Manitoba Justice to review city hall audits

WINNIPEG – The province will review two damning audits out of city hall.

“Manitoba Justice will determine the best method for review of these documents once they are received from the city,” the Manitoba government said in a statement issued late Wednesday. “The province is committed to a thorough review and will advise of next steps when that review is complete.”

City councillors voted in favour of passing along the police headquarters and the real estate audits to Manitoba Justice.

“Does this review mean something more nefarious going on? Again, the review will at least help us answer that question,” said River Heights Coun. John Orlikow.

Transcona Coun. Russ Wyatt wants Premier Greg Selinger to call a public inquiry into the real estate transactions.

“There should be a full public inquiry with powers of subpoena, powers of testimony under oath and powers of sequestering evidence,” said Wyatt.

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However, he does not want the to ask the province himself. He wants Winnipeggers to make the call instead.

“I am hoping the citizens of Winnipeg will say we want to get the answers, we want to know what is going on, we want the premier to use the powers he has,” said Wyatt.

The audit of the over-budget Winnipeg Police Service headquarters was presented to Winnipeg city council on Tuesday.

Auditors from KPMG found project management policies and requirements weren’t always followed and there were gaps in reporting. The project’s contingency fund of 12.5 per cent should have been significantly higher, around 30 per cent, the auditors also suggested.

Over four years, council approved an additional $67 million in funding for the project, the audit says. That doesn’t include another $7 million in construction period interest changes.

Another issue was the guaranteed maximum price for the project of $137,100,000 was agreed on based on only 30 per cent of the design work completed.

The final price tag of the police headquarters at this point is pegged at $210 million dollars.

READ MORE: Winnipeg city council debates real estate audit

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