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Open letter: Council action on new arena will mean no construction company in North Bay is eligible

'No one has built 6 pads in the last 8 years. It’s like a job description when you know who you want to hire'
2020 11 17 North Bay Community and Recreation Centre Renderings 2 (YouTube)
Renderings by MJMA Architects and Mitchell Jensen Architects of North Bay's proposed Community and Recreation Centre. Courtesy of the City of North Bay via YouTube.

Editor's note: Mr. Gardiner's letter is in response to a news release contained in the BayToday story City takes first step in procurement process for potential construction of the new community centre

For background read City of North Bay Bid Opportunities Website

He points out that, "No one has built 6 pads in the last 8 years. It’s like a job description when you know who you want to hire."


To the City Council of North Bay,

Re: Request for Pre-qualification for the Proposed Hockey Rink.

With respect,

In a recent press release of Feb. 16, 2021, the City indicated that the purpose of the pre-qualification process for the erection of the new hockey rink is to shortlist general contractors with qualifications and the necessary experience to manage and oversee the construction process.

In principle, the course of action is a prudent and necessary exercise in due diligence. However, the criteria appear to be unnecessarily harsh and exacting so that no construction company in North Bay is eligible.

Shouldn’t a growth-focus agenda promote local expertise and ensure well-paying jobs remain in North Bay? The recently completed $15M student centre is testimony to our community’s outstanding talents and capabilities. And of course, there are economic impact considerations. Why send money elsewhere?

I realize that council oversight is difficult to exercise in all matters, however I don’t believe that the strict criteria are justified. In fact, the criteria are so exacting that perhaps only one company in all of Ontario can lay claim to have constructed no less than 3 facilities and at least 6 ice pads in the last 8 years.

Please give our local companies the opportunity to compete.

Thank you for your serious consideration, 

Gary Gardiner