My take on it is that it is better to blow away bits of Canadian Shield than to plough under farmland for housing. While it's true that locally we have more farmland than Canadian Shield around us, provincially and nationally we have relatively little fertile farmland and lots of Canadian Shield. It's embarrassing to see people protesting the use of rock outcrops for housing while there is not a peep of protest about the nearby Carp valley (i.e. around Scotiabank Place either side of the Queensway) being similarly developed. I'd sooner see the entire Carp Ridge developed right to the outskirts of Fitzroy Harbour than have the Carp Valley developed. That said, some of the least valuable land in the region is not on the Carp Ridge (which is at least locally unique) but in the areas west of Stittsville, roughly straddling the former CPR line between Hwy 7 and Flewellyn Rd. The soils are shallow, are not much good for anything and are waterlogged in the spring, sitting right on top of fractured limestone. The area in the Greenbelt between Robertson Rd, Bells Corners, Kanata and Hwy 416 is pretty much the same kind of land as well. Of course that's just the kind of land that people are more likely to get upset about.
As for the protest on the Canal, the truly embarrassing actions were those of the police.
Ottawa's quasi-official motto: "It can't be done"
Ottawa's quasi-official ethos: "We have a process to follow"