Pre-Notice of Consultation

The Niagara Parks Commission (the “NPC”) would like to announce its intention to enter into a competitive process for services related to the Niagara Falls Boat Tour.   The NPC is determining the specific procurement approach but expects to post on the NPC community website (community.niagaraparks.com) and MERX© (www.MERX.com) a Request for Proposals (RFP) or a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) followed by an invitational RFP in the spring of this year.  Due to this uncertainty about the specific procurement approach, we have referred to the procurement document below as an “RFX”.

Stakeholder Consultation Sessions

In order to prepare for the procurement, the NPC will be offering a series of stakeholder consultation sessions in which local interest groups will be invited to attend a consultative session.

  • Hotel, motel and other accommodation service providers
  • Restaurant, food and other related service providers
  • Other hospitality service providers.
  • Tour companies, ticket agencies and other related travel services
  • Entertainment and other local attractions
  • Retailers, manufacturers and distributors of novelty items
  • Local community interest groups; and
  • All other general and special interest groups

The consultations are intended to be information sharing sessions where the NPC will provide information on the following:

  • a summary of the proposed procurement process; and
  • procedures that have been put in place to ensure the process is open, fair and transparent.

As a means to ensure the process takes into account local interest and concerns, the NPC will be asking the participants to provide information and insight into potentialopportunities and issues associated with this initiative during the consultation sessions.

Once the arrangements for the sessions have been determined, an e-mail will be sent to all respondents with a date, location and other relevant information.   In the event a stakeholder is not able to attend the session, we will put in place a process for such groups to provide a written submission.

The Stakeholder Consultations Sessions have now concluded.  A formal Consultation Report is in the process of being produced and will be made available on NPC’s community website once completed.  If you would still like to send in your written comments or questions on this matter, please click here or send via regular mail to:  The Niagara Parks Commission, Attn:  BOAT TOUR CONSULTATION, P.O. Box 150, Niagara Falls, ON   L2E 6T2.

Proponents Information Sessions

The NPC will also be arranging to meet with potential bidders in a separate set of one-on-one consultations.  These sessions will include a tour of the site, together with access to information related to the operations of the boat tour.  Given the confidential nature of the information that will be provided, any potential bidder who wishes to participate will be required to sign a non disclosure agreement.  Part of the agreement will be rules of engagement that outline requirements related to confidentiality, disclosure of information, plus standards pertaining to influence and lobbying.

Once the arrangements for these sessions have been determined, an information package will be e-mailed to each respondent with details on dates and location.  The information package will include an invitation to respondents to attend a one-on-one meeting with the NPC procurement team, a copy of the Non-Disclosure Agreement and the Rules of Engagement.  See below for more information on these documents and their requirements.

In the event a stakeholder is not able to attend the session, we will put in place a process to provide a written submission.It should be understood that potential bidders are eligible to register for both stakeholder consultations sessions as well as the proponent information sessions if they so choose.

The Stakeholder Consultations Sessions have now concluded.  A formal Consultation Report is in the process of being produced and will be made available on NPC’s community website once completed.  If you would still like to send in your written comments or questions on this matter, please  click here or send via regular mail to:  The Niagara Parks Commission, Attn:  BOAT TOUR CONSULTATION, P.O. Box 150, Niagara Falls, ON   L2E 6T2.

Fairness Measures

Given the level of interest in this procurement and the subsequent sensitivities, the NPC has retained the services of a Fairness Commissioner.  The Fairness Commissioner will put in place measures designed to help ensure the procurement process is open, fair and transparent.  Such measures have already been implemented for all NPC employees and Commissioners.

The Fairness Commissioner will also require that all bidders who are interested in attending a one-on-one meeting with the NPC procurement team sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).  The purpose of the NDA is to ensure any information shared in these meetings is held in confidence and is not made public.  If a bidder elects not to sign the NDA, they will not be invited to attend a one-on-one meeting but can still bid on the RFX when it is posted.

The Fairness Commissioner has also established Rules of Engagement (ROE) which introduces some standards related to bidder influencing and lobbying.  The purpose of the ROE is to establish some parameters around what is and is not allowed in terms of contact with NPC staff, using the media for self promotion or for influencing public opinion on the process or applying pressure to the NPC, NPC staff or NPC Commissioners.    If a bidder elects not to sign the ROE, they will not be invited to attend a one-on-one meeting but can still bid on the RFX when it is posted.