Andrew Spicer's Weblog - Index - Email
Status: I'm making my own blogging tool using MS Access. However, I need help from a friend who's away for the weekend
John Barber
For the typical Torontonian who wants to know what's going on at City Hall, there are not many good sources of information. Through the late 90s, I subscribed to both The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star. You could read both papers and not know anything was wrong with how this city was being run or how it was being treated by the province unless you found John Barber's column (about 3 times a week) in the back pages of the Globe. Earlier this month he revealed enough information to let us know what happened in the Union Station affair.
Judges rated different aspects of each proposal on a 150-point scale, the councillors said. Ms. Dill accorded 140 points to Union Pearson Group, as opposed to zero points for LP Heritage, for financial performance. A former planning director in Mel Lastman's North York, Ms. Dill told councillors she did that because she thought one of the members of the U.S. group, which has completed successful train-station restorations in Chicago and Washington, was "insolvent." City Treasurer Joseph Pennachetti, who sat on the same jury, must have missed that vital piece of information: The treasurer gave LP Heritage, which was backed by the TD Bank and Aecon construction, average marks for financial performance, city councillors say. Because the competition was so tight between the two consortia, Ms. Dill's outriding zeroes made a big difference. Had the planning commissioner given LP Heritage the same financial marks as the treasurer did, according to one city councillor, the U.S. group would have won the right to restore and redevelop the station.
I was away this weekend, but I'm happy I was able to find Barber's Saturday column (despite the mess that is The Globe and Mail's new website). It helps explain a screaming headline in the Toronto Star a few weeks ago. City Councillors are trying to use the cost of the Bellamy inquiry to shut it down so that it stops revealing how scandalous City Hall really has been:
"We're paying $15-million for information that isn't worth 15 cents," councillor Doug Holyday complained in a typical outburst this week.
John Barber has been doing a pretty good job as watchdog. Too bad he's one of so few.

spicer index: