June 20th, 2019

Government Must Respect All Party Committee Recommendation to Avoid Billion Dollar Boondoggle

OTTAWA –This week, a Parliamentary Committee called on the government to release critical information about its controversial plan to overhaul the central heating and cooling infrastructure that services some 80 buildings in the National Capital Region.

The unanimous recommendation calls on Public Services and Procurement Canada to make public its analysis of the estimated Greenhouse Gas emissions reduction associated with the program so as to “enable its findings to be scrutinized”.

“The government says this project will cut emissions and save money, but they’re not willing to show any numbers to prove it,” said Daniel Blaikie, the NDP Vice-Chair of the committee and Critic for Public Services and Procurement. “After financial disasters like the Phoenix pay system, Canadians deserve to know the numbers before the project becomes another boondoggle.”

Testimony at committee by the public sector workers who currently run and maintain the system suggests the benefits of this multi-billion dollar investment will be far less than Canadians are being led to believe.

“There is overwhelming evidence that when governments hand over these kinds of projects to private interests, they end up being costlier and accountability goes out the window,” said the National President of PSAC Chris Aylward. “The government’s unwillingness to be forthcoming with the details doesn’t give any confidence that this project will be different and public safety could be at risk.”