B.C.’s North Shore WWTP faces audit demands amid cost overruns

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As some municipal politicians in British Columbia are calling for the province’s auditor to step in with a review of the ballooning costs for the construction of the North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant, the outgoing Metro Vancouver Board chair says he’s initiating his own independent review of the situation.

The replacement plant was originally set to be completed by 2020 for $700 million. However, it is now expected to be ready in 2030 at a cost of $3.86 billion. Costs have soared in part due to a switch in contractors, increased construction costs, and inflation.  

Outgoing Metro Vancouver Board chair, George Harvie, who is also mayor of Delta, told local media that he wants the public to have confidence that local officials are managing costs effectively for the major project.

Harvie’s own council voted him out of the regional representative position on the board in May with little in the way of explanation for the move.

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Harvie released a statement assuring an independent review after seven city councillors from across the Lower Mainland wrote an open letter to B.C. Auditor General Michael Pickup to get to the bottom of the plant’s cost overruns.

B.C. Premier David Eby also called for a review of the project at a recent news conference, telling media that “the time has really come for Metro Vancouver to hire an auditor, independent of them, to dig into this and provide a report.”

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