Policies in place when it comes to awarding tenders: City of Fort St. John

The remains of the Gymnastics building at the Fort St. John Rec Centre. Photo by Chris Newton

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The City of Fort St. John says they have policies that must be followed when it comes to awarding tenders locally or out of province.

Council recently awarded the tender for the North Peace Arena Gymnastics demolition to Pacific Blasting and Demolition from Edmonton, Alberta, for $688,135. Toms Construction from Fort St. John also put in a bid of $916,876.

General Manager of Community Services, Wally Ferris, says there would be legal trouble if a local company was favoured.

“There is no local favouritism. That is actually against the law to favour local bids. As a municipality, we are required to make sure we go through a competitive bid process.”

When it comes to the gymnastics building and the demolition, Ferris says there were many factors that came into play.

“Only two bids were received, one was local for just around $917,000 and the other was out of Alberta at $688,000. There are a few things that come into play here. Number one is that it is illegal to favour local contractors plus that is over $250,000 in savings so that would not be a prudent investment or expenditure of taxpayer dollars on our part to take a higher bid for the same amount of work.”

Ferris says BC and Alberta are also governed by a Trade Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement.

“That is a legal agreement that the provinces have in place basically to make the city post this on a website and areas like BC Bid where Alberta companies can bid on projects in BC and visa versa where companies in BC can bid on projects in Alberta.”