The provincial government has fired the Calgary-based firm tasked with building the $763-million Grande Prairie Regional Hospital following a heated dispute over the project’s timeline and budget.
“We clearly have a number of differences with Graham (Construction and Engineering),” said Infrastructure Minister Sandra Jansen during a phone call with reporters Monday. “I can’t remember another time when this happened … it is really a rare occurrence.”
Construction will be suspended until a new firm is hired, Jansen said.
The province plans to issue an invitational request for proposal, meaning a shortlist of companies will have the opportunity to compete for the bid. Jansen said that decision was made to move quickly and get a new contract in place by the end of October.
The move comes after the province issued a notice of default to Graham on July 30 and spelled out an Aug. 22 deadline for the company to submit a plan to get the hospital project back on track.
“The plan did not provide the certainty we need in terms of timeline and budget to complete the project,” Jansen said Monday.
The province has argued Graham Construction, working toward a completion date in early 2019, asked for $120 million extra to complete the hospital without providing a proper explanation. That’s on top of the $510-million contract that makes up the bulk of the project cost.
Jansen said she couldn’t give details about Graham’s revised proposal because it’s a legal process. She also couldn’t confirm how much money the firm will receive for completed work, which included the outside of the building as well as about 75 per cent of the interior.
Graham has argued it had to deal with continual design changes, scope increases and delays outside its control since the contract was finalized in 2016.
In the last two years, the project has been subject to more than 600 change orders and more than 400 design clarifications, said the company.
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