May 22, 2014 6:58 pm

$45M High River clean up contract called ‘brazen conflict of interest’

CALGARY- News that a huge government contract to clean up High River was awarded to a PC party donor is being called a “brazen conflict of interest.”

After the flood hit in June 2013, the province gave Tervita an untendered, sole-sourced $45 million contract for cleanup work.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) complains there’s no way of measuring if the province is getting full value, because the job order lacks any detail.

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“It doesn’t say ‘do this, this and this’ with specific asks and specific contracts,” explains Derek Fildebrandt from the CTF. “It just says ‘send us bills for up to $45 million.’ That’s a very strange, open-ended contract, and one that we are not convinced that taxpayers received value for money for.”

Dozens of homes in High River are slated for demolition, and the CTF claims Tervita’s fee for the work is much higher than other private companies.

The opposition party is also upset, saying they’ve discovered that Tervita donated $36,000 to the PC party over the past four years, including $1,800 to former premier Alison Redford’s constituency.

The Wildrose Party is now demanding a ban on corporate donations, based on the contract.

Global News requested a comment from Tervita on the matter, and they responded with the following e-mail statement:

“We’re unable to respond to your questions by your deadline today, but will strive to respond to you as fully as we can as soon as possible.”

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