After several meetings that touched on the issue since it was brought up in March, Vancouver city council approved a motion today that will have city staff examine the municipal government’s relationship with SNC-Lavalin and Bombardier.
The motion was spearheaded by NPA city councillor Colleen Hardwick, who raised concerns about how both companies could be involved with the region’s future SkyTrain projects if they are tied with various criminal and corruption investigations.
“A criminal conviction against SNC-Lavalin could result in them not being allowed to bid on either the phase 1 Millennium Line extension Broadway subway from VCC to Arbutus or the phase 2 extension from Arbutus to UBC,” wrote Hardwick, adding that Bombardier is also being audited by the World Bank.
Her motion also requests city staff to report back to city council on a TransLink staff report to the Mayors’ Council on any proprietary rights or bidding advantages either company may have for the future Broadway Extension of the Millennium Line and the ability for other firms to bid competitively.
An original motion by Hardwick asserted SNC-Lavalin and Bombardier held proprietary rights over the region’s SkyTrain system, but this and other elements of the motion were grossly inaccurate and as a result, ultimately removed.
Most of the revised motion’s action items passed today, but city council rejected Hardwick’s request to have city council delay any further decisions on the Broadway Extension.
The first phase of the Broadway Extension, a continuous westward extension of SkyTrain’s Millennium Line, will reach Arbutus Street. The major contractor procurement process led by the provincial government is currently underway, and construction is anticipated to begin next year for a 2025 opening.
Earlier this year, both Vancouver city council and TransLink’s Mayors’ Council approved moving forward with planning phase two of the Broadway Extension to UBC as a continuation of SkyTrain.