Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Mayor's Celebration of RCMP detachment progress brings Social media commentary and questions over Civic Contract awards

A Social Media message from Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain on Monday evening found the Mayor celebrating the progress for work on the new RCMP detachment. 

Which  as the city has noted starts with the demolition within the next few weeks of the old Jehovah Witness building at Third Avenue East and McBride.

As we outlined yesterday, that news was shared by the city late Monday afternoon, and the Mayor used his Civic orientated Facebook page to share those notes and invite the public to review his full State of the City Presentation for other notes of civic progress.

The news of the pending demolition for the old Jehovah Witness Hall has however stoked some conversation on how the City has made decisions on past Contract Awards, with a number of those who follow the Mayor's social media page weighing in on the topic in the last 24 hours.

Among some of the commentary so far: 

Questions about the need for more details related to the City's Master Agreement and awarding process,  questions towards transparency on city contracts and themes related to a lack of local workers language in some recent instances.

That dialogue for the Mayor can be reviewed here, though to date Mayor Brain has not responded to any of the questions, or comments that have been posted to his feed. Of note from the social media page is the need to select "All Comments" to gain the full overview of commentary so far.

We've chronicled many of the past Request for Bids and Contract awards from the City through our archive page available here.

As well, any additional discussion and background that has take place towards some of the larger awards can be explored through our Major Project Archive or Council Discussion page.

Many of the elements from the Mayor's State of the City presentation can be reviewed through our Archive here, though as we noted at the start of the month, the evening's online presentation did not include the Question and Answer period that followed. 

That appears to have been a post presentation session with the Lester Centre audience which seems to have generated some of the discussion to the mayor's social media page this week.

Should the Mayor not make use of his social media forum to clarify some of the concerns being noted, the next opportunity for an update would be the July 25th Council session, the only public Council Session scheduled for this month, as Council enjoys its more relaxed summer schedule.

Mr. Brain and the City Council members may want to use that session to provide an update on how the City is approaching its contract awarding and clear up any misconceptions that Council may believe are making their way into the conversation.

As well, with only one meeting scheduled for this month, the July 25th session should also feature a Committee of the Whole session, which has a public comment period available for community members to raise items of note for Council to hear and perhaps even comment towards or take under consideration.

The percolating controversy on Social media over Civic Contract awards would seem a tailor made question for such a session to get any concerns or commentary on the public record, particularly if any answers offered up in the interim don't provide the clarity that has been sought out to date.


  1. To not put large jobs out to tender is not in the best interest of the taxpayers.

    Fairness is one of the biggest advantages of public bidding. Contractors want to bid on a project where they have an equal chance of winning, and no bias. Another advantage is that the process is open to all qualified bidders, ruling out discrimination.

    Prince Rupert doesn’t seem interested in fairness.

  2. Build it and build it under budget, shock everyone.

    Post project, a nice to have would be for the city to report what percentage of the work went to locally based contractors.

    For local comrades that think community based contractors have the capacity and skill set to perform the entire scope of work. You are unrealistic.

    1. The city so far has been failing on building under budget

  3. The interesting thing about the bidding and bonding practice is the owner can be protected somewhat from cost overruns. The winner of a contract through the bid process is free to hire locals to to do some of the work.
    The RCMP building is a blank cheque with the taxpayer assuming all costs. Any mismanagement by the contractor is borne by the city.