Judge’s reasons in Urbacon case expected next week

June 6, 2014


On March 31, 2013, the court ruled that the City of Guelph did not have the right to terminate the contract with Urbacon for construction of City Hall and renovation of the Court House.

The City of Guelph is expecting to receive the reasons for this ruling during the week of June 9, 2014. Our solicitors anticipate the court document will be lengthy.  Consequently, it will take some time for them to review the findings before providing a summary and advice to Council.

The City of Guelph has reserved its right to appeal the court’s ruling subject to the review of the reasons for the decision.

Regardless of whether there may or may not be grounds to appeal, this capital project will cost more than the tendered and budgeted amount.  This was going to be the case whether the City terminated the contract with Urbacon or not. There is no way to know whether the final costs would have been lower or higher if the contract had not been terminated.

One thing I do know for sure – from the inception of this capital project, I believe everyone at the City acted with the best intentions for the community. Specifically regarding the contract termination, the motive was to protect taxpayers from a project that had gone off the rails, despite the City’s considerable attempts to correct it.

As with any capital project that goes over budget, the shortfall will be found within the capital budget.  In this case, given the size of the shortfall, some projects may need to be paused to be ensure that Council’s financial policies are respected.  These policies protect the predictability and affordability of the capital program and our overall financial position as a municipality.


About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

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One Comment on “Judge’s reasons in Urbacon case expected next week”

  1. David Schaller Says:

    As a taxpayer in the City of Guelph, I look forward to this ruling. I do not look forward to the increase in tax that will result from the ruling. I believe that is open season for developers as the City of Guelph looks to find money for it’s incompetence.

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