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Mayor shares concerns over alleged hospital payment dispute

Grande Prairie Mayor Bill Given is echoing concerns of subcontractors not being paid for their work on the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital. Former contractors who helped build the facility say they’re owed upwards of $60 million in labour and material costs by the provincial government.

In a story first reported by Global Edmonton, Edmonton-based Schendel Construction claims they’re owed over $26 million for their three years on the job. That contract came to a halt when initial project managers Graham Construction were taken off the build.

Given says the general expectation is for companies to get paid for their work and believes in the growing worry of smaller companies losing out on potential money owed.

“While there is a court process to sort that out, I think there are some concerns about how much money is set aside for that court process and how much money will actually get through the prime contractor and down to the sub-trades.”

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Graham Construction lost the contract to the hospital in November 2018, and the new one was subsequently awarded to Clark Builders to try and get construction finished by the end of 2019.

The timeline on the hospital has been a point of discussion since initially announced back in 2011, with doors set to open just over four years later in 2015. Given says for a long time, the new hospital was the single largest capital project in the province, and he admits he understands the frustration of residents.

“I have no doubt that the people in the Peace Country and Grande Prairie are tired of waiting and would be happy to see the completion of the project. But, I also have a high degree of confidence that the project is being well managed and underway.”

Clark Builders told in February that construction is starting up again in phases. No new timeline for completion has been given.

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