Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Consultants and lawyers finding rewarding work in Prince Rupert

One of the more interesting trends from the delivery of last week's Statement of Financial Information by the City of Prince Rupert is the growing number of consultants that now seem to be finding work through the various initiatives taken on by the city.

While we've heard quite a bit about the City's planning for major projects in recent months, other than the recent presentation on the city's water supply woes, it's not often that City Council offers up much in the way of details when it comes to the planning involved, or background when it comes to the projects that they are focusing their attention on.

Many of those initiatives more than likely require some out of town assistance, as the City looks to achieve their desired results and the list of suppliers for 2015 features a number of companies that offer up consultancy in a range of disciplines.

Sixteen consultants and their payments are noted below, of that number 5 are new to the SOFI Report for this year. Links to their company overview are provided if available:

Associated Engineering
The company describes itself as passionate about building communities that are vibrant, healthy and efficient, support economic growth and improve the environment.

Big River Analytics
They offer Custom statistical Analysis and Visualization, Demographic Forecasting, Custom Database Solutions and Socioeconomic Impact Analysis among the features from their website

Coast Isle Engineering
An engineering consultant based in Prince Rupert.

GeoNorth Engineering
The company provides geo-technical engineering, consulting and testing.

Insight Canada Incorporated
The Montreal based company offers solutions to clients to realize their goals, through guidance and expertise to select, implement and manage complex technology solutions.

Klohn Crippen Berger
An award winning engineering, geoscience and environmental consulting firm with global influence.

Lane Property Advisors Inc.
Among some of the field of specialties: low profile strategic property and business advice to both private and public sector clients, liaison with government officials and acting as low key facilitator.

McElhanney Construction Services
Offer Engineering, Survey and Consulting services

Northern Laboratories
An analytical testing laboratory based in Prince Rupert

Spatial Technologies
Suppliers of survey and measurement solutions.

Sperling Hansen Associates
Engineering Consultants specializing in solid waste management services.

Stantec Consulting Inc.
Provide architectural, engineering and environmental services.

Urban Systems Ltd.
A professional consulting firm committed to supporting vibrant communities.

Vadim Computer Management Group Ltd.
Provide integrated financial and asset management software solutions for municipalities and local government.

Villholth Jensen and Associates
Consulting engineers combining technical skill with environmental sensitivity.

WSP Canada Ltd.
Professional Services firm with expertise in environmental remediation to urban planning.

As the Statement of Financial Information is mainly just a spread sheet of payments made out over the year, there is no indication as part of the information flow from the City as to what role the consultants played, or what services they provided for in 2015.

Those are the kind of questions that the city's councillors should be asking, providing some background work for the public as part of their overview of the city's operations.

However this year, when the SOFI information was introduced for approval by Council at a Special session called for June 29th, neither the six members of Council or Mayor Brain had any questions to ask of the City's Financial Officer when it came to her review of the Financial information provided.

When it comes to the legal side of the supplier's list, three firms from out of town have conducted work on behalf of the City of Prince Rupert.

The largest amount of those numbers going to the Valkyrie Law Firm which was paid $645,006 for its work in 2015, that firm has been taking the lead for the City when it comes to the long running legal dispute over the Watson Island Industrial site.

The Valkyrie Firm has become a familiar name on the SOFI Reports over the years.

The firm has been a constant part of reports since the information was first provided for public review to the City website in 2010, they have been paid the following amounts over those four years.

2014 -- $699,891
2013 -- $414,232
2012 -- $439,213
2011 -- $436,800
2010 -- $406,575

Other Law firms to receive payments from the City in 2015 included.

Lawson Lundell LLP  -- $138,042
Lidstone and Company  -- $36,698

You can explore the full list of payments to suppliers through our item from June 30th.

As well, a listing of Bids and Tenders hosted by the City can be reviewed here.

More background on City council discussions can be found on our Council Archive page.

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