Senators win bid for LeBreton Flats and MP Lisa MacLeod takes a break: Top five stories of the week

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The Ottawa Senators win the tender for an arena at LeBreton Flats and an “unusual way” to transport an ATV in western Quebec.

CTVNewsOttawa.ca takes a look at the top five stories on our website this week.

The Ottawa Senators are about to move to a new arena at LeBreton Flats.

The National Capital Commission announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Capital Sports Development Inc., a group led by the Senators, to build a new arena on the land west of downtown Ottawa.

The six-acre plot of land sits on Albert Street, between City Center Avenue and Preston Street, between two LRT stations.

Senators president of business operations Anthony LeBlanc said a move downtown was “crucially important” for the Senators, and noted that the partners they were bringing in were part of building the most recent NHL arenas in Las Vegas, Seattle and New York.

The team behind the proposal includes Sterling Project Development, Populous, Tipping Point Sports and Live Nation.

“These are people who have a serious background in building sports arenas and understanding entertainment, culture and sports,” NCC CEO Tobi Nussbaum told reporters.

The NCC hopes to finalize a lease with the Senators by fall 2023.

A rendering of an NHL arena on LeBreton Flats. (National Capital Commission)

Nepean MPP Lisa MacLeod is “temporarily taking a break” from her job to attend to and improve her health.

MacLeod announced she was taking leave an hour after being kicked out of Premier Doug Ford’s new cabinet.

The exclusion of the MPP for Nepean means that there is only one minister from Ottawa in the new Progressive Conservative government. Kanata-Carleton MPP Merrilee Fullerton will remain Minister of Children, Community and Social Services.

In a message to her constituents in Nepean, MacLeod said they might not see her much this summer “as I focus on healing.”

“This is not a goodbye or a path to another job. I will not be focusing on politics at this time but rather on health and healing,” MacLeod said. “Although taking a temporary break was not a decision I took lightly, it is the right one to take now.”

The Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries announces $3 million in funding for the first Games of Valor in Ottawa. (Courtesy YouTube: Premier of Ontario)

An Ottawa family is demanding answers from a school bus company after their son went missing for five hours after being picked up from school on Monday.

The parents say their son Nathan, an 11-year-old year 6 student, wandered for hours through an unfamiliar neighborhood until a good Samaritan stepped in and helped him get home safely.

The student got into the school bus van that normally takes him from Pierre Elliott Trudeau Catholic Elementary School in Barrhaven, but the driver did not take him home.

Instead of being dropped off at his usual location, the driver drove home, leaving Nathan alone in the vehicle as he asked where they were going and knocked on the windows. The parents suggested that the driver was distracted by the music.

“She’s actually driving me to her apartment, which I didn’t know,” Nathan told CTV News Ottawa on Friday. “I managed to get out of the van when it parked, but I didn’t know which building it went to.”

After walking alone through Westboro for hours, Nathan finally found help at the Tunney’s Pasture LRT station, 12 miles from his school in Barrhaven. He found Dave Ellis, who was returning home from a rally downtown. Ellis asked his Uber driver to change his route to get Nathan home.

Nick McRae, owner and chairman of Roxborough Bus Lines, told CTV News the company is aware of the situation and is cooperating with police as they continue their investigation. He said the driver has been suspended until the company receives more information from the police investigation.

An Ottawa pastor says his medical exemption for the COVID-19 vaccine was denied by US border agents when he attempted to cross the border for a memorial for his wife’s grandparents.

Mike Croteau suffers from an autoimmune disease which exempts him from receiving the vaccine. However, when he attempted to cross the border with his family, his letter was rejected and the desire to cross denied. Croteau says he had the vaccine exemption, PCR test and proof of death and memorial with him at the border.

CTV News has contacted US Customs and Border Protection. He provided the following statement:

“Individuals with medical contraindications to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine may provide a medical exemption, but CBP officers may, at their discretion, require anyone claiming an exception to provide proof of eligibility that complies the documentation requirements of the CDC Technical Instructions.”

Croteau says his fight is not over and hopes to reapply for compassionate relief in the coming weeks so the family can attend a memorial before the summer is over.

Western Quebec police say an officer intercepted a vehicle near Gatineau with an “unorthodox and unusual way” of transporting an ATV.

MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais police shared a photo of a Mazda 3 with an ATV strapped to the roof with a single strap.

An officer was traveling on Route 309 in L’Ange-Gardien just before 5:30 a.m. Wednesday when he saw the car traveling south with the ATV on the roof.

“As all of this had piqued their curiosity, they turned around and finally intercepted the driver who was already on Highway 50 towards Gatineau,” police said in a statement.

The weight of the ATV crushed the shocks on the vehicle.

MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais police say an officer pulled over a Mazda 3 with an ATV strapped to the roof on Wednesday near Gatineau, Que. (Photo courtesy: MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais police)

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