Christy Clark’s BC Liberals overpaid favoured donor $572 million to build bridge

By Amy Chen

The former BC Liberal government under Christy Clark overpaid party donor Kiewit/Flatiron General Partnership more than half a billion dollars for the Port Mann Bridge project, documents reveal.

While bridge was to be built under a fixed-price contract, figures obtained by the CBC show the contractor was paid a total of $572 million above the agreed price[1]

Kiewit/Flatiron General Partnership[2], Peter Kiewit and Sons, Peter Kiewit Infrastructure, and Flatiron Constructors Canada[3] have between them donated nearly $120,000 to the BC Liberals.

The bridge boondoggle is not the only time Clark’s Liberals have seemingly rewarded Kiewit for the donations.

Last year, the crown corporation BC Hydro named Peter Kiewit Infrastructure as preferred contractor for WAC Bennett Dam Repairs[4]

Clark’s administration also shortlisted Peter Kiewit Infrastructure Co as potential contractor for the $3.5 billion George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project[5]

Kiewit made the cut even though the contractor had put British Columbians lives in danger by using substandard material while building the retaining wall for the new Sea-to-Sky Highway in 2015, forcing the highway to be closed while emergency repairs were carried out.

Ashok Bhatti, district manager for the Ministry of Transportation and Highways south coast region, told Northshore News that repairs are needed because a review of the project showed that Peter Kiewit and Sons used parts in the retaining wall that do not meet ministry standards[6]

Executives of Peter Kiewit and Sons have also pleaded guilty in connection to bid rigging in Oklahoma[7]

BC Greens called for an independent review of the Port Mann bridge spending.

“British Columbians deserve answers,” Leader Andrew Weaver said. “A public inquiry into the management of this project must be conducted to determine whether taxpayer interests have been adequately protected.”

“Taxpayers deserve to know whether their money is being well managed,” B.C. Green caucus spokesperson for transportation Adam Olsen said. “The allegations published today raise serious questions as to whether this was the case with the Port Mann bridge.”

“We must ensure accountability and transparency so that transportation is managed in the most efficient means possible,” Olsen added.

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