Yukon and Whistle Bend contractor settle lawsuit

The Yukon government has settled a lawsuit with contractor Norcope Enterprises over work at the Whistle Bend subdivision development near Whitehorse.

Dispute with Norcope Enterprises over subdivision work settled out of court

The Yukon government says it has settled a lawsuit with a major contractor on the Whistle Bend subdivision development near Whitehorse.

Norcope Enterprises and the government had filed a number of claims and counterclaims against each other. Some were related to change orders to work being done on the project.

The Whistle Bend lot before much of the construction. Contractor Norcope Enterprises and the Yukon government settled a lawsuit Wednesday. (CBC)

Tom Ullyett, with Yukon's Department of Justice, said the potentially lengthy trial scheduled for next April is now cancelled.

"Virtually every court, and every judge and every mediator and every arbitrator in Canada will say the best way to resolve a construction dispute is by the parties working out a settlement agreement," he said.

"It gives them control over the process."

Ullyett said the terms of the settlement are confidential, but the additional cost to government will be about $475,000.

The owner of Norcope Enterprises, Doug Gonder, said he's glad the dispute over.

He said trouble often follows when changes are made to a project while it's under construction.  

"It's always a problem," he said.

"I mean you know there's a budget that's set out on the contract, the owner wants to maintain that. However, methodology and whatever else has changed from the contractor's view always becomes an argument and we see that on numerous projects. There needs to be a mechanism in the middle when these things do come about that it's a fair playing field for everybody."said.

Gonder said the government and the Yukon Contractors' Association should talk about what happened in this case and make sure it never happens again.

He added that his company installed 25 kilometres of pipe as part of the contract. Gonder said that's a huge feat for a Yukon company and the people who worked on it should be proud.

Phase two lots at Whistle Bend are expected to go on sale this fall.