REVELSTOKE (May 21, 2019) – It didn’t take long for costs to soar under John Horgan and the NDP’s misguided Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) framework.
With the NDP awarding the contract for the Illecillewaet four-laning project east of Revelstoke, the project budget has now increased by $22.3 million due in part to rising labour costs associated with its flawed CBA plan.
“The Official Opposition has been warning that previous projects undertaken under these types of agreements, like the Island Highway in the 1990s, cost taxpayers much more than they bargained for,” says MLA Jordan Sturdy, BC Liberal Transportation Critic. “This is just the first under the NDP’s new CBA scheme. If it’s already 47 per cent over budget, it doesn’t bode well for other projects also subject to CBAs.”
Local MLA Doug Clovechok says it could also spell trouble for projects that are still in the planning stages.
“In the case of this project in my riding, the federal funding share is not going to change— so B.C. taxpayers are on the hook for these increased costs,” says Clovechok, MLA for Columbia River-Revelstoke. “It seems unlikely the NDP can withstand multiple projects going this far over budget, so which projects will end up getting cancelled? Which communities will be left behind?”
Sturdy and Clovechok say B.C. communities with unique transportation needs— and workers who don’t want to be shut out of these NDP-friendly union contracts— deserve better from John Horgan and the NDP.