Remarks by City of Toronto Chief Administrative Officer Shirley Hoy about Union Station|
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The following are remarks made by CAO Shirley Hoy at a 3 p.m. news conference
today. Links are provided to the two backgrounders that were distributed at the
As you all know, in the last few days there have been comments made concerning
the conduct of staff in the selection process related to the Union Station
request for proposals. There have also been comments that heads should roll at
City Hall. That is why I am here today - as I take full responsibility for the
actions of the administration.
I am greatly concerned by the comments that have been made questioning the
credibility, confidence and integrity of City staff.
As the Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Toronto I want to assure
Councillors and the public that staff have followed Council direction
throughout the Union Station process and that it has been conducted in a
professional, fair and impartial manner.
The selection committee that was established by Council for the process has
worked hard to protect the City's interests, evaluate the proposals based on
the best possible expert information and make recommendations that are based on
a rigorous evaluation of the proposals received.
Staff have been diligent in informing Council at every major step of the
process and seeking their approval for all decisions related to the request for
proposals. A total of 12 staff reports have gone forward on Union Station since
July 2000. In addition, staff have held numerous briefings for Councillors and
have recently established an ad-hoc public advisory group. A Web site has been
established containing full information about the Union Station RFP. Public
input has been and continues to be invited.
This process began two and a half years ago and has been a well-considered,
deliberate and professional process.
The selection committee was comprised of three of the City's most senior staff
- the Commissioners of Corporate Services and Urban Development Services, and
the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, top officials from Transport Canada
and a respected heritage architect. Six technical review teams focussing on
various elements identified in the request for proposals were established. The
review teams presented their findings to the selection committee and these
reports were used to evaluate the proposals.
The entire process has also had the benefit of rigorous evaluation by outside
Following the evaluation process a recommendation was made to Council in July
2002 that the Union Pearson Group be approved as the successful proponent.
Council considered the matter for 9 hours, asking staff many questions about
the proposal and the process. At the end of the debate Council voted 34-2 to
approve the Union Pearson Group as the successful proponent. In addition,
Council unanimously passed a motion congratulating the selection committee for
As part of the selection process, each member of the selection team was
provided a score sheet on which to record their notations and scores based on
the seven established criteria. These scores were then transferred to a spread
sheet that formed the permanent record of the selection process. This
spreadsheet was presented and discussed at the July 2002 Council meeting.
I wish to clearly state that there was no intention to conceal any relevant
information that was used by the selection committee to determine the
We all wish the working notes were still available. However, an honest mistake
has been made. There remains a record of the evaluation results from the
selection process. The outcome of the process remains the same.
The results of a two and a half year Council-approved process conducted by
senior staff and outside experts remains a process with complete integrity.
With respect to the need for confidentiality during the deliberations of the
selection committee it is important to note that the need for confidentiality
exists only with respect to financial and legal matters. This is to maintain
the integrity of the process and to negotiate terms that conclude in the best
possible result for the City of Toronto. I want to remind everyone that at its
meeting in July 2002, Council directed that the remainder of the Union Station
process be conducted in public, save and except for financial, legal and
related details of the negotiations that are required to be confidential to
protect the City's financial interest and the legal rights of the proponents.
I wish to state clearly that the goals of the project and the direction of
Council have been respected. City staff have conducted a process that protects
the interests of the City and seeks the strongest possible financial
arrangement for the City. The Union Station proposals give the City a unique
opportunity to consider a public private partnership that makes the best use of
an important city asset.
I am very much looking forward to an independent review of the process and feel
confident that it will reflect my belief that this process has been conducted
Backgrounders: January 31, 2003
Milestones -- RFP
to Restore, Revitalize and Operate Union Station
Station RFP Evaluation Process