Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Mayor's ex-adviser questions police HQ deal

  • Print

CRITICS worry there is a pattern of "strange procedures" at city hall after a former mayoral staffer raised concern Winnipeg officials may have violated rules with contracts related to the new police headquarters.

Brian Kelcey, a political consultant and former adviser to Mayor Sam Katz, sent an open letter to members of city council on Tuesday questioning whether city officials followed proper policy when they awarded Dunmore Corporation the contract to manage construction of the new headquarters. Dunmore Corporation's president is Ossama AbouZeid, who also oversaw construction of Investors Group Field, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' new football stadium at the University of Manitoba.

Kelcey said the city's policy is to tender consultant contracts that exceed $100,000, but a recent city financial report suggests Winnipeg's public service sole-sourced a contract to Dunmore and paid the company $262,580 in fees to manage the police headquarters redevelopment.

The letter also raised concern Adjeleian Allan Rubeli, an Ottawa engineering firm hired to help manage the headquarters project, has been paid $4.5 million. The city initially sole-sourced a contract to Adjeleian Allan Rubeli for a fee that was not to exceed $2.6 million, Kelcey's letter states.

Kelcey said there's no evidence to suggest the firms involved did anything untoward, but it's important City of Winnipeg staff follow their own policies.

"The broader concern is do this enough times and eventually people will try to manipulate the system and we'll start to look like Montreal," he said. "Those rules exist to ensure fairness and competition and they exist to prevent waste and corruption."

Winnipeg chief administrative officer Phil Sheegl said as far as he knows, the city followed proper policy and officials did a lot of consultation with the materials management department before contracts were awarded.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Sheegl said he was heading into a meeting with the city's legal and materials management officials to go over the points raised in Kelcey's letter.

He said he would respond further today: "I just want to make sure I have all the answers to all the questions rather than doing it piecemeal."

Finance committee chairman Coun. Russ Wyatt (Transcona) said the public service is in charge of overseeing the police headquarters project and the CAO should address these questions as soon as possible. "Whenever you hear of something like this, of course it's a concern," Wyatt said.

Canadian Taxpayers Federation Prairie director Colin Craig said it appears to be the latest example of "strange procedures" at city hall. Craig said city administration and elected officials must explain what happened because they are paid to carefully scrutinize projects.

"It looks like the city didn't follow proper procedure," Craig said referring to the contracts highlighted in the letter to council. "What's worse is there seems to be a pattern at city hall for not following proper procedure and it's costing taxpayers a lot of money."

Last month, Shindico was stripped of its contract to manage the 11-storey tower portion of the former Canada Post building after complaints it was awarded under a search that did not explicitly identify property-management services.

The committee also cancelled a proposed land-swap deal, initially negotiated by fire-paramedic Chief Reid Douglas, which would have seen the city trade three properties to Shindico Realty for the new fire-paramedic Station No. 12, which was built on Shindico-owned land on Taylor Avenue.

 

jen.skerritt@freepress.mb.ca

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 12, 2012 B1

History

Updated on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 7:37 AM CST: Adds art.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Your top TV picks for Nov. 28-30

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • May 22, 2012 - 120522  - Westminster United Church photographed Tuesday May 22, 2012 .  John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press
  • Two Canada geese fly Wednesday afternoon at Oak Hammock Marsh- Front bird is banded for identification- Goose Challenge Day 3- - Apr 30, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should Canada send heavy military equipment to Ukraine?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google