Saturday, February 20, 2010
reveals that the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) was preparing to call for competitive bids on the future location of Casino Niagara, only to shelve those plans weeks later. The decision to abandon the Request for Proposal (RFP) came after the casino's existing landlord hired powerful Liberal lobbyist Bob Lopinski.
OLG was set to issue the detailed 55-page RFP to solicit a new permanent premise for Casino Niagara by February of 2009. Shortly before the RFP was to be issued, the current landlord for the casino hired Mr. Lopinski. OLG subsequently completely abandoned its plan for a competitive bid process and instead, handed sole-sourced lease extension to Mr. Lopinski's client.
Mr. Lopinski, who previously worked as a senior advisor in Dalton McGuinty's office, would subsequently be hired by the Maid of the Mist Steamboat Company to preserve its own untendered contract from being cancelled. Shortly after the Ontario PC Caucus raised questions about the Maid of the Mist contract in Ontario's Legislature, the McGuinty Government was forced to back down and return to a competitive process. No such re-opening of the process has taken place for the Casino Niagara deal. Dalton McGuinty's record betrays his rhetoric. Sole-sourced contracts continue to thrive in the McGuinty Government.....
cartoons credit: Graeme MacKay,Ontario