57 of 600

mudfightsaloonI have been following the Guelph Mercury’s coverage of the trial in the dispute between the City of Guelph and Urbacon.

Recently, the court heard that 57 of Urbacon’s requests for information from the architect were considered “unnecessary”. That’s 57 of 600. So it would now seem 543 requests were necessary.

As expected, mistakes seem to have been made on all sides — by the City of Guelph, by the architect, by Urbacon. And from trial evidence, the City of Guelph has a lot to own regarding the delays and all that followed from them.

The judge may well decide that the difficulties Urbacon encountered amounted to a breach of contract, countering the breach that is said to have occurred when Urbacon did not provide accurate and timely schedules. The judge could ask how the City of Guelph ensured accountability, up to and including being able to fire Urbacon — as it was turning the corner on the project — given its own not-insigificant role in the delays. If the City was going to fire Urbacon, it likely should have done so much sooner. And without having been so complicit in the delays.

Add the break down in communication, which all parties seem by trial evidence to have had a role in.

All in all, when the City of Guelph fired Urbacon, what was happening at that point in the project that wasn’t already the accepted norm for it, as broadly dysfunctional as it seems to have been? And wasn’t the City of Guelph long in the thick of it?

At this point in the trial, certain themes seem to be emerging. It seems the City needed to acknowledge its role in the delays, suck it up and see it through… with Urbacon.

If one prediction can be made, it’s that this misadventure will be the basis for one or another case study, and likely, an article in future contracts… appropriately known as the “Guelph clause”.

About Craig Chamberlain

Ward 3 Guelph resident, dad and step-dad.
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