QUEEN’S PARK – NDP MPP Chris Glover (Spadina-Fort York) is demanding answers after the Ontario Place’s Call for Development revealed no plans for a parking garage – a $450 million dollar bill that taxpayers are now on the hook for, thanks to Ford.
In 2019, the Ford Conservatives issued a Call for Development for Ontario Place that warned prospective bidders to “consider the adequacy of parking for their development concept,” making it clear that the successful developer would needed to work with the parking provided.
After Therme won the bid, this government suddenly announced that it was building a $450 million parking garage at public expense that was not mentioned in the Call for Development.
“This document reveals that the Premier is giving Therme a massive publicly-funded $450 million benefit that was not offered to competing bidders,” said Glover. “Therme has benefitted enormously from this arrangement, and I want to know exactly what happened behind closed doors - because my constituents will be paying for it without even being consulted. That’s not right.”
According to Ontario’s lobbyist registry, starting in September 2018, Conservative Party insiders have been lobbying the Ford government on behalf of Therme, including Amir Remtulla, Mayor Rob Ford’s former chief of staff, as well as prominent Conservative Party insider, Leslie Noble.
“Ford needs to give a straightforward answer about this deal, and exactly who stands to benefit. Why did he agree to sweeten the deal with Therme with a $450 million dollar subsidy? When it comes to backroom deals with private developers, Ford doesn’t have a trustworthy track record. The people of Ontario are right to ask questions, and I will continue to push until we get the answers they deserve.”