Midland Bay Landing Development Should Be Deferred To Next Council

UPDATE JUNE 27 2022: After receiving clarity from the Integrity Commissioners that I am perfectly within my right to advance a motion to defer awarding MBL contracts to the next council in 3 short months, I intend to call for this deferral at the Monday July 4th (4pm via Zoom) special meeting of Council if we are asked to pick a developer after the presentation by the Midland Bay Landing Development Corporation.  If we are not asked to pick one next Monday, then I will have the stand-alone motion on our next regular Council meeting.

I will push for this deferral and ensure that it receives a recorded vote so that everyone will know where each of the incumbent politicians stand on this issue as we see some of us seek re-election this October.

I encourage you to reach out to each of your elected officials and guide them in their upcoming vote on this matter. You can use this form to email all of council with your opinions: https://www.billgordon.ca/contact-all-of-midland-council-at-once/

To date, we have had 39 letters submitted by residents supporting the deferral and urging Council to make this a campaign issue and for the next council (which may include some of the current council) to get a crystal clear mandate about the future of the Midland Bay Landing property. 


ORIGINAL POST MARCH 29th 2022: I have tabled a notice of motion for the April 13th Council meeting that reads “Be it resolved that council defer any further binding decisions relating to the implementation of Midland Bay Landing development to the 2022-2026 municipal council.” 

To be clear I’m game for what the community wants and the current plan leaves most wanting something radically different. I’m lobbying for deferral of any binding commitments from the RFP pending the election. The process can play out but no inking of any deals by this council or MBLDC.

The Midland Bay Landing Development Corporation has moved to Request for Proposal from pre-qualified developers (https://www.midland.ca/Shared%20Documents/Midland%20Bay%20Landing%20RFEOI%20w%20attachments.pdf) and wants to have a developer selected and put before this Council ahead of October’s election of the next four-year leadership team.

Combined with the fact that many residents continue to express serious concerns about the current direction this Council and town Administration is taking with the long-stalled waterfront development that only found its legs in the past few months, there is a new council on its way in October (six months away) and they should be the ones to make the binding decisions about the progress of this development, or perhaps to reconsider and change direction. After all, they will be at the helm of the decision making and supervising the progress – why would we deprive them of the right to direct the outcome that they will be held accountable for?

If upon reflection, the new Council decides that the current plan is the one to keep, then they will have a clear mandate to do so. The future of this property will become an election issue and it should come as no surprise to any of the current Council that this decision is worthy of affirmation during the upcoming election process. Rushing this through in the twilight hours of our term is morally wrong given the public concerns for the current plan and the end of our term in clear sight.

I will push for this deferral and ensure that it receives a recorded vote so that everyone will know where each of the incumbent politicians stand on this issue as we see some of us seek re-election this October.

I encourage you to reach out to each of your elected officials and guide them in their upcoming vote on this matter. You can use this form to email all of council with your opinions: https://www.billgordon.ca/contact-all-of-midland-council-at-once/

UPDATE: April 3rd 2022

I had a great question asked on my post essentially asking what’s the point of deferring this part of the project when we all know it will be multiple term project anyway. Great question! Here is my response:
 
It’s a hand off, and the binding decisions should be handled by the next team since they will be held accountable for it. This council binding the next (forming in October) to a clearly contentious decision is not in anyone’s best interests. We each play our part. Last council acquired the land. This council finally got the environmental assessment done (needed to be done regardless of the land use future) and short listed qualified developers. The selection of a developer and plan should be handed off to the new team who will receive their direction from residents and voters. I should add that if we had a year or two left in our term I’d likely have a different stance but we are almost in lame duck mode and the rush to do this in the spring despite all the opposition to the current plan is enough to trigger this deferral so the new council can get a clear mandate.
 
UPDATE: APRIL 12 2022: After receiving some new information about “blackout periods” in RFP process, I pulled my motion from the April 13th meeting and will revisit it at a more appropriate time once that blackout period has ended.  It is not my intention to interfere with the procurement process.  The time for debating the outcome of the process has not yet arrived before council and this will be the appropriate time to introduce my motion.  I will update this page and my communications channels with the next date and continue to seek your input in advance of the motion being debated.  I will ensure that it is a recorded vote.   Despite my withdrawal of this motion 

6 Comments

  1. With the Midland Landing Project being as contentious as it is, the current council needs to be responsible and defer critical decisions involving commitments to outside vendors to the new council. At this stage with only months remaining in the current council’s term, it would be gravely irresponsible to make significant strategic & financial decisions affecting the future council. Frankly there should be a “Lame Duck” bylaw prohibiting decisions with such magnitude within 6 months of any election. This would prevent “ramming through” contentious projects last minute.

  2. Bravo Bill…thankyou from one very concerned taxpayer!!!Any council member that does not support what you have tables clearly is NOT listening to the residents. The question arises as to what benefit and to whom…. is it to force this decision in advance of an upcoming election. This bull-headed council has made enough costly bad decisions and if they have one speck of decency should listen to the electors. Put this on the ballot….I dare the current Midland council!!!!

  3. Well said Bill. I am usually against delays in getting things built, it is so embarrassing that Canada is the second slowest country in OECD for getting buildings built. But in this case I agree, the Midland Waterfront development is so lack luster and unambitious that hopefully a new council will see that Midland housing prices have more than doubled in the last 10yrs, so We NEED to double the number of residential units being built, and the waterfont isn’t ambitious enough and hopefully the next council will address that.

    • I had a great question asked on my post essentially asking what’s the point of deferring this part of the project when we all know it will be multiple term project anyway. Great question! Here is my response:

      It’s a hand off, and the binding decisions should be handled by the next team since they will be held accountable for it. This council binding the next (forming in October) to a clearly contentious decision is not in anyone’s best interests. We each play our part. Last council acquired the land. This council finally got the environmental assessment done (needed to be done regardless of the land use future) and short listed qualified developers. The selection of a developer and plan should be handed off to the new team who will receive their direction from residents and voters. I should add that if we had a year or two left in our term I’d likely have a different stance but we are almost in lame duck mode and the rush to do this in the spring despite all the opposition to the current plan is enough to trigger this deferral so the new council can get a clear mandate.

  4. I agree wholeheartedly with you Bill that the decision on the MBLD should be deferred, for the next Council to decide.

Comments are closed.