Port Lands Acceleration Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC)
Last week, CodeBlueTO got an email confirming that we have been selected to join the Port Lands Acceleration Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) – see the email below and terms of reference that follow.
SAC is expected to provide feedback on ideas for speeding up development in the Port Lands, as well as on any new ideas for land use and flood protection the Lower Don Lands.
As you know, the Acceleration Initiative arose as a compromise at a Toronto City Council meeting held this past September. The Initiative was discussed briefly at the public meeting held December 12 by Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto. But what the Initiative is intended to achieve is still not well understood.
The first SAC meeting is tomorrow – February 1. We’ll be posting information here on the website and sending emails through our email list, to let you know what was discussed and what the work of the SAC will actually entail.
You can also check the official Port Lands Consultation website, which is at http://www.portlandsconsultation.ca, for information.
Our major concern is to make sure that this process unfolds in a way that is transparent and accountable.
We want to ensure that the Acceleration Initiative does not discard the years of work and millions of dollars that have already been invested into the Lower Don Lands Plan.
And we want to make sure that the principles of the existing Environmental Assessment - which include flood proofing the Port Lands and South Riverdale, renaturalizing the mouth of the Don River, and city building - are not lost.
We will also work to ensure that all Torontonians have the opportunity to know about the work of SAC and all elements of the Acceleration Initiative.
The email follows below:
“Welcome to the Port Lands Acceleration Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC).
Having received responses from the majority of SAC members, we can now confirm that the first SAC meeting will be held on Wednesday February 1st.
We received over 80 applications to the SAC and the final membership will reflect about half that number. Many SAC members are umbrella organizations that represent much larger constituencies. There has been some interest in bringing more than one representative from an organization to SAC meetings and/or bringing observers - unfortunately we will not be able to accommodate these requests. There are two key reasons for this:
- Firstly, Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto worked hard to ensure the SAC membership reflected a range and balance of interests in the Port Lands - both locally and from across the city - and believe the SAC membership reflects an excellent cross section of organizations for a focused discussion of key issues related to the Port Acceleration Initiative.
- Secondly we need to keep the SAC membership small enough to ensure a meaningful opportunity for a rich dialogue involving all participants at SAC meetings. There are several mechanisms that we encourage non-SAC members to use to stay connected to the Port Lands Acceleration Initiative, including the remaining rounds of public consultation, the project website (portlandsconsultation.ca), and through updates from SAC members to their respective constituencies.
Please see the attached Terms of Reference that will guide the SAC’s work. The SAC membership list and the agenda for our kick-off meeting next week will follow prior to the meeting.”
The Port Lands Acceleration Initiative Stakeholder Advisory Committee
TERMS OF REFERENCE
1. Purpose of the SAC Terms of Reference
This document outlines the role of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) for the Port Lands Acceleration Initiative, and includes guidelines for how the SAC will operate and when meetings will take place. This document may be amended as the project progresses. Any amendments to the Terms of Reference (TOR) will be done in consultation with the Project Team and SAC members.
The mandate of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) is to provide a forum for feedback, guidance and advice to the Project Team at key points during the public consultation process. The SAC will be a non-political advisory committee. Specifically, the role of the SAC is to:
- Act as a sounding board for the Project Team to share and discuss ideas and findings;
- Provide guidance, critiques and suggestions on proposed study approaches, concepts and materials (including materials to be presented at public meetings);
- Provide a sense of the broader community’s reactions and concerns and explore how these might be addressed;
- Communicate the perspectives of members’ organizations and constituencies at SAC meetings, and SAC discussions back to members’ organizations and constituencies; and
- Provide feedback on any other relevant matters that the Project Team refers to the SAC for comment.
3. Project Overview
At its September 21, 2011 meeting, Toronto City Council unanimously adopted a protocol for the review of development opportunities in the Port Lands. This work is in keeping with the tri-government approach to revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront, and is based on the following key points:
- Looking at new ideas for development and opportunities to accelerate progress in the Port Lands;
- Ensuring a robust and comprehensive public consultation process; and
- Acknowledging that the Port Lands represent an opportunity for Toronto to create one of the world’s great waterfronts.
Waterfront Toronto, the City of Toronto and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority are working together to create a development and implementation plan for accelerating development in the Port Lands. This work includes:
- Further examining options for the Don Mouth Naturalization and Port Lands Flood Protection Environmental Assessment (EA) within the EA’s terms of reference;
- Identifying financial and policy tools, incentives, and delivery mechanisms that may enable development and offset or reduce the initial public sector investment for required infrastructure;
- Exploring opportunities to increase private sector investment; and
- Ensuring that the plan contributes to city-building and delivers a great waterfront, consistent with the standard set in the designated waterfront area.
While the Initiative will build on the large body of work produced to date on the Port Lands and Lower Don Lands, it will also take a fresh and wide-ranging look at potential challenges and opportunities in accelerating development in the Port Lands.
Waterfront Toronto, the City of Toronto, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and several other agencies have already commenced work on developing an approach to completing the development and implementation plan for accelerating development in the Port Lands. A series of technical working groups have been set up to examine key issues including land use and design, infrastructure and constructability, and real estate development and financing. These technical working groups will be assisted by experts retained through competitive procurement processes and with advice from civic leaders in fields such as urban planning and design, real estate development, economic development and investment.
4. SAC Work Plan
The Project Team has planned for up to six meetings with the SAC over a period of about 6 months. Several of these meetings may be planned as workshops, providing additional time for more in depth discussions and feedback. In addition, SAC members may be invited to review and comment on presentation materials in advance of public consultation events.
The SAC is composed of approximately 40 interested and affected stakeholder organizations representing a balance of geographic and sectoral interests (applications from individuals were not considered). The SAC is not intended to address specific property issues or concerns and consultations with Port Lands area landowners, leasees, and port users will be undertaken separately by the Project Team.
The SAC is comprised of stakeholder representatives from the following sectors:
- Business and Economics sector – having an economic or business interest.
- Community sector – involvement in neighbourhood, resident or community associations.
- Other sectors – involvement in other organizations that advocate on behalf of other interests that may be impacted by the development of the Port Lands.
6. Term of Membership
Membership in the SAC is for the duration of the project (approximately 6 months) coinciding with the commitment to report to City Council in June 2012.
7. Decision Making
As an advisory committee, the SAC will operate using a consensus-based approach, where members seek general agreement on guidance and advice to the Project Team. A consensus-based approach is where participants openly discuss ideas, perspectives and viewpoints, and seek to develop common ground and narrow areas of disagreement to the best of their ability. Where differing viewpoints and opinions exist, these will be documented in the SAC meeting notes.
8. Roles and Responsibilities
The SAC reports its advice and recommendations to Waterfront Toronto, City of Toronto and the Project Team with the assistance of an independent facilitator.
SAC members will:
- Advise the Project Team of their organization’s/community’s/constituency’s perspectives relating to this project;
- Provide advice, feedback and perspectives on proposals/reports tabled by the Project Team, SAC members, or others;
- Help the SAC operate effectively by offering suggestions and alternatives to issues, concerns and problems;
- Attempt to anticipate potential problems and offer options for resolving them;
- Communicate SAC discussions back to members’ organizations and constituencies;
- Review all relevant project materials and provide feedback, advice and perspectives;
- Attend the SAC meetings whenever possible; and
- Review the results of SAC discussions to ensure the meetings are accurately recorded in the meeting records, or in additional reports that members may determine are needed.
Project team members from Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto, the TRCA, and other participating agencies will:
- Strive to provide accurate, understandable information to SAC members, such that they can contribute informed advice and recommendations;
- Help the SAC function effectively by providing information, suggestions and alternatives to issues, concerns and problems being discussed;
- Ensure that appropriate Project Team representatives (or other resource people) are present at discussions on specific issues or components of the process;
- Listen carefully to the advice and perspectives of members and, where feasible, incorporate advice into the Initiative; and
- Provide material for review in advance of SAC meetings where possible.
The independent facilitation team will:
- Provide facilitation and secretariat services for SAC meetings;
- Develop meeting agendas in consultation with the Project Team and the SAC;
- Facilitate SAC meetings;
- Keep a record of SAC discussions and prepare meeting records; and
- Post summary reports of each SAC meeting on the project website.
Secretariat services will include organizing SAC meetings, distributing meeting notices and materials, and SAC contact list management. The point of contact for all SAC correspondence is:
SWERHUN | Facilitation & Decision Support
720 Bathurst Street, Suite 308
Toronto, ON M5S 2R4
9. Meeting Management, Agendas and Reporting
The following procedures will be used in convening meetings of the SAC:
Meetings will be scheduled at the start of the SAC process, and subject to confirmation based on the Acceleration Initiative schedule. The Independent Facilitator may convene additional meetings, or postpone scheduled meetings at the request of the Project Team or members of the SAC, upon approval from the Project Team.
Meetings will generally be held in the early evening, with a duration of 2-3 hours. If more discussion time is required (such as for a workshop), members may consider holding a weekend or extended daytime session.
In consultation with the SAC and Project Team, the Facilitator will develop the SAC agendas and coordinate accompanying materials to be distributed prior to each meeting.
SAC members will be consulted on agenda items for future meetings at the conclusion of each SAC meeting.
The Facilitator will prepare draft and final summary reports from SAC meetings, including action items. Meeting reports will be prepared within one week of each meeting for review and finalization by the SAC. Once finalized, the summary reports will be made publicly available on the project website.
SAC meetings will generally take place at Waterfront Toronto’s office at 20 Bay Street, Suite 1310. However, meeting locations may vary depending on the size and composition of the SAC. Flexibility will be maintained and SAC members will be consulted on meeting locations. To the extent possible, meeting locations will be accessible by public transit.
10. Advisors and Experts
The SAC may wish to invite or request additional advisors, experts or members of the Project Team to attend at various points during the Initiative. Considerations will be given to each request by Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto and will be subject to timing, availability and budget considerations.
On behalf of the co-proponents for the project, Waterfront Toronto will provide the resources needed to support operation of the SAC, including: facilitation and secretarial support; meeting venue and refreshments; and meeting materials and supplies.
12. Reporting Relationship
The SAC is acting in an advisory capacity to the Project Team, and is not responsible for the decisions made by the Project Team or their boards or City Council. By participating as members of the SAC, members are not expected to waive their rights to participate in the democratic process, and may continue to participate through other channels.
13. Media Contact
Individual SAC members’ opinions are not necessarily representative of the views of the entire SAC. In the event that individual SAC members receive media enquiries, such inquiries should be referred to
Michelle Noble, Director of Communications and Marketing, Waterfront Toronto or Wynna Brown, Manager of Media Relations and Issues Management.
14. Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy
Please note that all information will be used in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act. With the exception of personal information, all information provided through the SAC process will form part of the public record including the names of SAC member organizations.