Ontario Construction News staff writer
The University of Toronto (UofT) media relations department provided the following statement on Friday, which they copied to Clive Thurston and Giovanni Cautillo of the OGCA.
“The University of Toronto is a large institution with many, many ongoing construction projects. The Ontario Construction News’ decision to withhold information about which contract is being referenced in its article naming the university denies the university the opportunity to respond in a meaningful way. We believe information upon which OCN is acting is incomplete and inaccurate.
“We dispute that there was not appropriate contract time relief in the contract in question and that the contract contains LD risk. We also point out that the OCN has excerpted a single section of a contract without considering the balance of the contract which does not, as indicated support the position that the university attempted to deprive its contractors of COVID-related time extension. In fact this time extension was always present.
“The University of Toronto takes pride in balancing the fair treatment of its contractors with the financial efficiencies mandated by its broader public sector status. The university continues to strive towards this balance in the face of challenges the industry as a whole has endured in relation to both major changes in construction law and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The university is disappointed with the approach Ontario Construction News, via this article’s author, has chosen to take in generating this story.”
In response, outgoing OGCA president Clive Thurston wrote: “Saw their response . . . not in my opinion valid and if they were so fair why did they change it,” he wrote in an email.
“Your final story was balanced and fair.”
Incoming OGCA president Giovanni Cautillo wrote: “They were upset because they were caught. Let’s be honest.”