Whitehorse: A Government of Yukon announcement that it plans to spend $27 million this year alone to begin construction of a new F.H. Collins school raises as many questions as it answers, says Klondike MLA Sandy Silver.
“The announcement does confirm that finishing the school before the next election, instead of talking to people about what might be in it, is the top priority of the government,” Silver said. “A new design has already been chosen behind closed doors and the rush is on again to start building as soon as possible. This approach really leaves no time to talk to parents, or the school council about what they would like to see in the new building.”
Instead of barging ahead with an eye to the election calendar Silver would like to see the government go back to stakeholders for input on the design of the school, and more importantly, what is going to be contained in it.
“The demand for skilled tradespeople is on the rise across Canada and the original decision not to include a new tech and trades wing in the new F.H. Collins school was short-sighted,” he said. “The Government of Yukon could correct this earlier mistake by including this in the new project.”
Silver repeated his demand that the government release the work done by two independent estimators and any other cost estimates on the now-scrapped design. During question period Monday the Minister refused to provide them.
‘The government says these estimates confirm the school could be built within the old budget estimate,” he said. “Release the documents and the public can see if the numbers actually match up or if the government already knew the bids were going to come in well over the target number.”
Silver also called on the Premier to release a full accounting of the money that has been spent so far on this Yukon Party fiasco.
“New budget documents indicate that over $6 million has been spent on the project to date,” he said. “The government knows how much money it spent and should have no problem releasing that information to the public. It remains to be seen whether any of the work completed to date can be used in the new construction or whether it will all have to be redone.”
For additional information contact:
Jason Cunning 667-8942
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