DND move to Nortel campus
By Fred Sherwin
trying to warn his fellow local politicians about the
potential impact of the DND move to the former Nortel
campus in Kanata, Phil McNeely has finally decided to
take matters into his own hands.
Ottawa-Orléans MPP has filed a complaint with the
Commissioner of Official Languages to try to block the
move which will impact thousands of local residents directly
and tens of thousands indirectly.
argues that the move will result in thousands of DND employees
currently living in Orléans to move west to be
closer to their place of employment and that the majority
of those employees will be francophone, severely impacting
the Francophone nature of the local community.
to McNeely, the Official Languages Act requires minorities,
like the Francophone community of Orléans, to be
supported so they can thrive, something the decision to
move DND to the Nortel Campus runs counter to.
comes down to the Official Languages Act requiring minority
language groups to be supported, said McNeely who
will file the complaint as a private citizen rather than
an elected official. And moving a large number of
people from an area that is 35-per-cent French to an area
that is six- or seven-per-cent French, then you dont
have the same (language) support.
veteran MPP points to statistics that show housing starts
in 2011-2012 dropped by 22 per cent in Ottawa-Orléans
while they rose by 24 per cent over the same period in
new DND campus is expected to house some 10,000 DND employees
many of whom currently live in the east end and Orleans
in particular, Once the LRT is built it will require at
least two or three transfers to take rapid transit to
the campus at Carling Ave. and Moodie Dr. McNeely argues
many will choose to move rather than spend hours commuting
back and forth to work on the other side of the city.
recent report in the Ottawa Citizen showed renovations
for the existing Nortel campus are already more than 30
per cent over budget rising from an estimated $623 million
to more than $880 million. The campus was purchased by
Public Works for $208 million.
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