One of the architectural renderings for the Nova Centre shows an impossible view.
One of the architectural renderings for the Nova Centre shows an impossible view.

There’s so much to say about today’s announcement that Joe Ramia will miss the January 1, 2016 target for completing the Nova Centre, which includes the new convention centre. Instead, Ramia now says he’ll open the convention centre on September 30, 2016—that is, after the summer convention season for which at least some conventions have been scheduled—and the larger Nova Centre project on January 1, 2017.

I’ll have more on Ramia’s missed deadline Monday. But for now, let me just quickly point out that he’s building a convention centre that we didn’t order. I’ll go into this in more detail at a later date, but note just the ballroom requirements for the tender for the convention centre issued by the province:

Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 3.43.44 PM

Specific to the ballroom, the tender called for:

Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 4.19.20 PM

And compare that to the final floor plans for the convention centre revealed today:

Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 3.40.49 PM

That’s right: the province tendered for a 35,000 square foot ballroom with 30-foot ceilings, and Ramia is building a 30,000 square foot ballroom with 24-foot ceilings.

Like everything else about the convention centre project, this will be ignored or explained away, and anyone who makes an issue of it will be called nasty names. But good dog, do tendering rules mean anything or not? Can the province award a tender for 10 tonnes of asphalt and the winning bidder deliver eight tonnes? What kind of place is this that tender awards can be changed willy nilly?

Tim Bousquet is the editor and publisher of the Halifax Examiner. Twitter @Tim_Bousquet Mastodon

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  1. Ramia put the blame for the delays on having to undertake public consultations…the horror, the horror!