Archive for September, 2007

Tedco Misleads Press

Friday, September 28th, 2007

Yesterday’s press release has some factual mistakes regarding “Project Symphony”, aka The First Waterfront Place.

First, Aecon was retained a while ago to build this building.

Second, their winning bid was approximately $140 million.

Third, and more importantly what the press don’t know is TEDCO is trying to reduce the build cost to $110 million.

This $30 million dollar reduction is proving to be a planning nightmare. The sub-trades have already bid the project and many have been selected. They are now being asked to re-tender on the new design. By the way, the new design is not even finished.

Changing the design at this time is proof alone that this project is running into big trouble, even though there has not been one metre of cement poured yet. No one experienced in a project of this size would have these issues.

Jack Diamond is putting on a show like he is mad that TEDCO is butchering his grand design; the truth is his billable hours have just gone up.

Aside from this, TEDCO has guaranteed Corus an occupancy date of August 2009.

There is no way this project will come in on time. Furthermore the rushed workmanship will result in poor quality.

And yes I was informed today that the City is on the hook for the Corus lease payments in Liberty Village if they can not occupy the building in August 09.

As I said in an earlier post in May 07 Jeff Steiner got sucked in.

The Free Ride

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

The Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone is having a ball managing the C.N.E.

Along with his directorship at TEDCO, Pantalone is the chair of the EX.

When is someone going to look into the cheap rent that some special friends of Pantalone are receiving inside the Princess Gates?

I wouldn’t waste time looking into the free front row seats or the VIP treatment at the BMO field.

You Don’t Need A Crystal Ball

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

Turtle Island Recycling is actually expanding the operations of their waste disposal facility that sits directly on the waterfront.

The auto scrap yard fire last week that darkened the Toronto sky line is nothing compared to the future environmental tragedy that will happen on the waterfront. Eventually, Turtle will have a fire at their facility.

It’s not ‘if’ – it’s ‘when’.

Last I heard Turtle was on a month to month tenancy. If so, why are they installing over a million dollars in new equipment? It is absolutely insane that they are allowed to operate a waste transfer station 16 feet from the water’s edge. For God’s sake, there is not even a containment wall. The drains predate any of the current requirements for pollution interceptors.

Hello anyone home at the TEDCO office? What about the Ministry of the Environment?

The Diamond family financially backs Turtle and has developed a cozy relationship with Jeff Steiner.

In a previous career, Steiner was involved in the merchant banking industry. Since the Diamond family is a major player in this industry (much like Sam Riseman) do you really think it’s a fluke that TEDCO has so many special provisions for these corporate vultures?

The C of A

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

Four million to Six million.

That is the dollar value that it will cost to remove the contaminated soil from “Project Symphony” a.k.a. The First Waterfront Place.

This figure was determined recently when Priestly Demolition miraculously discovered the pillars underneath MT 28.

With all the money TEDCO has spent on environmental engineers, how could they not budget for this cost?

The M.O.E. were on the scene and gave TEDCO a choice to either remove all contaminated soil or apply for a “certificate of approval” and register the property as a contaminated site

TEDCO offered to use their “hocus pocus” remediation technique. This is the same charade that they are using on the Filmport where they have stored the contaminated material for 8 months by the Don Roadway, for everybody to drive by and breathe the polluted particles.

Furthermore, cleaning the old MT28 site will push the Corus occupancy date back. In all likelihood, the over hold provision of the Corus leases, in Liberty Village, will kick in. This generally represents three times the monthly rent. The question then becomes, will the City be on the hook for paying this tab?

So the cost to build now stands at approximately at $164 million and the overrun expenses are starting to climb.

I have to believe that the heart and soul of Corus is their creative staff. Having children I have a certain degree of experience viewing the Corus products. I can only assume that these individuals possess a high degree of moral fiber. Henceforth, I can’t see TEDCO getting away with building on this site without properly removing the contaminated soil.

There would be a mutiny at Corus if they had to occupy a registered contaminated site.

Maybe, for once, TEDCO will be forced to properly clean a site.

Behind the Black Ball

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

Sometimes the hole you dig is so big you find yourself constantly behind the black ball.

The harmonic convergence is upon Jeff Steiner.

Stay tuned on Monday, I need a second source to verify a real whopper of a story.

When the Going Gets Tough

Friday, September 21st, 2007

The tough get going.

And that’s what Priestly is going to do down at the MT28 demo site.

Priestly’s big machines made it look a piece of cake to knock down the actual structure.

But the toughest part of demolishing MT28 is the removal of the pillars that supported the building. The fact that these pillars are 40 feet below the surface is one thing but since this site is located next to the shoreline makes this job really tough.

Priestly is attempting to leave the job, without removing these pillars. Hence, without fulfilling all the terms of the contract with TEDCO.

Priestly bid this job and knew about the pillars. Perhaps this scam was prearranged so that they had an unfair advantage in bidding. The other contractors factored the high degree of difficulty in removing the pillars and adjusted their quotes accordingly.

So, don’t invite Priestly to your kids’ birthday party. They’ll eat the icing and leave the cake.

MT28, the Inquest and the Enquiry

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

Looking down at the ruins of Marine Terminal 28 there is something sad about the demolition of this former movie studio; for it produced some of Canada’s best film footage.

The timing and circumstances surrounding TEDCO’s selection of Priestly Demolition as the contractor is atrocious.

For the inquest started this week into the fatal accident that took place a few years ago when Priestly knocked a wall on to a neighboring building filled with students.

So, while one level of government pays to examines what went wrong on that tragic day, TEDCO is paying the very same company to take down another government-owned building, namely, Marine Terminal 28.

What I want to know is: When is someone going to call an inquiry into the business dealings of the Toronto Economic Development Corporation?

The Perfectly Competitive City

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

Procurement problems plague the City’s ability to pay for goods and services at a competitive rate.

Their bonding policies chase business away. The City makes it so hard to do business. Sure, it is easy to enter the City’s bidders list, but in order to secure any work they expect unreasonably high insurance; thus the supply is reduced.

Economics 101 tells us that when supply is constant and demand is reduced the price per unit increases.

In simple terms, they can have a million dollar contract out for tender and if you’re the winning bid they require a “letter of credit” or bond for the amount of the contract or sometimes even more. This L.C. can be held in escrow for several years after the work is done.

Why would any business person agree to such terms, unless the profit margins are really high?

And indeed, the profit margins are often excessive because of this high barrier to entry.

The City’s procurement policies are in effect the antithesis of a perfectly competitive market place; hence, the city ends up paying a premium for many, many goods and services.

Please sign the petition!

Monday, September 17th, 2007

Please take a moment and sign the online petition for the Immediate Investigation of TEDCO and their mismanagement of Toronto’s assets. It’s available in the Information Pages on the right hand side, or by clicking on the link below.

Go to the Petition Now!

Your help is always appreciated.


Blowing Smoke

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

Do you think Miller has totally lost grasp with reality. Are any of his advisors capable telling him the truth? Weak leaders tend to surround themselves with “yes men” who blow smoke you know where.

It takes a while, and a lot of discipline, to have your people tell you the truth. As a leader it’s something you have to seek constantly. What is your opinion? What are your thoughts? What would you do? These are questions you repeatedly ask your team.

It boggles my mind, why Miller would open up a web site on these new taxes. Did he think he was going to evoke a tax-love fest?

Talk about creating a lightning rod. With all the political public relations fiascos Miller has suffered this year, it’s almost as if his advisors are out for sabotage.

Torontonians are some of the most heavily taxed people on this continent. We want tax cuts. We want you to bring the unions under control. We want you to stop these costly pet projects.

I would really really love to get a copy of the searing responses that people are bombarding at this web site.

Miller was a no show at the public consultation meetings on these taxes and I doubt if he even has the guts to read these emails.

In all likelihood, he will pay some functionary to write him a sugar-coated report.

Why on God’s green earth would anyone who lives in Toronto support more taxes? Miller must be smoking something.