Edmonton election: mayoral candidates talk COVID-19

Leaders in Edmonton's city hall have not shied away from taking action to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but will the newly elected council do the same? Sarah Ryan spoke to the front-running mayoral candidates about the issue.

The City of Edmonton has been active in the fight against COVID-19, often implementing bylaws and restrictions in the name of public safety – but with a new council being elected Monday, will that continue moving forward?

Dr. Darren Markland is an intensive care physician at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. He says municipal governments have played a large roll in curbing the spread of COVID.

“It’s absolutely been instrumental in the control of the pandemic. We have had to download leadership from the provincial level to municipal levels,” he explained.

Of Edmonton’s three front-running mayoral candidates, two are firmly in support of the city continuing to play an active role: Kim Krushell and Amarjeet Sohi.

“This is a crisis we are facing. So it’s not a matter of when it will come in front of council. It will be in front of council the day we are sworn in,” Sohi said.

“I do believe the province needs to show leadership, they’re in charge of health,” Krushell said.

“But, the problem is, if they’re not showing leadership, we have to step up and show leadership ourselves.”

Both Sohi and Krushell said they support the face-covering bylaw and mandatory vaccines.

Krushell wants to take the provincial restriction exemption program one step further and have the city make it mandatory, like Calgary did.

“It’s not fair to businesses that they’re suddenly having to become the enforcer. By being able to say, ‘Look, our city requires it.’ It takes that pressure off. And I’m happy to take the heat on that. I think it’s the right thing to do.”

READ MORE: Calgary city council passes COVID-19 vaccine passport bylaw

Sohi said he agrees with the direction the outgoing council and city manager are on.

“All city employees and people who work for the city must be vaccinated and those who use city services should also be required to show proof of vaccination,” he explained.

Sohi also has a plan to drive vaccination numbers.

“What I have proposed to do is support cultural communities with targeted vaccination programs.”

Another candidate for the mayor’s seat, Mike Nickel, voted against mandatory masking back in August.

On Aug. 30, Nickel posted a video to his Twitter profile saying he was utterly frustrated with his fellow councillors.

“I have a council and mayor that think they’re smarter than Dr. Hinshaw. Without any provincial guidance, city council has decided to re-institute the mask bylaw,” he said.

READ MORE: City of Edmonton to require all employees be vaccinated against COVID-19

On Sept. 1, Nickel also tweeted his opposition to the idea of mandatory vaccinations, writing: “I am vaccinated. I encourage others to do so. But as mayor, I will not force others to get vaccinated against their will. This includes City of Edmonton employees.”

Nickel has repeatedly said health is the province’s jurisdiction.

“The province has to step up and provide those clear guidelines and we’ll follow the provincial regulations. That’s all we can do,” he said Friday.

When asked what would happen if the province doesn’t act, Nickel said: “Then we run into problems.”

As for Markland, he said Edmonton was lucky to have the leadership it did through the majority of the pandemic.

“I think things could have been tremendously worse if we had people who were tone deaf to the health needs of our population,” Markland said.

Monday is election day. Polls are open from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Blue Bombers earn CFL playoff spot with 26-16 victory over Elks

Zach Collaros threw two touchdown passes as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers defeated the Edmonton Elks 26-16 on Friday night to become the first CFL team to clinch a playoff berth.

Winnipeg (9-1) captured its seventh straight victory and improved to 7-0 within the West Division. Collaros finished 15-of-24 passing for 210 yards with an interception to remain the CFL’s passing leader (2,565 yards) but is also tops in TD passes with 15.

This marks the fifth straight season that Winnipeg, the defending Grey Cup champion, has made the playoffs.

Edmonton (2-7) suffered its fifth straight loss and dropped to 0-5 at home this season.

“There’s no moral victories,” head coach Jaime Elizondo said after the game. “I know everybody’s disappointed in the loss, but at the end of the day they made more plays then we did and that’s the difference in the game.”

LISTEN BELOW: Jaime Elizondo

Edmonton’s defence forced a safety at 9:31 of the first quarter, then came up big five minutes later as Trumaine Washington intercepted Collaros in the end zone. The Bombers closed out the opening quarter with a 37-yard Ali Mourtada field goal.

The Elks responded with Sean Whyte’s 34-yard field goal at 11:22 of the second.

Winnipeg took the lead with three minutes left in the first half as a 47-yard completion to Kenny Lawler set up Collaros’s five-yard TD strike to Andrew Harris. But Harris appeared to suffer an injury to his right knee and did not return as Brady Oliveira finished up with 105 yards rushing on 16 carries.

Whyte kicked a 25-yard field cut Winnipeg’s half-time lead to 10-8.

Mourtada converted from 27 and a career-high 43 yards to start the third. Edmonton tied it 16-16 on Taylor Cornelius’s 11-yard TD toss to Shai Ross. Backup quarterback Dakota Prukop added the two-point convert.

Rookie Cornelius got the start as incumbent Trevor Harris was a healthy scratch, completing 17 of 29 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown.

“Jaime (Elizondo) did a great job tonight getting me in a rhythm; that’s just who he is,” Cornelius said.

LISTEN BELOW: Taylor Cornelius

Moments after Elks defender Aaron Grymes couldn’t hang on to an easy interception opportunity, Collaros hit Rasheed Bailey on a 48-yard completion before finding him on a five-yard scoring strike six minutes into the fourth.

Mourtada cemented the win with a 23-yard field goal with 50 seconds remaining.

Winnipeg hosts the B.C. Lions next Saturday, while Edmonton has a bye week before hosting the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Oct. 29.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

Bombers win 7th straight, clinch playoff spot with victory over Elks

It wasn’t as easy as last week, but the Winnipeg Blue Bombers still managed to find a way to beat the Edmonton Elks, picking up a 26-16 win for their seventh straight victory and clinching a playoff spot in the process.

With a 9-1 record, the Bombers are running away from the rest in the West Division, now with an eight point lead on the second place Saskatchewan Roughriders.

“Happy we got out of here with a win,” Zach Collaros said. “Really proud of the way that we finished there at the end.”

It was the Bombers third win over the Elks in their last four games to sweep the season series, but the blue and gold certainly weren’t as sharp as they have been in previous games.

“It doesn’t feel like we played as well as we should of, or could of,” head coach Mike O’Shea said. “It just wasn’t looking the same as it normally does, right. We didn’t take the ball away at the level we usually do. It took them a little while to get going.

“But it wasn’t effort, they just missed some tackles and had some, once again, a couple odd things go against them defensively. I still thought they were pretty darn good.”

The outcome was still very much in doubt with the game tied at 16 in the fourth quarter when Elks defensive back Aaron Grymes dropped what should have been a sure interception.

“I thanked Grymes after the play,” said Collaros.

Just a few plays later Collaros connected with Rasheed Bailey in the end zone to put the Bombers up for good.

“You got to love Zach though,” O’Shea said. “Grymes drops that ball and he comes right back and hits Rasheed Bailey. Unfazed right, just stands in there and delivers a big one down field.”

Collaros completed 15 of his 24 passes for 210 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

Despite a slow start, the Bombers defence once again pitched a shutout in the fourth quarter. It was the third straight game the Bombers didn’t surrender a point in the final quarter and they’ve still only given up six – fourth quarter points in their first 10 games.

“Those guys are hard working, lunch pail, hard hat type of guys,” said Bailey. “They get a chance to go up against one of the best offences in practice and it’s showing up in the games.”

The Bombers defence finished with four sacks, a forced fumble, and three pass knockdowns, but certainly weren’t as dominant as previous games.

“Edmonton came and gave us everything they had,” said Willie Jefferson. “They knew – back up against the wall at home. Just wanted to give us everything they had and they did that.

“We can’t just come into a game no matter who the opponent is and think it’s just going to be an easy walk in the park.”

The win may have come with a price though, as Bombers running back Andrew Harris left the game with what appeared to be a right knee injury late in the first half and he did not return.

“We’ll see what the injury report says,” said O’Shea.

The run game didn’t lose a beat though as Brady Oliveira came in and rushed for 105 yards on 16 carries.

Kenny Lawler returned to the lineup after being suspended by the team last week for an impaired-driving arrest and had a couple big catches, finishing with 82 yards on three receptions.

But it was Bailey who had the best night among Bombers receivers, making six catches for 93 yards and a touchdown.

READ MORE: Winnipeg Blue Bombers can become first team to clinch playoff spot with win

After a 30-3 thumping by the Bombers over the Elks last week, the offences struggled for much of the first half Friday with just eight points scored in the game’s first 26 minutes.

With Edmonton up 5-3 late in the second quarter, the Bombers finally found the end zone when Collaros found Harris for a five-yard TD, but as Harris rolled across the line, he favoured his knee and stayed down for a few minutes before leaving the game.

The Bombers eventually took a 16-8 lead in the third quarter, but the Elks finally recorded a touchdown for the first time in two weeks against Winnipeg, when former Manitoba Bison Shai Ross caught an 11-yard pass from Taylor Cornelius.

But after Bailey’s fourth-quarter TD, the Bombers defence held strong with a third down stop with 90 seconds remaining to seal the victory.

It was a much-better performance from Bombers kicker Ali Mourtada after he was booed off the field for his 1-for-4 field goal performance a week ago.

Mourtada went 4-of-5, only missing a 44-yarder late in the game.

Bombers offensive lineman Jermarcus Hardrick missed the game with a hip injury, and the loss of his presence was certainly felt by the Bombers. Collaros was sacked four times after the team gave up just nine sacks in all of their first nine games of the season.

Defensive back Nick Taylor was also dealing with an injury and was a last-minute scratch. Demerio Houston started in his absence.

READ MORE: Winnipeg Blue Bombers receiver Lawler apologizes for ‘selfish decision’ that led to arrest

The Bombers are back at home Saturday, October 23 to take on the B.C. Lions.

Kickoff is shortly after 6 p.m.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

First heavy-duty electric truck rolls into Manitoba

A Winnipeg-based trucking company is making history, revealing the province's first heavy-duty electric truck. Marek Tkach reports.

A Winnipeg-based trucking company is making history with the province’s first heavy-duty electric truck.

Gardewine Group Inc. has transformed a vehicle almost 20 years old, into the first electric truck of its kind in Manitoba.

“This truck in the coming months will operate throughout the yard,” Darin Downey, President & CEO of Gardewine Group said.  “It will back trailers into the docks. It’ll run 20 hours a day approximately five days a week.”

The province chipped in $150,000 for the project from its Conservation and Climate Fund.

Downey said the industry needs to lead this and the government should support.

“While we don’t believe this model is feasible from a financial standpoint, we do believe that as good co-operate citizens we need to take this step forward.”

READ MORE: Federal government announces electric vehicle chargers coming to Southern Manitoba, Winnipeg

Terry Shaw, executive director of the Manitoba Trucking Association, hopes it will set the tone for other businesses across the province.

“Everybody understands that truck transportation needs to evolve,” Shaw said. “It’s not as simple as going to the electric truck store and buying an electric, so clearly there’s been a lot of time, effort and thought put into this acquisition.”

According to the Manitoba Electric Vehicle Association, the number of electric vehicles on Manitoba roadways has increased dramatically this year, but that’s after a slow start in years prior compared to other provinces.

“Quebec is a great example,” Robert Elms, president of the Manitoba Electric Vehicle Association said. “There are over 140 companies employing over six thousand people manufacturing electric vehicles, charging equipment and other associated EV technologies.”

He says the government and private sector should look towards colleges and universities across the province to further explore opportunities for electric innovation.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Man taken to trauma centre after shooting in Toronto's west end

Toronto police are investigating a shooting near Willowridge Road and Eglinton Avenue West.

Emergency crews were called to a building in the area just before 10:30 p.m. Friday evening.

In a tweet, police said gun shots were heard and there were reports that a man had been shot. They indicated that the man’s injuries were very serious.

Read more:
Man shot dead after suspect driving stolen vehicle crashes into work site, Toronto police allege

Toronto paramedics told Global News that a man in his 20s was taken to a trauma centre in life-threatening condition.

Read more:
‘It’s just not fair’: Daughter of couple killed in crash near Toronto’s High Park speaks out

Officers have closed the area of the building as the investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information was asked to call police or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

London Knights improve to 4-0 with decisive victory over Windsor Spitfires

Colton Smith scored twice and Brett Brochu made 31 saves in net as the London Knights knocked off the Windsor Spitfires 5-1 on Friday night at Budweiser Gardens.

The game drew the largest crowd the building had seen since March 8, 2020 at 7,812 fans, following the change to capacity limits in the province of Ontario that was made on Oct. 8.

The game gave the Knights their fourth consecutive victory to start the season.

Smith ended the game between London and Windsor on Thanksgiving Monday in the eighth round of a shootout and then started the scoring four days later with a wicked snap shot that beat Xavier Medina just 3:15 into the opening period.

The Spitfires thought they had tied it minutes later after a shot went high and deflected off the glass and over the Knight net and dropped in the crease. The puck went off the skate of Daniel D’Amico and into the London net but the goal was waved off on the ice and then reviewed and disallowed. That allowed London to take a 1-0 lead to the dressing room through 20 minutes.

Smith picked up his second goal of the night and second of the season as he finished off a passing play in tight. Brodie Crane’s shot was stopped by Medina but Max McCue grabbed the rebound and slid it across the crease where Smith banged it in. to make it 2-0. The goal gave Crane his first point in the OHL.

Daniel D’Amico scored for Windsor just 47 seconds later to cut the London lead in half and then Stuart Rolofs connected on the power play at 9:43 for his third goal in three games for the Knights and they led 3-1.

Luke Evangelista used a pretty backhand pass to find Max McCue and the San Jose Sharks prospect scored his first of the season to give London a three goal lead heading into the final period.

Sean McGurn scored the lone goal of the third period as he cut out from behind the Windsor net and slipped a low shot under Medina for his first goal of the year that counted in the statistics. McGurn had the shootout winner for London in their opening night victory over Owen Sound.

Brett Brochu was his rock-solid self in goal with 31 saves. London outshot the Spitfires 37-33.

The Knights were perfect on the penalty kill, takin care of all three Windsor opportunities on the man advantage.

Read more:
London Knights single-game tickets now on sale

Opening Knights

There were 35 former London Knights players on National Hockey League rosters to open the season. Two were on the inactive list. Gemel Smith has a lower body injury and was not able to start the season on the ice in Tampa Bay and Tyler Parsons was “unable to satisfy quarantine restrictions” with the Calgary Flames.

There are five ex-Knights on the Ottawa Senators in Chris Tierney, Austin Watson, Victor Mete, Alex Formenton and Michael Del Zotto and every former OHLer on the Columbus Blue Jackets played in London or the London area in Max Domi, Adam Boqvist, Scott Harrington and Boone Jenner who is from Mossley, Ont.

Read more:
Meet the 2021-22 London Knights

Watching the prospects

Both Easton Cowan and Kaeden Johnston are off to fast starts with the Komoka Kings. Cowan played the entire pre-season with the Knights where he scored three goals and added two assists in five games. Cowan was a 2nd round pick of London’s in 2021 from Mount Brydges, Ont. He played his minor hockey wth the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs and has a highlight-reel goal and three assists in four games with the Kings.

Johnston is tied with Carter McIlwain for the Komoka team lead in points. He has nine in six games. Johnston is from Peterborough and was selected by the Knights in the 5th round of the 2021 OHL Priority Selection.

Read more:
London Knights acquire overager Cody Morgan from the Flint Firebirds

Where is the Spirit?

The 2021-22 Ontario Hockey League season is officially more than a week old and so far the Saginaw Spirit are still waiting to play. The three American-based OHL teams stick to a schedule that keeps them in the United States for nearly the first month of the season.

The Erie Otters and Flint Firebirds have played each other twice but without a dance partner for Saginaw, the Spirit have been left sitting. That will change on Saturday, Oct. 16 and Sunday, Oct. 17 when Saginaw is home for back-to-back meetings with Erie.

Up next

The Knights head to Sarnia to meet the Sting on Saturday (Oct. 16) in the first of 10 meetings between the two clubs this season. London and Sarnia kicked off the OHL pre-season back on Sept. 3 and 4. Both teams the road game of the home-and-home series which is a trend the Knights will try to continue.

The Sting are coming off a 5-1 loss to the Kitchener Rangers on Friday. Zach Filak scored the lone goal for Sarnia.

The pre-game show will begin at 6:30 on Saturday on 980 CFPL, at www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Expansion coming to Boundary Trails Health Centre

An expansion is coming to the Boundary Trails Health Centre in Winkler.

A new building, new acute care inpatient beds and more space for patient care programs are part of an expansion coming to the Boundary Trails Health Centre in Winkler.

The province announced the $64.4 million project on the centre, which serves the Southern Health region, will roll out in two stages.

READ MORE: Frustrations abound in Southern Manitoba as new restrictions begin

A two-storey community services building will be erected first and is expected to include programs such as ambulatory care, cancer care, home care, education services, public health, health information services, and administration.

Once those services are relocated to the new building, renovations will begin on vacated spaces in the health centre and will allow for the creation of expanded spaces for several departments and programs, including surgery, and the addition of a retail pharmacy.

“We are building a health-care system that offers rural communities more services closer to home supporting specialized services at larger facilities like Boundary Trails, which can reduce the need for many residents to travel to Winnipeg for their care,” Manitoba Health Minister Audrey Gordon said.

Construction is expected to begin by summer 2022.

“This new investment in acute care inpatient beds and additional space for patient care programs will strengthen the network of resources that makes Boundary Trails an important hub of medical services,” Southern Health-Sante Sud CEO Jane Curtis said. “It will ensure that we continue to meet the long-term needs of this growing area with access to high quality, specialized care that is closer to home.”

 

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Calgary election: Nenshi calls on Farkas to apologize for 'skimming' comments

Calgary's outgoing mayor Naheed Nenshi has called on a candidate running to be his successor to apologize for comments made during a mayoral candidates forum this week. Jeromy Farkas accused city staff of "skimming money" from developers. Adam MacVicar reports.

With Calgary’s municipal election just days away, the city’s outgoing mayor has expressed frustration over recent comments by one candidate in the running to be his successor.

During an appearance on Global News Morning on Friday, Naheed Nenshi said comments made this week by Ward 11 councillor Jeromy Farkas during a debate hosted by the Calgary Construction Association were false and misleading.

Farkas was in the process of explaining why he felt businesses don’t trust city hall when he pointed to an accounting error made by city administration, and accused city staff of “skimming money” from local developers.

“City hall establishment, the administration, including the planning department that Councillor Gondek is chair of the committee for, basically got away with skimming money off the top. Millions and millions of dollars that industry had paid into these fees, and reallocating that interest income into other priorities without actually showing industry the receipts,” Farkas said during the debate.

Read more:
Calgary election: construction industry gets a look at top 3 mayoral hopefuls

Farkas’ comment was in reference to an accounting issue identified by city administration following a request by local developers last year.

According to the city, interest income from off-site levies was inadvertently transferred into general revenues.

The city collects funds from local developers through off-site levies to be used to build infrastructure in new communities and are kept in several accounts until they’re used to fund those projects.

Following a review, city administration called the issue an accounting inconsistency. $56.3 million was transferred from reserves back into the original fund during budget deliberations last year.

“We’ll continue working with stakeholders to make our processes transparent and accountable,” City of Calgary planning and development general manager Stuart Dalgleish said in a statement at the time. “There’s now increased oversight and improved procedural mechanisms to ensure this issue doesn’t happen again, and we’re engaging our external auditor to review the decision.”

“Councillor Farkas was the vice-chair of the audit committee, which was the only leadership role he took in four years, so he knew better, he knows it’s not true,” Nenshi said. “The city found ways to put interest into those accounts in order to build more infrastructure.

“He needs to apologize, he needs to retract.”

Read more:
Calgary election: Mayoral candidates talk bringing council together, paying for campaign promises

On Friday, Farkas called his comments “factual” and did not apologize for the remarks.

“There wasn’t any criminality implied, but the city made a mistake, and once the mistake was identified, then (administration) came to the table with ideas about how to fix it,” Farkas said. “We need to make sure that going forward those mistakes don’t happen.”

Farkas’ colleagues on council who are also running for mayor, Jyoti Gondek and Jeff Davison, both called on him to apologize during the debate.

Davison, who represents Ward 6, said Friday that it was “baffling” that there hasn’t been an apology.

“You do not get to accuse city administration of underhanded, criminal activities,” Davison told Global News. “That was 100 per cent not the case, and the person that needs to look in the mirror here is him.”

Gondek, elected in Ward 3 in 2017, said she has challenged city policy and administration, but said it shouldn’t be done with false claims.

“You cannot put out false claims and blame administration for things that are simply not true.

“You can’t say they are skimming money,” Gondek said. “It’s incredibly disappointing for administration to be characterized in that manner. I’m not impressed that my colleague would say something like that.”

Read more:
Calgary election: final stretch in marathon race to be city’s next mayor

Although Farkas said he didn’t imply criminal intent, Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt said the wording that was chosen can be understood in that way.

“If you hear ‘skimming off the top,’ you’re not hearing ‘moving it from one pile of funds to another pile of funds.’ You’re thinking ‘they’re taking it and putting it in their pocket,'” Bratt said.

“So what was a technical accounting issue that was discovered and solved became sort of mistruth, a misrepresentation.”

Historically, outgoing mayors in Calgary have remained relatively silent regarding the municipal election, Bratt said.

Nenshi has stayed away from endorsing any council or mayoral candidates during the campaign, but Bratt said it is not a secret that he and Farkas do not align on several issues.

“(Nenshi) has often been unfiltered, and he will tell you what he what he thinks,” Bratt told Global News. “He hasn’t endorsed a candidate, but it is clear he does not want Jeromy Farkas to win.”

However, Bratt said he believes Nenshi’s comments were a “one-off.”

Ultimately, Calgarians will make their decision when they head to the polls on Monday.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Senior CAF officer steps aside months into sexual misconduct investigation against him

WATCH ABOVE: CAF removes Maj. Gen. Dawe from sexual misconduct review files after backlash

A senior military officer in the Canadian Armed Forces has been placed on leave months after a sexual misconduct investigation him first started, Global News has confirmed.

A statement Friday from the CAF confirmed a report first published by the Globe and Mail that the military’s head of personnel, Lt.-Gen. Steven Whelan had stepped aside from his role.

Read more:
Adm. Art McDonald letter to senior military officials ‘shocking,’ says Gen. Eyre

The CAF said that Whelan’s leave is effective immediately.

The statement said that the acting chief of defence staff, Gen. Wayne Eyre, was first notified in June that military police had opened an investigation into Whelan, who was not initially made aware of it due to concerns about a possible impact on the investigation.

“Since the onset of the investigation, the situation has been subject to an ongoing and deliberate assessment by the VCDS in regards to victim impact, his continuing employment, and impact on the workplace,” read the statement.

In a statement Friday, the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service said that it has received an allegation of sexual misconduct against Whelan, and that it is still ongoing.

“The Military Police do not, by practice, proactively disclose the existence of ongoing investigations,” read the statement.

Whelan is the latest in multiple senior military officers who are facing investigations or allegations of sexual misconduct in recent months.

The Canadian Forces is facing what experts have described as an institutional “crisis” since Global News first reported on high-profile allegations against senior leadership earlier this year.

Read more:
Adm. Art McDonald tells colleagues he’s exonerated, should return to top military post

News of the probe into Whelan comes as Adm. Art McDonald, who is on leave from his role as chief of the defence staff, is facing heavy criticism for his decision to send a letter to senior military colleagues in which McDonald claimed he has been exonerated of a sexual assault allegation against him, which he has denied.

McDonald is demanding he be reinstated to the top job, which is currently being filled in an acting capacity of Gen. Wayne Eyre.

Eyre on Friday responded to the letter sent by McDonald, calling it “shocking.”

— With files from Global News’ Sean Boynton.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Metro Vancouver pulls the plug on North Shore wastewater plant deal

VANCOUVER – The head of the Metro Vancouver Regional District says it has lost confidence in the contractor hired to build a wastewater treatment plant in North Vancouver, B.C., and has terminated its contract with the company.

Jerry Dobrovolny, chief administrative officer for the regional district, says the price tag rose from $500 million to $1 billion.

Read more:
Contractor seems to have ‘abandoned’ North Shore wastewater plant, says Metro Vancouver

Acciona, the company behind the plant’s construction, was unavailable for an interview and did not immediately return a request for comment.

Dobrovolny says Acciona left the regional district with “no choice” after construction delays and the rise in price.

He says the project is 36 per cent complete when by Acciona’s timeline it should be at 55 per cent, and the project was intended to be completed by 2020.

Dobrovolny says it’s unusual to cut ties with a contractor, but the decision was made to shield taxpayers from further costs.

Read more:
Cost for new North Shore sewage treatment plant climbs over $1B

Acciona’s website says the company is also responsible for the construction of the Broadway SkyTrain expansion as well as the Pattullo Bridge replacement.

“This is a last resort, certainly not something we would have wanted to do or a position we would have wanted to be in. At some point we have to say enough is enough,” Dobrovolny said in an interview.

He said the regional district will now work to find a contractor on an expedited basis.

 

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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