RendezVous LeBreton mediator asks NCC to give group more time before cancelling deal

The National Capital Commission hears the results from the evaluation committee regarding the LeBreton Flats redevelopment in Ottawa on Thursday, April 28, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The mediator helping resolve litigation between partners of the group chosen to redevelop LeBreton Flats wants the National Capital Commission (NCC) to give those partners more time to resolve their dispute before cancelling their development agreement, a spokesperson for the Crown corporation confirmed Monday.

The NCC’s board is holding a teleconference meeting on Monday to discuss the request for an extension until Feb. 28, ahead of the agreement’s expected termination on Jan. 19.

READ MORE: RendezVous LeBreton partners to enter mediation to salvage project

Trinity Development chairman John Ruddy, project manager Graham Bird and Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk — partners in the RendezVous LeBreton group — are currently entangled in a major lawsuit launched by Melnyk in November.

Just days after Ruddy counter-sued Melnyk in mid-December, the NCC gave notice it was terminating its agreement with RendezVous LeBreton.

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In filing his statement of defence earlier this month, Bird announced the three partners had agreed to enter mediation to reconcile their differences and salvage the project, and would be assisted by Warren K. Winkler, former chief justice of Ontario.

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“We can confirm that a request has been received from Mr. Justice Winkler to extend the termination notice to Rendez-Vous LeBreton Group until February 28, 2019 while he continues the mediation over which he is presiding,” Wolff wrote.

“The NCC will have no further comment on this matter until after its Board meeting.”

The board’s teleconference is expected to conclude this afternoon.

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