Timmins city councillor Rick Dubeau is alleging city staff deliberately misled council over the cost of the Connecting Link repairs. This came out during last night’s meeting, as Dubeau claims the city voted on an illegal resolution. This issue stems from a spike in cost, which means the city could afford to have 1.4 kilometres of Highway 101 reconstructed for $4.8 million. That is compared to the original scope of work, which was meant to be 2.2 kilometres, also for $4.8 million.

Dubeau says when council voted to approve the reconstruction, there was no mention of the change in the scope of work. He says the written resolution, pictured below, still said 2.2 kilometres and City Clerk Steph Palmateer made no mention of any length when reading the resolution aloud. Dubeau says council was never advised of the change. However, he does concede that the change was outlined in the presentation made by city engineer Luc Duval, but notes it was never verbally reported.

Photo: The resolution council approved during the July 25th meeting. Supplied by: Rick Dubeau.

Photo: The resolution council approved during the July 25th meeting. Supplied by: Rick Dubeau.

However, Mayor Steve Black counters that argument. He says Dubeau is referencing  the by-law document that was attached in council’s package and not the resolution that was voted on at the July 25th meeting. Black says every council member was sent an email following that meeting, saying a mistake was made and a special meeting would be allowed before a tender was signed. Any council member could have requested that meeting, but Black says not a single one responded to his email.

Black says there was no deliberate misleading of council, and the city clerk made a mistake in the by-law. He says it was drafted on the original tender of 2.2 kilometres, and not updated when the work was changed  to 1.4 kilometres. You can hear the audio of that by-law vote below. In an email to Moose FM, Black says openly stating staff is misleading council is bordering on defamation of character and slander in his opinion, unless there is concrete proof it happened.

Photo: The official wording of the July 25th vote. Supplied by Steve Black.

Photo: The official wording of the July 25th vote. Supplied by Steve Black.

Dubeau says that internal email, pictured below, didn’t mention any mistakes made by staff about the scope of work, and only asked if council was clear on the details. Dubeau told Moose FM he will now be calling on the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to investigate the situation, as he calls the resolution an illegal one and says it should be rescinded. He maintains his belief that council was deliberately misled to downplay the change in the work.

The internal memo sent to council regarding the changes to the scope of work. Supplied by Steve Black.

Photo: The internal memo sent to council regarding the changes to the scope of work. Supplied by Steve Black.

The audio of the resolution voted on by council on July 25th is below:

 

Hear last night’s exchange between Mayor Steve Black and Councillor Rick Dubeau below:

Previous story:

Higher than expected construction costs means less work in phase one of the Connecting Link redesign

 

Follow up story:

Dubeau: City paying for 40 per cent more asphalt than the MTO’s Highway 11 standard