Gatineau calls in anti-corruption squad after questions over arena bids
Lowest bid for municipal arena complex comes in more than $15M over estimated cost
The City of Gatineau has called in Quebec's anti-corruption squad to investigate after bids on a new municipal arena complex came in far higher than the estimated cost.
Gatineau city council unanimously rejected all the bids for the construction of a future multipurpose centre to replace the Robert Guertin Arena after the lowest bidder entered a bid $15 million more than the estimated cost for the project.
Engineers appointed by the city had looked at bids of similar scope and estimated the project would cost $50.6 million.
But the lowest bid the city received was more than $66.2 million.
Gatineau mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin said the process raised questions about whether there was collusion and justified calling the Unité permanente anticorruption.
The anti-corruption unit's probe won't necessarily preclude companies under investigation from bidding again, Pedneaud-Jobin said.
He said it's too early to predict the city's next steps.