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September 3, 2018

Construction contractors question government contract with N.W.T. firm to build Whitehorse school


Some Yukon contractors are asking why the territorial government awarded a contract worth nearly a million dollars to an N.W.T. company in a non-competitive process.

The contract is for services related to construction of the new Francophone high school and community centre in Whitehorse — specifically, to act as the “owner’s representative,” to oversee the design and construction of the building.

The contract for those services had originally been awarded through a public competitive bid to Kobayashi and Zedda Architects (KZA) of Whitehorse. The firm had bid a price of $198,606 for the work.

KZA co-owner Tony Zedda told CBC News that the government then changed the scope of work, prompting KZA and the government to negotiate a new price. However, Zedda says both parties ultimately agreed to end the contract.

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Then in April, the Yukon government hired Taylor Architecture Group of Yellowknife to do the work for $904,086 through a standing offer agreement — not a competitive bidding process.

“Not sure what happened there. I had thought that the limit for sole-sourcing under a standing offer agreement was in the range of $250,000,” Zedda said. 

“So when we heard all of this information, we were a bit shocked by, a.) the amount, and b.) by the process by which that consultant was retained.”

Zedda also wonders why the work went to an N.W.T. company instead of a Yukon firm.

“I’m not sure who thought that there weren’t capable local design firms and engineering firms that probably would have loved to have the opportunity to bid on that work as well,” he said.

The Yukon Contractors’ Association — of which KZA is not a member — says it received a complaint from a member of the association. The complaint was about the contract and the fact that it was sole-sourced to a non-Yukon firm.

Keep reading on CBC News


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