Waterfront Toronto is directly accountable to two Ministers: the Federal Minister of Finance and for the GTA and the Provincial Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure. Municipally, Waterfront Toronto is accountable directly to City Council. Each government has four appointees on Waterfront Toronto’s Board of Directors, including a seat for the Mayor. Every year Waterfront Toronto obtains the approval of all three levels of government for its annual capital plan, including the priority projects and budgets.
Since its inception in 2003, Waterfront Toronto has had eighteen positive audits of our delivery of those projects. All three governments have secretariats that oversee our operations and protect the interests of each order of government including accountability, transparency and value for money provided by Waterfront Toronto.
While all three levels approve projects and budgets in advance, the City of Toronto has a unique relationship with Waterfront Toronto. The City is the regulator for Waterfront Toronto’s capital works and planning. All projects that will be maintained and operated by the City are designed to meet specific city requirements and standards, and the plans are reviewed and approved in advance of construction. No project is constructed in the absence of City sign-off on the design, specifications and budget.
“We are certain Council is aware of the unique operational oversight and control that the City of Toronto has maintained over Waterfront Toronto for the last eleven years. All our projects are vetted by City staff and the capital plan is approved in advance by City Council,” says John Campbell, President & CEO of Waterfront Toronto.
The revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront is a massive brownfield infrastructure project with all the inherent challenges and costs. These include contaminants, poor soil conditions and high water tables. Waterfront Toronto’s work is procured competitively through an open, fair and transparent process that complies with the requirements set by the federal, provincial and municipal governments. In 2009 the City of Toronto confirmed that Waterfront Toronto’s information disclosure policies meet or exceed those of the City’s. We continually strive to improve these policies based on tri-government standards and best practices. Our approach is to be open and collaborative with both our government partners and with the public in the revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront.