And then there were four

Carter Haydu
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Moose Jaw -

Of the six companies that received documents outlining the design and cost specifications for Moose Jaw's multiplex project, only four responded by submitting design-build proposals.

The companies that originally showed interest in the contract were Giffels Corporation, EllisDon Corporation, Dominion Construction, PCL Construction, Ventana Construction and Graham Construction and Engineering.

On Tuesday, City Manager Garry McKay told the Times-Herald the city would not disclose which companies have continued pursuing the contract. However, he said one of the companies is from Manitoba, one is from British Columbia and two are from Saskatchewan.

Of the original six firms, Ventana is from British Columbia, EllisDon's bid came from its Manitoba office, both Graham and Dominion are from Saskatchewan, it was PCL's Regina corporate arm that made the company's original bid and Giffels is a Toronto-based company.

As for details regarding how those companies still competing proposed to design the multiplex, based on specifications, McKay said such details would remain out of the public eye until after administration has thoroughly inspected the proposals and made its recommendation to city council.

McKay expects council to receive administration's recommendations in approximately one month.

In the meantime, the city is still awaiting news regarding the status of federal funding for the multiplex, applied for through the Building Canada Fund. Applications for the second intake of BCF are due on Friday for projects ready to begin in the near future, and May 15 for projects that still need more time.

McKay said the city's multiplex application for an earlier intake of the fund will carry over to Friday's deadline. He expects to hear word regarding which shovel-ready projects are approved for funding by the middle of May.

The city is applying for $15 million towards the $61.3 million multiplex through this fund. Of the money for which the city is applying, $8.38 million is part of the multiplex capital budget, approved by council during the June 16 council meeting.

Administration expects demolition of city-owned buildings on the downtown multiplex site (between First Avenue Northwest and Second Avenue Northwest, as well as High Street West and Manitoba Street West) to begin in late May or early June.

McKay said a consultant must still analyze the properties before the city can send out demolition tenders. As for the soccer facility portion of the project to be built in the Hamilton Flats area, Parks and Recreation Director Jody Hauta said each company vying for the contract submitted its own recommended schedule on when that part of the project should begin.

However, based on the city's recommendations, construction of the separate indoor soccer facility should still begin sometime this year.

Actual multiplex construction should begin this summer. The city anticipates the project would be completed by the fall of 2011.

On Tuesday, Ray Boughen, Palliser Conservative MP, told the Times-Herald he has worked with several people in Ottawa to get money for the multiplex.

Boughen said he has taken the city's case to get multiplex money through the federal government's Building Canada Fund to four different ministries and he is hopeful the local project will receive some, if not all, of the $15 million requested.

"I think the chances are good. I always thought (the multiplex project) was good for the city and surrounding neighbourhood."

He said campaigning for multiplex funding from the feds involves demonstrating to government officials how the project benefits the community, as well as what funding is already in place and what more is required.

"We're itemizing the whole spectrum," the MP said.

Organizations: EllisDon Corporation, Times-Herald, Building Canada Fund Giffels Dominion Construction Graham Construction Palliser Conservative MP

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Manitoba, British Columbia Saskatchewan Regina First Avenue Northwest Second Avenue Northwest High Street West Hamilton Flats Ottawa

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Recent comments

  • SK Woman
    September 18, 2009 - 18:08

    Seriously, there is no way that any discussion about the Multiplex is going to make some of you happy. You have made it your mission to pick apart and complain about every phase of this project. The project is definitely taking way too long, it wasn't handled the way it should have been, but what's done is done. As far as picking apart every single detail about how it is going - why? What is the purpose of this? Do you think they should seriously have a big meeting, invite the whole city out to view all the blueprints and go over the specs of each individual plan that has been submitted? I highly doubt that would solve any problems - there are already too many cooks in the kitchen and the more you add, the worse off we will be. What's done is done. They say they are going to build it - hopefully sooner than later. Once the building is up and running, those of us who are still living and haven't died of old age will have the choice of entering the building or not. Obviously we will all be paying extra taxes to pay for it but there is nothing we can do about it now. Whining and complaining is not going to help so why don't we all just sit back and relax, let those people who are in charge of this build do their jobs and see how it turns out.... the end.

  • J
    September 18, 2009 - 18:05

    Old Man: you have definatively described the situation we face in Moose Jaw. Too big a project, promoted by too few, with too little real experience and rammed down the throats of the whole City, accompanied by half truths, scare tactics and evasive answers from Council's Five. All the money spent on visiting other sites around the country was not very well spent...they didn't seem to put whatever information they gained into their decision making process. We have local people and tons of info on the Net that would have served the project better. Twenty five years without maintennence and repairs to our streets and water/sewer systems is too much of a price to pay for a poorly designed and located Sports Center that, if we were told the real truth from the outset regarding available monies, cash in the bank, and real tax costs to build and operate the facility, most would have voted against or at least demanded more research be done to get it right. I support a Multiplex...just not this one that has too many unknown financial factors attached to it.

  • observer
    September 18, 2009 - 18:02

    Same old name calling from the pro-multiplex crowd.

    If you want to comment positively for your cause, try explaining why city council so hastily bought up property downtown at peak real estate prices instead of waiting for the inevitable reduction in pricing.

    Or why did they so hastily buy up property without having all the funding in place.

    Or why they would build a skating rink before repairing the city`s main incoming waterline that is having to be patched with nothing more than wooden wedges as there is insufficient material to properly patch leaks that develop.

  • Jamaal
    September 18, 2009 - 17:48

    Wait a minute...

    Didn't they tell us that federal funding was in place, and ready to go as soon as the referendum was done? I specifically remember a few members of council saying that, as well as numerous members of the group in favor saying that in the media.

    Old man, I agree with you 100%. Seems odd that every other major community undertaking of this type that I've ever seen, have had websites that let people know exactly what is going on, and give them a chance to be a part of making the project happen. All of the bids and designs are showcased, along with expected costs, and details surrounding the projects.

    We're not the first town to have opposition to a project like this, nor will we likely be the last. However, I think that though the vote was 60/40 in favor, it was probably a lot closer than many other projects that had similar opposition. To have five out of twelve voters opposed to a project, should have been a real eye opener to council and those involved with the project, and brought forth more honest answers, as well as being more open to input.

    Generally, that is the case with a project like this. Unfortunately, out of fear of rejection, these people hid important details about the project, and manipulated people into believing that showing opposition to the project, would be completely devastating to our community.

    They tricked them into believing that money was there and ready to go, yet mayor McBain said himself that they're still waiting to find out if it will be approved, as did MP Boughen. I think that what happens with this project in the next few months, will be surprisingly unexpected for those who bought into the hype and voted yes.

    What a coincidence that our property assessments show an average increase of 32-37%, eh? I recall some of the opposition saying that the cost of borrowing for the project, could result in a need to raise taxes by approximately 32.5% or more.

    I guess we'll keep watching to see what happens, but I voted, and so I will exercise my right to scrutinize this project as new problems arise with it. Just as those who dislike my opinions have insulted me, I am exercising my right to freedom of speech to express my disapproval.

    I guess the only question left is...

    Who will proplexers blame for delays now that they've gotten their way?

  • old man
    September 18, 2009 - 17:48

    As for details regarding how those companies still competing proposed the multiplex be fashioned, based on specifications, McKay said such details would remain out of the public eye until after administration has thoroughly inspected the proposals and made its recommendation to city council

    Surprise, surprise, lets keep everything secret until the backroom boys get their approvals, heaven forbid that the people of Moose Jaw get some input at any step in this process. All of the other similar projects have held community meetings and posted proposals on the internet. I think it is time that the people of Moose Jaw decide if they actually want a say in how this city is run or let the Moose Jaw clique run everything. The current council and city administration are so out of touch it is sad.

  • What?
    September 18, 2009 - 17:42

    The MTS centre is Down town??

    It wasn't the public that determined the Arena wouldn't go downtown, it was the engineers, not sure if you're aware but the entire area is on a slope.

    And the final point, there is a new strip mall development and hotels going behind Sobey's out on thatcher.

    Don't get me wrong this project is frustratingly unorganized. But to drag the whole community down because of it? Get the F out of here then!

  • David
    September 18, 2009 - 17:35

    OldManfrom MooseJaw take a breath!!!what you know about this process would fit in a thimble!!! Every project goes thru this same process. Why should you know all the details anyway? wouldn't understand the drawings and figures so why get your pee hot. I don't think every offer has to be scrutenized by all the cheering section...the people in charge ARE in charge. Get over yourself. Unexpectedly ignorant...that's Moose Jaw.

  • Another dave
    September 18, 2009 - 17:34

    Mr Old Man: Did you forget your previous post when you called the community dysfunctional.?'
    I don't understand why the U of ALberta needs you to document the goings on here. The information is free and all they have to do is contact City hall for documents. Unless, your job of course is to create dissent and then to gauge the public reaction.
    I also detect some bitterness. Your own postings over time suggest you opposed the project from day 1. Why would the City put someone on a committee to build a project if that person does not believe in the project? I think you may have cut your own throat over that one.
    You state that Moose Jaw will never change but, we have a project here that does just that.
    I heard somewhere that if you are not part of the solution then perhaps you are part of the problem. I wonder how forthcoming you will be when the U of A asks about your own involvement in the project. It appears they will or perhaps not get their monies worth.
    Is all your postings about the fact you were not asked to assist in the project? You keep threatening to leave Moose Jaw and I am wondering why this is so. If you don't believe in Moose Jaw why bother to do all the postings on various sites? Perhaps this is just bitterness on your part.

  • ken
    September 18, 2009 - 17:34

    wow this multi- thing but to all non-drinkers there is an upside at least for now less bars.........but latter who knows . with an ageing population here in Moose Jaw I hope the taxes stay within there meens. To the mess that is comming we all will go through that, ya'ers & na'ers from the blank check we just ok'd. not good business practice..

  • old man
    September 18, 2009 - 17:26

    Can't wait for the shovel from Sk writes: ... and the village idiots return for another round of bitching about a process they know nothing about...

    Like most pro-plexers you are the one who very apparently know nothing about the process.

    Every arena or sports facility built or proposed in the past several years has had a web site to inform the public and keep them involved in the process (except Moose Jaw). Why is there such a lack of transparency in Moose Jaw, why is everything so secret, why do we not engage the people who are paying for and perhaps even using the facilities in the process? Why have two experienced companies refused to bid ( from the article one is most probably Giffles who did the Penticton Arena)? Is it because they see it is not possible to build at the given price? Where is all the fund raising that was going to be finished as soon as we had a yes vote? What happens when pledges are not honored? What happened to the we can expect $15 million from the feds?

    In the end it will be the tax payers left holding the bag. I accept the fact that a number of poorly informed citizens were coerced and bullied into a bad decision. I do have the right to question the continued folly every step of the way.

  • No More Cavers
    September 18, 2009 - 17:23

    Sounds like sour grapes old man. BooHoo...poor me, I didn't get picked for the committee. To compare Winnipeg and Moose Jaw is ludicrous...check out the area around the MTS Centre which is downtown and you will see a very vibrant area. Typical bait and switch tactics by CAVE!! Typical of some of the posters on here, they expect access to every part of the process and when they don't get it they bad mouth and have a tantrum...Its coming soon CAVERS..Can't wait to see Swanson at the Grand Opening!!!

  • Another Dave
    September 18, 2009 - 17:21

    I can't believe that some folks want to view all aspects of the tendering process and see the submissions. With all the projects and contracts that are tendered yearly why don't some of these so-called experts demand to see the submissions of the Federal and Provincial governments. What becomes public knowledge is the winning contracts and the amounts, not all the documentation.
    We should let the people in the know manage the process.

  • Trevor
    September 18, 2009 - 17:15


  • Stevo
    September 18, 2009 - 17:11

    Don't let the door hit your fat a$$ on the way out old fool.

  • concerned taxpayer
    September 18, 2009 - 17:08

    Gus from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan writes: What happens if we do not get any federal money?

    The same thing that is going to happen to make up for the money that isn`t being fund raised (like they promised was going to be done umpteenth times), bigger tax increases.

    After all they made sure to have an excuse in place for not stopping this train wreck, by buying up properties prematurely at the height of the real estate market. Real estate that had no other interested parties what so ever.

    You shouldn`t only be worried about having to pay for the Feds portion, but the provincial share was based on matching federal funding, so be prepared to pay for the provincial portion as well.

  • SH
    September 18, 2009 - 17:08

    Moose Jaw has 90 million dollars to pay towards this and other projects but they choose to hide it under the mattress. Why do you think we get paased up for all kinds of grants? It's because we already have the money and choose to hoard it. Yeah blah blah blah about the interest return on it and how it's keeping taxes down. Would you finance a car when you have more than enough money in the bank? Maybe at 0% but last time I checked the city wasn't getting those kind of rates.

  • J J
    September 18, 2009 - 17:01

    I think we should have another Referendum. At least we get a few days after each vote without the criticism and with some peace and quiet ,while the cave dwellers sulk.

  • old man
    September 18, 2009 - 16:54

    I am very knowledgeable in project management and design and the city of Moose Jaw couldnt afford me. I did however volunteer to be on the steering committee but it seems council didnt understand what a steering committee really is and chose to stack the committee.
    It takes very little to set up a good web site and post pdfs. All project submissions were in pdf format so it would take nothing to post the summaries. North Battleford is able to do it, so all these excuses dont wash. This project has been a mess from the start. My job now is to document the mess so that others will learn. I am working with the U of Alberta to document this project.
    Moose Jaw is a one trick pony (downtown, downtown, downtown) and will never change. You may have noticed Winnipeg learned from their mistake and are building the new stadium at the U of Manitoba site.

  • What?
    September 18, 2009 - 16:52

    How bout give them a chance to get organized(trying not to snicker).

    I think the priority will be to get the project going to keep the wolves of the at bay. I imagine the Kingston Admin took the time to review the projects to ensure they were credible and viable before they threw together their slick web page. Just don't be expecting that from the MJ admin, a few Adobe photocopies on the cityhall site if your lucky.

    Hang in there it's going to be a long and bumpy ride.

  • Kelly
    September 18, 2009 - 16:44

    You guys are missing the point. Nothing has changed. The Feds money was to arrive in March/April, and we're in April... The city made it clear that the tendors would take a few months, and it is... Nothing is inconsistant. Relax! haha

  • old man
    September 18, 2009 - 16:36

    Sorry Dave you mistake sadness for bitterness. I am saddened to see a community with such potential literally torn apart by the actions and self interest of a few individuals. I had felt, in spite of the fact that my children have left for greener pastures (and better opportunity) that I might retire here because I enjoy the pace and ease to get around. The one thing missing was a decent arena and some recreational facilities. I happened to visit Vernon and was amazed at their multiplex and said thats what we need. When Dawn Luhning passed a motion to build the Chilliwack facility, I was really enthused. Then the builders stepped in and high jacked the process. I was saddened when this community was (and still is) shut out of the process. When the gong show that was the steering committee reported and again the community was shut out I was saddened.
    That prompted me to think elsewhere. If I have a choice as to where to live it will be in a community that cares about its citizens and engages them in decisions that has an impact on their lives. I have found many places that fit this image. They build for the benefit of the community, and engage the people in their decisions. Yes, council has the final say but they seem to listen. In Medicine Hat they held open houses to discuss proposed plans and were told by the public build it anywhere but downtown. Winnipeg floated the idea of their new stadium near downtown and the public outcry was deafening.
    I have only found one community that does not share development and recreation plans on their web site and that is Moose Jaw. Even though I am from Winnipeg, I have known Moose Jaw for many years and the history is more than clear. If it doesnt fit in the narrow view of helping develop downtown, forget it. There is no attempt at real planned development. This is a sad, dysfunctional community and the proposed multiplex only confirms this.
    There are professors (experts) in sports facilities development at the U of A, and they are doing a study on junior hockey arenas. I have been in contact because this is an opportunity to study the impact as the facility is being developed. Given how secretive the city and developers have been, how could they get any input. I only provide the studies, reports, news, pamphlets, etc. I am well aware of my responsibilities.

  • ken
    September 18, 2009 - 16:33

    I have to take this time to say i agree with old mans statment on the Moose Jaws clique run everything.Insted of more money for things like roads, snow removale, maintenance of public property and public utilties (waterlines)we are now giving that up for a number of years for the dedt of a multi-plex.don't get me wrong all for the multi but this behind closed doors gets me thinking .........get envolved, ask questions, its your right, they work for us..........

  • just tellin the
    September 18, 2009 - 16:20

    IF the truth be known the city owns hardly any land down there.This so called jewel for the city is being built between high st back alley and manitoba st back alley.surounded by all those ugly old buildings,and that is the truth.

  • observer
    September 18, 2009 - 16:17

    I look forward to seeing this report OLd Man. I am curious as to what the title might be; How not to build a civic stadium , Municipal government at it`s worst , How to destroy the foundation of a community , An idiot`s guide to civic governance . If nothing else, it will hopefully give citizens of other communities a tool to keep their politicians on the right path when contemplating the same type of expenditures.
    It`s just too bad Moose Jaw had to be the city for everyone else to learn from their mistakes. It will be interesting to see in the future when all is said and done, how many of those who voted in favor of this referendum will be willing to admit they voted in favor of it.

  • old man
    September 18, 2009 - 16:11

    I was talking about the new football stadium to be build at UofM. As one Winnipeger said the only activity that goes on around the MTS center is running from the muggers.
    I am leaving as soon as I retire, leaving Moose Jaw to classy people like you.

  • Another Dave
    September 18, 2009 - 16:11

    Hi Old Man;
    Kingston is also considerably larger than Moose Jaw. If it wasn't such a chore to get more staff at City Hall (see previous Concil meetings) perhaps we would also have more efforts at the website. Each community has their process and to lump us all in as dysfunctional is in poor taste. If you are so knowledgeable about the process about building a facility why didn't you run for city councila and show us 'dysfunctional' folks on how its done.

  • Yam72
    September 18, 2009 - 16:07

    my understanding was they had $34million, and at the time of voting i don't recall them saying anything about not having the feds money.Here they go building something their are not even sure they enough money to build now.

  • Harry
    September 18, 2009 - 16:07


  • Can't wait for the shovel
    September 18, 2009 - 16:06

    ... and the village idiots return for another round of bitching about a process they know nothing about...

  • old man
    September 18, 2009 - 15:55

    The real question is why everything about this project is so secret. To have a successful project, the citizens that pay the taxes need to feel included and engaged in the project.
    Moose Jaw is the only community I can find that doesnt have a web site with all pertinent data, news, and decisions posted for everyone to see. It begs the question, what is there to hide?
    Take for example from Kingston:
    On May 11, the city unveiled models of proposed designs for the Kingston Sports and Entertainment Centre (the LVEC) submitted by each of the four teams bidding to design and build the facility.
    You can view selected images of the models using the links at right. Also available is additional explanatory material originally provided by the design/build teams for distribution at a May 11 open house.
    The City will be asking for feedback on each building's design, respect for heritage and how each fits with future development approved for the North Block area. On May 30, staff will report back to City Council with a recommended design/build team.
    Why not get everyone excited about what we may have, not hide it from them. The tenders have closed, the results are public property. I found at least ten other examples of informing and involving the community in discussions in Western Canada alone. Unfortunately this just accentuates the dysfunctional nature of the process in Moose Jaw and perhaps the community as a whole.

  • Gus
    September 18, 2009 - 15:53

    What happens if we do not get any federal money?

    I asked before the referendum, what GUARANTEED money do we have? Considering the situations in Ontario and Quebec, I found it hard to believe that the feds would be throwing in $16 million for us to build a white elephant in Moose Jaw.

    Before the referendum we were led to believe the money was in the bag, now we are down to I've been talking to a few people .

    Will the taxpayers be expected to pay more again?

    I have never been against the multiplex, just the location and the people pushing it through for their own gain, rather than the good of the community.

  • Ano
    September 18, 2009 - 15:50

    Has the fund raising committee started selling chocolate almonds yet? They better get moving on that....I am sure the shovels are ready although nothing else is!

  • Moose
    September 18, 2009 - 15:47

    I am not sure what they mean by progressing because it is sure taking a long time for anything to happen with this. Been 6 weeks since the vote and really nothing has happened. To boot we have no Federal money yet either. Drag.... drag.... drag..... their feet is about all they are doing.

  • old man
    September 18, 2009 - 15:41

    I love the level of argument here, call names and ignore the issue. Yes it is coming, the train wreck. If I haven't escaped Moose Jaw by then I will drop by the opening and laugh at the joke, hidden among the old buildings. Remember it was the builders that kept using the Winnipeg comparison. The people of Winnipeg said we don't care about the Moose but don't mess with the Bombers,

  • Frank
    September 18, 2009 - 15:40

    This council couldn't manage the building of a dog house let alone this project. 60% of you voted for this.Where's all the money we heard about?