July 5th, 2010
We here at BuzzBuzzHome Corp. have been paying attention to the East Bayside site on the Waterfront for quite some time now.
We’ve posted stories on it here and here and our interest is based around the fact that an RFQ went out in November of last year and nothing has been heard on it since.
We contacted Waterfront Toronto, who are in charge of the site, and you can read their response here.
We appreciate that they responded to us and forgive them for being late in answering our phone calls (hey, these things happen!) but we are still miffed that they didn’t really address our questions.
In their response, Waterfront Toronto outlined the fact that details of the Proponents submissions needed to be kept confidential because there was sensitive financial information involved. This is completely understandable, but we aren’t looking to get the financial information – all we want is for the citizens of Toronto to see the design proposals that were submitted.
Waterfront Toronto says its core values include accountability, transparency and public engagement. Where’s the public engagement here? The Bayside submissions were presented to a third party facilitator in a confidential session to a group representing a range of interested and affected community groups and stakeholders. Fair enough.
But why can’t the people who are affected most by any new development – the citizens of Toronto, see them too? Why can’t the people of Toronto see the options for this parcel of land owned by the city?
Surely the fiasco that is the Arena Complex would indicate that such public bodies as Waterfront Toronto would want to be as transparent as possible. Plans were shown to a Citizen’s Advisory panel fairly late in that process, and look what happened there! Are they running the risk of this happening again?!
As a public agency who’s mandate is to act in the public interest, how can Waterfront Toronto say that this is in the public interest? Surely SHOWING the four shortlisted design plans and involving the public in what would be best for the site is the way to go?! No?
Are we missing something here?!
In the RFQ (which you can read yourself here) section 10.7 states:
‘the design component of the Proponent’s response to the RFP, or a position thereof, may be presented in a public exhibition’.
What happened to this?
‘Waterfront Toronto is committed to ensuring that this selection process is open, fair and equitable to all Proponents’.
Again, surely showing the design proposals is the fairest way to treat the Proponents?!
BuzzBuzzHome also understands that there was an opportunity to take the proposal to an executive committee earlier this month, and it wasn’t. Why is it now deferred? The next committee is in August, and if nothing is decided on then, it’s going to be 2011 before anything is done.
All we want is to see the design schemes put forth by the four chosen Proponents. Why can’t we see them?
For more information on the East Bayfront site click here.