Winnipeg councillors angry police HQ report showing higher cost kept from them
Hanscomb report was done, updated months before councillors voted on project
A report produced months before Winnipeg city council would vote on the new police headquarters project shows much higher costs than what was provided to politicians.
The report, which has been obtained by CBC News, was completed in February 2008 and revised in February 2009.
City councillors would vote on the reconstruction project nine months later. They were told the cost for buying and renovating the building was $135 million.
The report outlining the higher costs was not circulated among councillors, and it surprised and angered some when it surfaced on Wednesday.
Former councillor 'pissed off'
Dan Vandal, the former St. Boniface councillor who resigned before the last election to run federally for the Liberals, says he never saw the Hanscomb report.
"I'm pissed off that as an elected official … someone who is in charge of governing the city of Winnipeg, that critical information was kept from me, as one of 16 people who voted on it," he said.
Fort Rouge–East Fort Garry Coun. Jenny Gerbasi says the way the reconstruction project was portrayed by city staff made it seem like it was a much better deal than any other option — including repairing and reusing the old Public Safety Building.
Gerbasi said there were many circumstances in which information wasn't being passed along by the administration, which was led by Phil Sheegl, the city's chief administrative officer at the time.
But she hopes that has changed since October's civic election.
"Lot of these problems came out of the former CAO's era, the former mayor's era … and a lot of those people aren't here anymore," she said.
Point Douglas Coun. Mike Pagtakhan said he has plenty of questions about why the information was not disclosed.
"Point of the matter is, we need to see all of the information," he said. "Knowing now that not all the information was disclosed is very troubling."
Project plagued by cost overruns, delays
The new police headquarters project has been plagued by problems, cost overruns and delays.
An audit in 2014 outlined a series of concerns about the project. The original $135-million price tag has ballooned to $210 million.
A flood last August pushed the opening date of the facility back further. The city now estimates the police force will complete its move into the building in the fall of 2015.
There is also an RCMP investigation into the construction project. A search warrant was served at the headquarters of Caspian Construction late last year. The company was the general contractor for the renovation of the building.
- ON MOBILE? Read the Hanscomb Ltd. report and context document here.
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