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HomeMiscellanyWhen it comes to showing Amazon HQ2 bids, it’s Toronto the Good

When it comes to showing Amazon HQ2 bids, it’s Toronto the Good


Bob Mackin

Toronto is the only Canadian city that made the 20-city cut for Amazon’s quest to build a second headquarters.

The Seattle e-tail giant, one of the world’s most-valuable corporations, received bids from 238 cities last October, and issued the shortlist on Jan. 18.

Toronto’s bid touted its diversity, skilled and educated talent, lower corporate taxes and labour costs, infrastructure and land.

The 192-page, Olympic-style bid book was signed by Toronto Global chairman Mark Cohon, the former CFL commissioner, and CEO Toby Lennox. It included letters from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Kathleen Wynne. Toronto offered 10 sites, including Harbourfront. 

Best of all, it was proactively released. You can read it here

In this case, the T in T-dot also means transparency.

Can’t say the same about British Columbia bids.

Victoria suburb Langford made a 55-page pitch, but 54 of those pages are all blacked out.

The B.C. government threw-in $50,000 for a Metro Vancouver pitch. But that bid book was withheld entirely because the Office of Premier John Horgan claims the bid book is protected by cabinet confidentiality and contain policy advice or recommendations, and it fears disclosure would harm intergovernmental relations and financial or economic harm to a public body.

theBreaker will complain to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner. A precedent, however, was already set in 2003 when the successful Vancouver bid book to the International Olympic Committee for the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics was published.

B.C. had little chance of being shortlisted for Amazon HQ2, because of its proximity to Amazon’s Seattle headquarters. The only city in the Pacific time zone to make the top 20 was Los Angeles, which is more than 1,000 miles south.

Foi Request Oop 2017 73473 by BobMackin on Scribd

Amazon Bid Redacted Langford by BobMackin on Scribd