Tag: dalton mcguinty

    Reopening boat lease fraught with danger

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    Premier Dalton McGuinty sailed into uncharted waters, forcing the Niagara Parks Commission to put its lease with the Maid of the Mist out to tender. If he doesn’t navigate carefully, he risks steering the Niagara Falls tourism industry right onto the rocks.

    Jaws dropped in Niagara Falls last Wednesday when Ontario Tourism Minister Monique Smith announced she was “requesting” the Niagara Parks Commission hold a competitive bidding process to find a company to run boat tours in the Niagara gorge. Right now, the Maid of the Mist Steamboat Co., a private company, pays rent to the parks commission for the use of government land to run the Canadian part of its business.

    Some expected the government to rubber-stamp the recommendation from its own commissioners to renew its lease with the Maid of the Mist.

    Open government is a noble goal. But when managing a public trust, it can’t always be about the lowest bid. Why not issue tenders for everything – hospitals, schools, museums, the military, and the U. S. space program?

    On routine business, issuing tenders is a fair way for governments to do business. As long as all the companies are equally qualified to provide the service, it makes sense to take the low bid.

    But running boat tours in the Niagara River is not like buying a new fleet of pickup trucks.

    ‘Progress’ on Casino Niagara lease, but talks ongoing

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    Ontario Lottery and Gaming and Canadian Niagara Hotels have made progress in talks to keep Casino Niagara in the location it has occupied since 1996, more than two years after Premier Dalton McGuinty told OLG to “get a deal.”

    “There has been some positive progress,” said Dino A. DiCienzo, vice-president of Canadian Niagara Hotels, the company that has been the landlord for the government-owned casino since it opened on Falls Avenue.

    The two sides met recently, something DiCienzo considers an improvement, considering they went months at a time without any meaningful discussions.

    “Now, there has been some positive meeting with more of a community vision for Niagara Falls,” DiCienzo said.

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