Finance and Economic Development Committee Update

In February my colleagues and I passed an important unanimous motion regarding the Stage 2 LRT procurement project documents, the legal opinion by Norton Rose Fulbright, and called on staff to analyze how we can improve as a city in similar projects.

Specifically, the motion directed the City Manager to do the following:

  • Procurement documents: Release the technical compliance scores, the technical evaluations, and the specific bid amendments made to the contract to ensure Council direction on Stage 2 was met. You can read these documents here.
  • Legal documents: Directed the city to waive its solicitor-client privilege with respect to the October 23, 2018 legal opinion by Norton Rose Fulbright that informed the procurement process. You can find this legal opinion within this document.
  • Constant improvement: That an independent consultant be engaged to undertake a lesson learned exercise on the Stage 2 procurement process and the scope of this work to be determined. It is essential to take stock of lessons learned, particularly for complex projects, and to constantly reflect and question our approach as a city to be able to achieve improvements. We must do this to ensure that we are doing everything we can to protect your tax dollars and to be able to achieve the important transit vision that we are working towards.

This substantive motion allows Council and the public to have a more fulsome context on the complex procurement process that was followed for Stage 2. This is an important discussion that will be had at a special meeting of the Finance and Economic Development Committee meeting on Monday, March 9th. More importantly, the important work that the consultant is undertaking will be ready in time to implement the lessons that we have learned for Stage 3, which has the biggest impact on our community. There are over one thousand pages of documentation, which my team and I will go over this week prior to the committee meeting on Monday.

Part of the discussion at this committee meeting will be an update on the LRT service delivery and next steps. The current transit situation is completely unacceptable, and I am very frustrated. I have heard from many of you and experienced it firsthand how the transit failures have a real and tangible impact on our daily lives. Council must quickly determine the way forward and our next steps to resolve this situation. I know that all options are on the table including restoring bus service and exploring the cancellation of the contracts. This problem that we are facing has no simple solutions and we must take responsible actions where we understand the ramifications and focus on restoring reliable transit service to the residents of Ottawa.