TCHC - Toronto Community Housing Corporation
BIFAC - Business Investment Finance and Audit Committee
The following is a brief summary of my deputations to TCHC's BIFAC meeting on November 20th, 2019. The day after that meeting I felt compelled to address a lack of insight from both Sue Ann Levy and Catherine Wilkinson based on a Toronto Sun article that appeared the day of the meeting.
Did Catherine Wilkinson make any deputations yesterday to BIFAC?
I may have missed them as I needed sleep after I spent Tuesday night writing up five!
These are the topics I sent written deputations by six am.
1) A fire safety plan/program that involves tenant fire safety ambassadors that could be trained in fire prevention/safety and WHMIS that could do a monthly building tour with their super to identify problem areas. I also noted the possibility of creating an award system similar to AA/NA chips for buildings that go without any false alarms or fires for a specific period of time.
2) The possibility of an external audit process to monitor contractors. Currently all audit functions at TCHC are internal. I have reason to believe that some TCHC contractors on the vendors list are doing poor quality work simply to make more work for themselves in the future. (I even sidelined Sheila Penny at one the Restructuring Consultations hoping she'd be willing to open up the last ten years worth of Procurement Awards. Everyone knows that if you really want to know if an organization is making healthy financial decisions you have to [actually] follow the money.)
3) Everyone is familiar with not only the air conditioners falling out of windows (kudos to Catherine) but what about the potential danger identified in the news lately about lead contaminated tap water throughout Toronto schools and daycares. Well there was a mention on one of the reports about water mains. So I decided to follow up to question if TCHC tests our tap water on a regular basis and if so should they not post the results in our buildings or issue alternative water advisories for all tenants?
4) One report presented to BIFAC mentioned "Aligning with RGI changes announced by the province." I asked when would tenants be notified of these "changes" to how our rent will be calculated?
5) Then there was a contract amendment request. I don't know about you but I would dearly love to see an itemized list of the difference between the $12M Information Technology System (Basic) - (original quote) versus the over four and a half times the original amount approved $55M ITS (Premium Edition) - (final amount approved). I even asked about the assurance that this new tech won't be outdated in a day, month, or year. As well as the learning curve for the staff.
As far as I am concerned Catherine and Sue Ann went for the easy out on this new article. Especially given that Catherine used to sit on the board. As someone who has served such a lengthy time on the board I would have expected more insight. My bad. It's okay. If they want to keep taking the easy stuff. I'll deal with the more complex.