Taxpayer money for new HMP at risk

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Taxpayer money for new HMP at risk thanks to Liberal favoritism: Petten
Petten says after two of three companies have backed out of the bidding process, the replacement for Her Majesty’s Penitentiary could become a sole-source contract.
Wednesday, December 8, 2021

(December 8, 2021) – Barry Petten, PC Official Opposition Shadow Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure and MHA for Conception Bay South, says after two of three companies have backed out of the bidding process, the replacement for Her Majesty’s Penitentiary could become a sole-source contract.

Petten was responding to a report published by allNewfoundlandLabrador.com, which revealed only one company remains in the bidding process for the new penitentiary, after the other two competitors dropped out of the bidding process.

“Industry sources have told my office two companies backed out because it was clear one company was being favoured by government to be awarded the contract to build the penitentiary. The Liberals are fostering favoritism when awarding contracts and it is bad news for the taxpayers of Newfoundland and Labrador. Some companies are turning their focus outside of the province, meaning less competition in the local market,” said Petten.

“Companies need to compete for these contracts to ensure the best value for the province. A sole-source contract for what could be a $200- to $300-million facility is just not acceptable. The tendering process should be cancelled and re-started to ensure the taxpayers are protected and a proper competition can take place.”

Petten says he wants to see a new penitentiary built as soon as possible, but everything has to be done right.

“The Liberals are favouring their own donors in awarding these contracts and other businesses are taking note and focusing elsewhere. The contract to build the new Adult Mental Health and Addictions Facility was awarded to a donor for $40 million more than the lowest bid by another company. It’s clear what’s happening and the Liberals are creating a non-competitive environment here in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Petten.

“Now, government’s cozy relationship with certain contractors is forcing out competitors, meaning the public can’t be assured they’re getting the best value for their tax dollar. The Liberals have a track record for favouring Liberal insiders through numbered companies, secret deals, and preference for sole-source contracts.”

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