June 18, 2014 6:25 pm

Drop-In Centre defends itself against allegations of contract breach

CALGARY- The fallout continues over the Drop-In Centre’s plan to open a building in northeast Calgary, with the organization now defending itself over an alleged breach of contract.

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Officials deny they haven’t met the conditions of the provincial grant that would provide more than $5 million for its new project to turn the Quality Inn into housing. Stipulations included that there had to be sufficient community consultation, which area residents say hasn’t happened.

“It’s our understanding that we are compliant, and that we have met the terms of the grant,” says Debbie Newman from the Drop-In Centre. “I have not received a phone call, and as I understand it’s in the hands of the minister.”

The province’s municipal affairs department says it’s rescinding the grant, claiming the organization changed the original plan. However, the Drop-in Centre says its requested and received a written exemption on consultation from someone in the ministry two years ago.

“…there will be no issue with this, in fact I just signed off on another project, where all we are doing is a MOU between the Proponent and the Province which commits to you working with your neighbours, in lieu of consultation,” the e-mail from the assistant deputy minister of municipal affairs reads. “This sounds like a great opportunity so good luck.”

Based on that exchange, the Drop-In Centre purchased the Quality Inn, paying more than $8 million for the property.

Municipal Affairs Minister Greg Weadick says he is reviewing the file, and will have a detailed response later this week.

City planners still have to approve their development permit application.

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