Firms suing city for $217M over cancelled light rail plan
By DEREK PUDDICOMBE, Sun Media
There could be an offer in the works to settle the $217 million Light Rail Transit lawsuit.
The Sun has learned that Siemens Canada and St. Lawrence Cement Inc., who are suing the City of Ottawa after council cancelled it $1 billion north-south LRT line two years ago, might be willing to settle out of court if the city agrees to move forward with building its new transit line plan.
When contacted by the Sun, a spokesman from Siemens didn't deny there is a settlement offer being drafted, but said because the lawsuit is still before the court they can't comment. One City Hall source told the Sun that there is a good chance a settlement offer will be on the table soon.
During a council meeting this morning Capital Coun. Clive Doucet sent a note to colleagues asking them to lobby city solicitor Rick O'Connor to release information regarding any possible settlement offer to council.In his letter Doucet said councillors Alex Cullen, Jacques Legendre, Marianne Wilkinson, Doug Thompson and Gord Hunter don't want O'Connor to release any information regarding a possible settlement "via a re-animation of part of the north/south line."
"This is a matter of considerable financial importance to the city and would like to meet with anyone who has doubts about the wisdom of relying solely on the courts to resolve this matter," said Doucet.
In his reply, Cullen said council should tread carefully when pursuing the issue.
"One is the stakes involved in this lawsuit, and the other is the potential for undermining an important council initiative," said Cullen."This is not meant to foreclose any private discussions, but I don't think the political process is the best means for resolving this issue."