Transcript: A Bumpy Road for Sidewalk Labs | Feb 21, 2019

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and spotted purple tie.

A caption on screen reads "A bumpy road for Sidewalk Toronto. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says IT'S BEEN A
CONTROVERSIAL PROJECT FROM THE
BEGINNING.
SIDEWALK LABS WANTS TO DEVELOP A
BIG PARCEL OF LAND ON THE
TORONTO WATERFRONT, CREATING A
HIGH TECH, DATA-DRIVEN
NEIGHBOURHOOD.
PRIVACY AND TRANSPARENCY
CONCERNS, COSTS, AND NOW
POTENTIALLY AN ISSUE AROUND
TAXATION AND DEVELOPMENT FEES,
HAVE COMPLICATED AN ALREADY
COMPLICATED PLAN.
DAN DOCTOROFF IS FOUNDER AND CEO
OF SIDEWALK LABS.
HE'S A FORMER DEPUTY MAYOR OF
NEW YORK CITY, AND HE JOINS US
NOW WITH HIS PERSPECTIVE ON THIS.

Dan is in his early fifties, clean-shaven, with short curly white hair. He's wearing a gray suit, pale blue shirt, and gray tie.

Steve says THANKS FOR MAKING SOME TIME FOR US.

Dan says MY PLEASURE.

Steve says I DON'T WANT TO ASSUME
THAT EVERYBODY KNOWS WHAT
SIDEWALKS LABS IS BECAUSE WE
HAVE VIEWERS ALL OVER THE
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO, NOT JUST IN
THE CAPITAL CITY.
SO FIRST OF ALL WHAT DOES
SIDEWALKS LABS DO?

The caption changes to "Dan Doctoroff. Sidewalk Labs."

Dan says IT'S A UNIT OF ALPHABET, ALSO
THE PARENT OF GOOGLE.
WE'RE THE MUCH SMALLER
SUBSIDIARY OF GOOGLE.
AND OUR MISSION IS TO IMPROVE
URBAN LIFE BY COMBINING
CUTTING-EDGE INNOVATION WITH
GREAT URBAN DESIGN TO REALLY
ADDRESS SOME OF THE KEY ISSUES
THAT CITIES ARE WRESTLING WITH
TODAY, LIKE HOW DO WE MANAGE TO
AFFORD TO HOUSE PEOPLE IN A WAY
THAT THEY CAN ACTUALLY LIVE.
HOW DO WE MOVE PEOPLE AROUND IN
NEW WAYS?
HOW DO WE ACTUALLY DEAL WITH THE
ISSUE OF CLIMATE CHANGE BY
CREATING TRULY SUSTAINABLE
COMMUNITIES?
HOW DO WE CREATE JOBS AND OTHER
ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY WHERE
OTHERWISE IT MIGHT BE HARD?
SO THAT'S REALLY WHAT OUR
MISSION IS, AND WE HAVE
PARTNERED WITH WATERFRONT
TORONTO, WHICH IS A TRIPARTITE
AGENCY.

Steve says A VERY CONFUSING
AGENCY SOMETIMES, YES?

Dan says WELL, LOOK, GOVERNMENT CAN BE
COMPLICATED, AND PARTICULARLY
WHEN YOU HAVE AN AGENCY THAT
ITSELF HAS THREE GOVERNMENTS AS
ITS CONSTITUENTS, IT'S ALWAYS
GOING TO BE A LITTLE BIT
CHALLENGING AND COMPLICATED.

Steve says YOUR COMPANY'S A
PRIVATE COMPANY, RIGHT?

Dan says WE ARE.

Steve says SO YOU GOT TO MAKE MONEY.

The caption changes to "Behind the curtain."

Dan says WE DO.
I SAID OUR PRIMARY MISSION IS TO
DEMONSTRATE WHAT'S POSSIBLE,
TRULY CREATE THE FIRST 21ST
CENTURY DISTRICT.
YES, WE DO HAVE TO MAKE MONEY.

Steve says SO HOW DO YOU MAKE MONEY?

Dan says WELL, PART OF THE WAY YOU
MAKE MONEY IS THROUGH REAL
ESTATE DEVELOPMENT, AND WE WOULD
DEVELOP A SMALL PORTION OF WHAT
WE CALL THE EASTERN WATERFRONT,
MOSTLY TO DEMONSTRATE WHAT'S
POSSIBLE.
WE HAVE THIS WHOLE SERIES OF
HYPOTHESIS IN TERMS OF
INNOVATION AND WHAT IT CAN DO.
WE WOULD HOPEFULLY PLAY A ROLE
IN FINANCING INFRASTRUCTURE TO
CATALYZE AN AREA OF DEVELOPMENT
THAT HAS BASICALLY BEEN AN
UNDERPERFORMING, HAS NOT
FULFILLED THE DREAMS AND
ASPIRATIONS OF MANY CITY
BUILDERS BEFORE US FOR OVER 100
YEARS.
SO TO SOME EXTENT PLAY A ROLE IN
THAT.
AND THEN SOME OF THE INNOVATIONS
THAT WE ACTUALLY DEVELOP HERE WE
WOULD HOPE OVER TIME TO TAKE TO
OTHER PLACES AROUND THE WORLD.

Steve says CAN I JUST UNDERSTAND
WHAT YOU SAID?
IN TERMS OF CONTRIBUTING TO
INFRASTRUCTURE, DOES THAT MEAN
YOU ARE PREPARED TO PAY FOR SOME
OF THE COSTS TO MOUNT A LIGHT
RAIL TRANSIT SYSTEM IN THAT
AREA?

Dan says WE'RE CERTAINLY PREPARED TO
HELP ENSURE THAT IT GETS
FINANCED.
SO LET ME GIVE YOU A GOOD
EXAMPLE OF THAT.
ONE OF THE REASONS THAT THE
EASTERN WATERFRONT HAS NEVER
DEVELOPED, AND LITERALLY IT'S
BEEN 107 YEARS SINCE THEY FIRST
STARTED FILLING IT IN, IS
BECAUSE THERE'S NO
INFRASTRUCTURE THERE.
ONE OF THE KEY INFRASTRUCTURE
THINGS THAT JUST HASN'T EVER
GOTTEN DONE AND DOESN'T APPEAR
TO BE ON ANYBODY'S NEAR-TERM
RADAR SCREEN, IS EXTENDING THE
LRT ACROSS QUEEN'S QUAY AND THEN
INTO THIS AREA.
PART OF THE REASON THERE'S NO
REALISTIC PROBABILITY OF IT
GETTING DONE IN THE SHORT OR
INTERMEDIATE OR EVEN IN THE
LONGER TERM IS THERE'S NO
POLITICAL CONSTITUENCY FOR IT
BECAUSE NOBODY LIVES THERE.

Steve says VERY LOW ON THE
PRIORITY LIST RIGHT NOW.

Dan says EXACTLY.
AND SO THE QUESTION IS: IF YOU
REALLY BELIEVE THAT THIS IS AN
IMPORTANT AREA THAT NEEDS TO
DEVELOP, THAT CAN ACTUALLY BE
DONE, WE THINK, IN A COMPLETELY
NEW WAY THAT ADDRESSES SOME OF
THE ISSUES THAT TORONTONIANS ARE
STRUGGLING WITH, HOW YOU
ACTUALLY MAKE SURE THAT THE
INFRASTRUCTURE ACTUALLY IS THERE
TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.
AND WHAT WE'RE SAYING IS WE'RE
PREPARED TO PLAY A ROLE IN BEING
A CATALYST FOR THAT.
ONE OF THE IDEAS THAT WE'VE BEEN
DISCUSSING AMONGST OURSELVES, WE
REALLY HAVEN'T BEEN TALKING
ABOUT IT EXTERNALLY YET, BUT A
LEAKED DOCUMENT GOT OUT AND THAT
BECAME SOMEWHAT CONTROVERSIAL,
WAS A SELF-FINANCING MECHANISM,
WHICH IS TO SAY IF YOU KIND OF
FINANCE IT UP FRONT BUT YOU ONLY
LOOK TO THE INCREASE IN TAX
REVENUES, PROPERTY TAX REVENUES
OR PERHAPS DEVELOPER CHARGES,
THAT OTHERWISE WOULDN'T HAPPEN
BUT FOR THE INVESTMENT IN
INFRASTRUCTURE TO PAY YOU BACK,
IS THAT A VALID FORM OF
FINANCING?
IT'S SOMETHING THAT'S USED IN
MANY OTHER JURISDICTIONS.

Steve says IS THAT TAX INCREMENT FINANCING?

Dan says IT'S KIND OF LIKE TAX
INCREMENT FINANCING.
AND THE KEY THING ABOUT IT IS IS
THAT THE INVESTORS DON'T GET
PAID BACK UNLESS THERE IS
DEVELOPMENT, AND THE DEVELOPMENT
IS ONLY MADE POSSIBLE BY VIRTUE
OF THE INVESTMENT IN
INFRASTRUCTURE, AND SO IS
THAT... AND THAT'S A QUESTION I
THINK THAT WILL BE A PART OF ALL
SORTS OF PUBLIC DISCUSSION.
IS THAT A VALID APPROACH WHEN
THERE'S NO REAL PROSPECT OF
GETTING IT FINANCED AND PUTTING
THE INFRASTRUCTURE IN PLACE OTHERWISE?

Steve says WELL, ONE OF THE
REASONS WE WERE HAPPY TO
ACCEPT... YOU KNOW, WE'RE GLAD
YOU ACCEPTED OUR INVITATION TO
BE HERE TODAY, IS THAT WHEN THE
TORONTO STAR DID REPORT ON THAT
LEAKED DOCUMENT, IT DID RAISE A
WHOLE BUNCH OF QUESTIONS THAT
HERETOFORE HAD NOT BEEN RAISED.
AND I GUESS THAT'S ONE OF THE
THINGS, ONE OF THE CRITICISMS
YOUR ORGANIZATION HAS COME IN
FOR, THAT IF THIS WAS REALLY
PART OF THE PLAN ALL THE WAY
ALONG, HOW COME WE'RE ONLY
HEARING ABOUT IT NOW?

The caption changes to "Dan Doctoroff, @DanDoctoroff."

Dan says BECAUSE IT HASN'T BEEN PART
OF THE PLAN ALL ALONG.
WHAT WAS LEAKED WAS AN INTERNAL
DOCUMENT THAT WAS A BUNCH OF
CONCEPTS THAT WE HAVE BEEN
RECENTLY DEVELOPING, THINKING
ON.
I THINK WE'VE ACTUALLY BEEN, TO
BE FAIR TO US, I THINK WE'VE
BEEN ACTUALLY PRETTY
TRANSPARENT.
YOU KNOW, OVER THE COURSE OF THE
LAST YEAR SINCE WE ENTERED INTO
THE DEAL WITH WATERFRONT
TORONTO, WE'VE HAD COUNTLESS
PUBLIC MEETINGS.
WE'VE LITERALLY MET IN PERSON
WITH 18,000 PEOPLE OVER THE
COURSE OF A YEAR.
WE'VE RECEIVED THOUSANDS AND
THOUSANDS OF COMMENTS.
WE'VE DIGESTED THOSE COMMENTS.
WE KEEP ITERATING AND IT'S JUST
MORE RECENTLY THAT WE'VE
ACTUALLY STARTED TO GET TO THE
QUESTION OF, WELL, HOW DO YOU
ACTUALLY ACHIEVE THE OBJECTIVES
HERE?
AND LET'S NOT LOSE SIGHT OF THE
OBJECTIVES.
THE OBJECTIVES AT WATERFRONT
TORONTO, THE CITY, THE PROVINCE,
THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT ALL LAID
OUT IS CAN YOU FIND A WAY TO
MAKE HOUSING MORE AFFORDABLE?
CAN YOU FIND A WAY TO CREATE NEW
WAYS OF GETTING PEOPLE AROUND?
CAN YOU FIND A WAY TO THINK
ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT IN A
DIFFERENT WAY?
CAN YOU FIND A WAY TO ACTUALLY
HAVE A COMMUNITY WHERE PEOPLE AT
DIFFERENT INCOME LEVELS CAN LIVE
AND WORK TOGETHER AND FEEL LIKE
THEY'RE PART OF A COMMUNITY
TOGETHER?
AND WE THINK THAT'S POSSIBLE.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Steve says IF YOU THINK YOU'VE
CONSULTED SO WIDELY AND WELL,
WHY ARE YOU COMING UP FOR SO
MUCH CRITICISM FROM SO MANY WHO
LEAVE THAT THE PROCESS HAS NOT
BEEN ADEQUATELY TRANSPARENT?

Dan says I THINK BECAUSE THIS IS A NEW
IDEA.
IT CAME OUT IN A WAY THAT WE DID
NOT WANT IT TO BECAUSE WE
WEREN'T READY YET TO TALK ABOUT
IT.
AND I THINK, YOU KNOW, THAT WAS
A LITTLE JARRING FOR PEOPLE.
BUT I THINK WE HAVE DEMONSTRATED
OVER THE COURSE OF THE LAST YEAR
THAT WE LISTEN.
LOOK, WE'RE BIG BELIEVERS THAT
IN ORDER TO CREATE A SUCCESSFUL
PROJECT, PARTICULARLY ONE THAT
IS NEW AND DIFFERENT, YOU HAVE
TO PUT IDEAS OUT THERE.
YOU HAVE TO BE WILLING TO TAKE
THE CRITICISM.
YOU DON'T CUT AND RUN LIKE SOME
OTHER BIG TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES.

Steve says NOW WHAT COULD THAT BE
A REFERENCE TO?

Dan says I CAN'T IMAGINE.

Steve says WHAT WOULD THE FORMER
DEPUTY MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY BE
REFERRING TO THERE?
YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BE AMAZON.
YOU'RE NOT CUTTING AND RUNNING?

Dan says WE BELIEVE THE CRITICISM
MAKES US BETTER.
YOU KNOW, WHEN I WAS DEPUTY
MAYOR OF NEW YORK IN THE
BLOOMBERG ADMINISTRATION, WE DID
140 SEPARATE RE-ZONINGS,
REPLANINGS OF NEIGHBOURHOODS IN
NEW YORK.
AND OF THOSE 140 WE GOT 139 OF
THEM PASSED.
AND EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM,
THE PROCESS OF LISTENING,
REFLECTING, REVISING, CONSULTING
MADE OUR PLANS BETTER.
WE'RE BIG BELIEVERS IN THAT, AND
SO WE EXPECT TO GET CRITICIZED.

Steve says OKAY.
LET ME SHARE SOME MORE CRITICISM
WITH YOU.

Dan says SURE.

Steve says HERE'S THE TORONTO
STAR REPORTING A QUOTE FROM ONE
OF THE COUNCILLORS IN THE AREA
WHERE THE... THAT INCLUDES THE PORTLANDS.
THE COUNCILLOR SAYS...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Beyond 12 acres." The quote reads "THE REVELATIONS LEFT ME VERY HIGHLY DISTURBED BECAUSE ALL ALONG THE UNDERSTANDING WAS THAT THIS PROJECT WAS FOR A SMART CITY FOR THE 12 ACRES, AND IT'S VERY CLEAR THAT THEY WANT TO CONTROL THE DESTINY OF THE PORTLANDS. THAT'S NEVER BEEN IN ANY KIND OF AGREEMENT."
Paula Fletcher, as quoted in Toronto Star. February 15, 2019.

Steve says DOES THIS PERSON HAVE A POINT
INASMUCH AS WHAT IS EMERGING NOW
IS NEW AND HAD NOT BEEN
DISCUSSED WITH THE POLITICIANS BEFORE?

Dan says WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, I THINK
THAT'S NOT ACCURATE.
AND LET ME CITE SOME FACTS.
OKAY, THE FIRST IS THE REQUEST
FOR PROPOSALS THAT WATERFRONT
TORONTO ISSUED THAT WE RESPONDED
TO, 20 TIMES IN THAT RFP NOTED
THAT RESPONDENTS SHOULD ACTUALLY
CONSIDER THE ISSUE OF SCALE,
GOING BEYOND THE 12 ACRES.
IN OUR RESPONSE, DOZENS AND
DOZENS OF TIMES WE TALKED ABOUT
THE IMPORTANCE OF SCALE.
LET ME GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE.
IF YOU THINK THAT AUTONOMOUS
VEHICLES MIGHT BE AN ANSWER TO
SOME OF THE TRANSPORTATION WOES
THAT WE HAVE HERE OVER TIME, AND
YOU BELIEVE THAT THIS COULD BE
AN INTERESTING OPPORTUNITY TO
EXPERIMENT WITH THE IMPACT OF
SELF-DRIVING CARS, IT'S NEVER
BEEN REALISTIC TO ASSUME THAT
YOU COULD DO THAT ON 12 ACRES.
IF YOU BELIEVE THAT WOOD
BUILDINGS, WHICH IS SOMETHING
WE'RE INTERESTED IN, CAN
ACTUALLY BE PART OF THE ANSWER
TO LOWERING THE COST OF HOUSING
SO WE CAN ACTUALLY HAVE
MIXED-INCOME COMMUNITIES IN THIS
CITY, WE BELIEVE THAT AT SCALE
YOU CAN LOWER THE COST OF
HOUSING BY 20 percent OR SO BY FACTORY
PRODUCED BUT INCREDIBLY
CREATIVELY DESIGNED BUILDINGS.
YOU CAN'T BUILD A FACTORY AND
GET TO THE SCALE TO REDUCE THOSE
COSTS ON 12 ACRES.
AND EVERYONE'S ALWAYS KNOWN
THAT.
OUR AGREEMENT WITH WATERFRONT
TORONTO ACKNOWLEDGED THAT SCALE
WAS GOING TO BE IMPORTANT.
NOT THAT WE HAD TO OWN IT.
WE'RE NOT SUGGESTING THAT WE
SHOULD OWN IT.
AND, BY THE WAY, THE CITY
COUNCIL REPORT ON THIS
ACKNOWLEDGED THAT SCALE WAS
ACTUALLY IMPORTANT.
SO THAT'S NOT A BIG SURPRISE, IN REALITY.

Steve says SO THE POLITICIANS WHO
ARE EXPRESSING CRITICISM AND
SHOCK AT THE LATEST REVELATIONS ARE DOING WHAT?

Dan says I THINK IN PART BECAUSE A LOT
OF THE FOCUS IN TERMS OF
PLANNING THUS FAR HAS BEEN ON
KEYSIDE, PROBABLY FORGETTING
THAT SCALE ACTUALLY DOES MATTER.
BUT TO BE CLEAR, WE ARE NOT
SUGGESTING THAT WE SHOULD
DEVELOP ANY MORE THAN A TINY
FRACTION OF THIS.
WHAT WE DO THINK IS THAT IT'S
IMPORTANT TO CONSIDER SCALE IN
ORDER TO ACHIEVE THE LOFTY
ASPIRATIONS THAT EVERYBODY
AGREES SHOULD BE APPLIED TO THIS PLACE.

Steve says DO YOU NEED THE NEW
PREMIER OF ONTARIO, DOUG FORD,
AND HIS GOVERNMENT TO APPROVE THIS?

Dan says FOR CERTAIN PARTS OF IT,
ABSOLUTELY.
WE'LL NEED ALL THREE LEVELS OF
GOVERNMENT, IN PART, AS WELL AS
THE WATERFRONT TORONTO BOARD.

Steve says YOU SAW "THE GLOBE AND
MAIL" REPORTED THAT PREMIER FORD
HAS APPARENTLY HAD A
CONVERSATION WITH SOMEBODY
SAYING THAT HE WON'T APPROVE IT.
DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS?

Dan says WELL, I CERTAINLY SAW THE
ARTICLE, BUT YOU KNOW, WE
WELCOME THE DIALOGUE.
AND AT THE END OF THE DAY, IF
PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO DO THIS, WE
ACCEPT THAT.
OKAY?
THIS IS NOT ABOUT US.
AT THE END OF THE DAY, THE
PEOPLE OF TORONTO, THE PEOPLE OF
ONTARIO, THE PEOPLE OF CANADA
HAVE TO BELIEVE THAT THIS IS
WORTH IT.
IF THEY BELIEVE THAT CREATING
WHAT WE THINK COULD BE OVER
100,000 JOBS IS WORTH IT, THEN
HOPEFULLY WE'LL BE ABLE TO GET
ENOUGH PEOPLE TO AGREE.
IF THEY BELIEVE THAT CREATING
THE FIRST TRULY CLIMATE-POSITIVE
COMMUNITY IN THE WORLD IS WORTH
IT, WE'LL AGREE.
IF THEY BELIEVE, AS WE THINK
IT'S POSSIBLE, YOU CAN GET UP TO
40 percent OF THE UNITS IN THE FIRST
PHASE OF THIS KEYSIDE TO BE
BELOW MARKET OR AFFORDABLE, THEN
PEOPLE WILL HOPEFULLY AGREE TO
GO AHEAD WITH THIS.
BUT IF THEY DON'T, WE UNDERSTAND
THAT.
LOOK, THE LAST THING WE EVER
WANT TO DO IS IMPOSE OUR WILL ON
A PLACE THAT DOESN'T WANT
SOMETHING.
IT DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY.
BUT I HAVE ENOUGH EXPERIENCE IN
GOVERNMENT IN NEW YORK TO
RECOGNIZE THAT EVERYTHING HAS TO
BE A PROCESS OF COMPROMISE IN
ORDER TO GET TO A PLACE THAT
EVERYONE FEELS COMFORTABLE.

Steve says CAN THIS PLAN WORK IF
YOU DON'T GET THE KIND OF
CREATIVE TAX FINANCING THAT YOU
DESCRIBED EARLIER?

Dan says THERE MAY BE OTHER APPROACHES.
BUT AGAIN, TO BE CLEAR, ALL
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT IS FINANCING IT.
IT COULD BE OTHERS FINANCING IT.
IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE US.
WE JUST WANT TO SEE THAT IT
ACTUALLY HAPPENS.
AND I THINK EVERYONE SHOULD WANT
THAT TOO BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, IN
FACT THERE WAS JUST A REPORT
RELEASED I THINK TWO WEEKS AGO
BY THE WATERFRONT BUSINESS
IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION WHICH
SAID THAT IF AS IT LOOKS LIKE
RIGHT NOW THE LRT IS NOT
DEVELOPED FOR... UNTIL 2045, THE
CITY LOSES 20 BILLION dollars IN LOST
ECONOMIC OUTPUT.
SO WHETHER IT'S US OR IT'S
SOMEONE ELSE, YOU KNOW, THERE
HAS TO BE A WAY OF FINDING...
AND IT'S GOING TO HAVE TO BE A
CREATIVE WAY GIVEN THE POLITICS,
OF FINDING THE INFRASTRUCTURE TO
MAKE THAT PLACE TURN INTO
SOMETHING THAT'S MORE THAN A
STORAGE FACILITY.

Steve says WE HAVE,
MR. DOCTOROFF, WE'VE DONE A FEW
SHOWS ON THIS SUBJECT BECAUSE IT
IS VERY NEW AND VERY INTERESTING
PROPOSAL WITH ITS SHARE OF
CRITICISM, WHICH MAKES IT A
GREAT STORY.

[Laughter]

Steve says I GUESS ONE OF THE AREAS THAT
HAS PROVED TO BE MOST
CONTROVERSIAL IS WHAT ARE YOU
GOING TO DO WITH THE DATA THAT
YOU'RE GOING TO COLLECT.
AND TO THAT END, I WANT TO JUST
PLAY YOU A CLIP HERE FROM A
WOMAN WHO I KNOW YOU KNOW, HE
WAS AN ADVISOR ON THIS PROJECT'S
FORMER INFORMATION AND PRIVACY
COMMISSIONER IN THE PROVINCE OF
ONTARIO FOR I THINK 15 YEARS.
THIS REALLY IS HER BAG, AND SHE
STOPPED BEING AN ADVISOR TO THIS
PROJECT, AND HERE IS WHY.
SHELDON, THE CLIP, PLEASE.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "October 25, 2018."
In the clip, Steve sits with five guests in the studio.

A female guest in her late forties talks.

A caption reads "Ann Cavoukian."

Ann, in her early fifties, with short chestnut hair and glasses, says
THEY CREATED THIS NEW GROUP
CALLED THE CIVIC DATA TRUST,
WHICH SOUNDS GREAT, TO ADDRESS
THE GOVERNANCE ISSUED ASSOCIATED
WITH THIS.
THERE'S PRIVACY ISSUES AND
GOVERNANCE ISSUES.
THEY ARE BOTH VERY IMPORTANT.
I ADDRESS PRIVACY, AND THEY SAID
THE CIVIC DATA TRUST WILL
CONSIST OF WATERFRONT TORONTO,
OURSELVES, OTHER BODIES AND
COMPANIES AND OTHERS, AND WE
WOULD ENCOURAGE THEM TO IDENTIFY
THE DATA AT FIRST, BUT WE HAVE
NO CONTROL OVER WHAT THEY DO.

Steve says SO ENCOURAGEMENT WASN'T ENOUGH?

Ann says OH, MY GOD, THIS MUST HAPPEN
AS THE DEFAULT.

The clip ends.

Steve DEIDENTIFYING DATA AT SOURCE.
THAT'S WHAT SHE WANTS.
SHE OBVIOUSLY DOESN'T FEEL THAT
YOU HAVE MADE AN ADEQUATE
COMMITMENT TO THAT, WHICH IS WHY
SHE LEFT.
WHAT'S THE LATEST?

The caption changes to "Eyes everywhere?"

Dan says WELL, FIRST OF ALL I THINK
THE IMPORTANT DISTINCTION TO
UNDERSTAND IS, A, WE SAID WE
WILL DO THAT.
BUT SECONDLY, WE SAID WE'RE
PROPOSING, JUST PROPOSING THE
CREATION OF A BODY THAT WILL
CONTROL ALL OF THE URBAN DATA,
AND ALL WE SAID WAS "IT REALLY
OUGHT TO BE UP TO THEM TO DECIDE
WHAT THEIR OWN PRINCIPLES AND
POLICIES ARE RATHER THAN BEING
PRESUMPTUOUS AND DETERMINING
WHAT THOSE POLICIES ARE."
WE ALSO SUGGESTED, BY THE WAY,
THAT INCORPORATING ANN'S IDEAS
OF PRIVACY BY DESIGN INTO THE
POLICIES OF THE URBAN DATA
TRUST, OR CIVIC DATA TRUST, IS A
GOOD IDEA.
SO TO BE HONEST, I THINK HER
CRITICISM WASN'T REALLY VERY
FAIR BECAUSE FUNDAMENTALLY WE'RE
IN ALLIANCE WITH HER.
WE GENERALLY AGREE.
WE THINK SHE'S MADE A GREAT
CONTRIBUTION TO THE PRACTICE OF
PRIVACY, NOT JUST HERE BUT
AROUND THE WORLD.
AND WE RELIED VERY HEAVILY ON
HER IDEAS.
WE JUST DIDN'T FEEL WE COULD
IMPOSE THEM ON AN ENTITY THAT WE
ARE MERELY SUGGESTING GET
CREATED.
THE KEY THING NOT TO LOSE SIGHT
OF IS THAT EVERYBODY THOUGHT
THAT OUR BUSINESS MODEL WAS TO
HOOVER UP ALL SORTS OF DATA AND
EXPLOIT IT AND SELL ADVERTISING
OFF OF IT.
YOU KNOW, AND YOU KNOW, I THINK
PEOPLE WERE SHOCKED WHEN WE
SAID, HEY, WAIT A MINUTE, WE'RE
GOING TO TAKE A VERY DIFFERENT
APPROACH THAN PEOPLE WOULD
EXPECT OF US.
WE BELIEVE THAT URBAN DATA, DATA
COLLECTED IN THE PHYSICAL
ENVIRONMENT OR IN SEMI-PUBLIC
SPACES IS ACTUALLY A PUBLIC
ASSET THAT OUGHT TO BE
CONTROLLED BY AN INDEPENDENT
PUBLIC ENTITY.
WE OUGHT TO BE SUBJECT TO THE
SAME RULES AS EVERYBODY ELSE WE
DON'T WANT TO CONTROL IT.
WE DON'T WANT TO SELL IT.
THAT I THINK IS THE BIG POINT
HERE, AND IT'S PART OF THE
REASON WHY YOU ACTUALLY HAVE
HEARD A LOT LESS ABOUT PRIVACY
AND DATA OVER THE LAST SEVERAL
MONTHS SINCE WE RELEASED THAT
PROPOSAL.
AND I ALSO WANT TO POINT OUT, I
THINK THE WHOLE QUESTION OF
PRIVACY AND DATA IS ACTUALLY
KIND OF INSTRUMENTAL.
WE TOOK A LOT OF HEAT OVER
PRIVACY AND DATA BEFORE WE EVER
ANNOUNCED A POLICY BECAUSE WHAT
WE SAID AT THE VERY BEGINNING OF
THIS PROCESS IS THAT WE WERE
GONNA LISTEN TO PEOPLE.
WE WERE GONNA GET LOTS OF
OPINIONS.
WE WERE GOING TO THINK ABOUT
THEM.
WE WERE GOING TO PUT THEM OUT
FOR COMMENT, THINK ABOUT THEM
SOME MORE, REFLECT ON THEM, TRY
AND EXPLAIN WHAT WE WERE DOING,
AND WE DID THAT.
AND WE DID THAT WITH PRIVACY AND
DATA AND WE'RE PREPARED TO DO
THAT WITH ALL ASPECTS OF THIS.
BECAUSE, AGAIN, WE DON'T BELIEVE
IN IMPOSING ANYTHING.
WE BELIEVE IN HOPEFULLY BRINGING
CREATIVE IDEAS TO UNLOCK VERY
DIFFICULT PROBLEMS.

Steve says WELL, SINCE YOU SEEM
TO BE SO OPEN TO CONSTRUCTIVE
CRITICISM, WE HAVE SOME MORE FOR YOU.

Dan says I'M SURPRISED.

Steve says HERE IS THE FORMER
CO-CEO OF RESEARCH IN MOTION.
HE HAD A LETTER IN THE NEWSPAPER
JUST YESTERDAY.
SHELDON, PLEASE.

Another clip plays on screen with the caption "February 4, 2019. Jim Balsillie."
In the clip, Jim talks to Steve.

Jim, in his fifties, clean-shaven and balding, says
WHEN YOU DEAL WITH THESE
KINDS OF ISSUES, THEY ARE VERY
TECHNICAL, AND IT REQUIRES
EXPERTISE.
AND YOU MUST BE VERY DELIBERATE
AND SYSTEMIC.
SO THE PEOPLE WHO MADE THIS
DECISION HAVE NO EXPERTISE
WHATSOEVER ON THESE IP AND DATA
ISSUES.
SO IT WOULD BE LIKE ME WALKING
INTO A NEUROSURGERY OPERATING
CLINIC AND SAYING CAN I HAVE A
TURN.
SO WE HAVE A ROGUE AGENCY WITH
NO EXPERTISE OPERATING OUTSIDE
OF ITS GOVERNMENT-PRESCRIBED
MANDATES, AND THIS TAIL IS
WAGGING THE DOG OF THE DIGITAL
NERVOUS SYSTEM OF THE WHOLE COUNTRY.

The clip ends.

The caption changes to "The right path?"

Steve says THAT'S WATERFRONT
TORONTO HE'S TALKING ABOUT THAT,
AND WHO ARE YOUR PARTNERS IN
THIS VENTURE.
WHAT DO YOU SAY TO HIS
CHARACTERIZATION OF THIS?

Dan says I THINK FIRST OF ALL IT SHOWS
INCREDIBLE DISRESPECT TO A LOT
OF REALLY HARD-WORKING, VERY
COMPETENT PUBLIC SERVANTS.
I THINK ALSO WHAT YOU CAN SEE
OUT OF GOVERNMENT IS GOVERNMENT
IS VERY CAPABLE OF BRINGING
PEOPLE IN AND GAINING EXPERTISE.
NO ONE EVER EXPECTS PEOPLE TO
HAVE ALL THE EXPERTISE THEY NEED
WHEN AN ISSUE COMES UP.
IN FACT, WATERFRONT TORONTO DID
THAT.
THEY CREATED A DIGITAL STRATEGY
ADVISORY PANEL.
TO BE HONEST, WE HAD ISSUES WITH
THEM ORIGINALLY, BUT AS WE'VE
ACTUALLY OVER THE LAST SEVERAL
MONTHS BEEN WORKING THROUGH
ISSUES IN MUCH GREATER DETAIL,
WE'VE BASICALLY BEEN ABLE TO
REALLY UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER IN
A LEVEL OF DEPTH THAT I DON'T
THINK PEOPLE WOULD HAVE ASSUMED
EVEN A FEW MONTHS AGO.
SO I... YOU KNOW, I'M... AS A
FORMER GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL, I
OFTEN RESENT WHEN PEOPLE FROM
THE PRIVATE SECTOR COME IN AND
SAY, OH, THEY'RE FROM
GOVERNMENT, THEREFORE THEY MUST
NOT ACTUALLY BE ABLE TO THINK
THROUGH A PROBLEM OR COME UP
WITH A GREAT SOLUTION, BECAUSE
PEOPLE CAN LISTEN TO PEOPLE.
THEY CAN GAIN EXPERTISE, AND I
THINK WE OUGHT TO HAVE A HIGHER
DEGREE OF CONFIDENCE IN OUR
PUBLIC SERVANTS.

Steve says LET ME CIRCLE BACK TO
SOMETHING YOU SAID EARLIER.
IF TORONTO DOESN'T WANT US AT
THE END OF THE DAY, WE WON'T.
HOW WILL YOU GAUGE WHETHER YOU
HAVE ADEQUATE SUPPORT TO GO
FORWARD WITH THIS?

Dan says WELL, AT THE END OF THE DAY I
THINK THAT THERE WILL NEED TO BE
VOTES IN THE CITY COUNCIL.
THERE WILL NEED TO BE APPROVALS
AT THE PROVINCIAL LEVEL.
THERE WILL PROBABLY NEED TO BE
SOME APPROVALS AT THE FEDERAL
LEVEL, AND CLEARLY WE'LL NEED TO
HAVE THE SUPPORT OF THE
WATERFRONT TORONTO BOARD.
AT ANY ONE OF THOSE STEPS WE
COULD BE UNSUCCESSFUL.

Steve says SO YOU GOT TO RUN THE
TABLE FOR THIS TO HAPPEN.
YOU CAN'T REALLY HAVE ANY... NO
ONE OF THOSE GROUPS CAN BE
OFFSIDE FOR THIS TO HAPPEN.

Dan says NO, BUT THEY DON'T HAVE TO
ALL WEIGH IN ON EVERY ASPECT OF
EVERYTHING.
THERE ARE DIFFERENT
RESPONSIBILITIES AND ROLES FOR
THE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF
GOVERNMENT.
BUT YOU KNOW, WHAT WE HAVE SEEN
THUS FAR IS AT LEAST AMONG THE
TORONTONIANS WHO KNOW ABOUT THIS
PROJECT AND HAVE A POINT OF VIEW
THAT OVERWHELMINGLY THEY'RE
EXCITED ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY...

Steve says HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT?

Dan says BECAUSE WE'VE ACTUALLY SEEN
POLLING THAT ACTUALLY SHOWS
THAT.
SO THEY ARE EXCITED ABOUT THE
POSSIBILITY OF HAVING 40 percent
AFFORDABLE HOUSING.
THEY ARE EXCITED ABOUT THE
POSSIBILITY OF CREATING TENS IF
NOT OVER 100,000 JOBS IN THIS
PLACE.
THEY ARE EXCITED ABOUT MAKING
TORONTO THE GLOBAL HUB FOR URBAN
INNOVATION, A POTENTIAL HUGE
INDUSTRY THAT THIS CITY, THIS
PROVINCE CAN ACTUALLY DOMINATE.
I'LL GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE OF SORT
OF WHAT GETS PEOPLE EXCITED.
AS I MENTIONED, WE THINK WOOD
BUILDINGS, MASS TIMBER
BUILDINGS, ARE GOING TO BE THE
STAPLE OF THE BUILDING STOCK,
BOTH RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL
ON KEYSIDE, AND THEN, YOU KNOW,
SEE BEYOND.
TO THE... THAT INDUSTRY IS ONE
THAT IS JUST STARTING TO COME TO
FRUITION.
IF YOU TAKE THIS LABORATORY OF
URBAN INNOVATION, SUPPORTED BY
AN ALPHABET COMPANY THAT'S
PREPARED TO INVEST A LOT OF
MONEY, AND IF WE CAN PROVE OUR
HYPOTHESES THAT WE CAN ACTUALLY
LOWER COST OF HOUSING AND OTHER
CONSTRUCTION SIGNIFICANTLY TO
MAKE A PLACE MORE AFFORDABLE,
THAT'S GOING TO BE SEEN BY THE
ENTIRE WORLD.
AND BY THE WAY, THAT IS NOT JUST
AN INDUSTRY THAT AFFECTS THESE
12 ACRES OR MORE ON THE
WATERFRONT.
THINK ABOUT THE TIMBER PRODUCERS
IN NORTHERN ONTARIO.
THINK ABOUT THE TRUCKERS, THE
LOGGERS.
THINK ABOUT THE CARPENTERS.
THERE'S A WHOLE ECOSYSTEM OF
JOBS THAT CAN ACTUALLY BE
CREATED RIGHT HERE, AND THEN
THINK ABOUT THAT INDUSTRY GOING
GLOBAL, TAKING AN INCREDIBLE
NATURAL RESOURCE OF THIS
PROVINCE AND THIS COUNTRY AND
TURNING IT INTO A JOB-CREATING ENGINE.
THAT'S WHY PEOPLE ACTUALLY CAN
POTENTIALLY GET EXCITED.
OUR JOB IS TO SHOW HOW THAT'S POSSIBLE.

Steve says IN OUR LAST 20 SECONDS
HERE, THE POLITICAL NERD IN ME
WANTS TO ASK YOU A QUESTION
ABOUT WHETHER YOUR OLD BOSS,
MIKE BLOOMBERG, THE FORMER
MAYOR, IS GOING TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?

The caption changes to "tvo.org/theagenda; agendaconnect@tvo.org."

Dan says I THINK... I THINK IT WOULD
BE GREAT IF HE DID.
I THINK MIKE BLOOMBERG IS, YOU
KNOW, ONE OF THE MOST COMPETENT
HUMAN BEINGS IN THE WORLD.
I DON'T KNOW WHETHER HE WILL.
I'M NOT SURE HE KNOWS YET.

Steve says DO YOU KNOW WHETHER
AMERICANS HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF
BILLIONAIRE PRESIDENTS FROM NEW
YORK?

Dan says I...

Steve says THAT MAY BE THE ONLY
THING THEY HAVE IN COMMON, INCIDENTALLY.

Dan says THAT'S EXACTLY RIGHT.
I THINK MIKE IS A REMARKABLE GUY
WHO WOULD BRING FRESH IDEAS AND
A REALLY DIFFERENT APPROACH TO
MANAGING GOVERNMENT, WHETHER HE
WANTS TO DO IT, ONLY HE KNOWS AT
THIS POINT.

The caption changes to "Producer: Cara Stern, @carastern."

Steve says GOTCHA.
THAT'S DAN DOCTOROFF, THE CEO OF
SIDEWALK LABS, AND WE THANK YOU
FOR MAKING SOME TIME FOR US AT
TVO TONIGHT.

Dan says MY PLEASURE.

Watch: A Bumpy Road for Sidewalk Labs