Hamilton has instated a two-year moratorium on giving jobs to a contractor for in its beleaguered Tim Hortons Field stadium project.
“For now I think there needs to be a period of time based on our experience with this company to basically heal our wounds before we consider anything … in the future,” said Coun. Sam Merulla.
Merulla made the motion after a closed session discussion about the city’s relationship with the contractor, Kenaidan Constracting Ltd., a Mississauga company that missed the stadium completion deadline by months, CBC has reported.
Kenaidan was 25 per cent of the Ontario Sports Solutions consortium, which Infrastructure Ontario hired to build the $145-million stadium in time for the 2015 Pan Am Games. The city assumed ownership after the stadium was substantially complete.
The city is about to settle a lawsuit with the builder over construction delays.
But in the meantime, Merulla said, the decision will disqualify Kenaidan from being involved in city projects through March 7, 2019.
“I think there are a number of projects that they wanted to be involved with,” Merulla said. “It has nothing to do with the litigation, from my perspective, but their apology speaks volumes.”
The suspension came after Kenaidan president David Kirkland apologized to a Hamilton council committee for the company’s part in the project delays.
Kirkland said Kenaidan prides itself on its ability to work cooperatively and collaboratively during projects, Hamiltonnews.com reports.
Infrastructure Ontario oversaw the project.
“We want our projects to be really successful,” Kirkland told members of the audit, finance and administrative committee March 6. “Clearly this is not what happened at the stadium and for that we actually are sorry. It’s something that we regret. We will regret for a long time in terms of the impact on our reputation.”
Kirkland’s apologetic acknowledgement of the company’s involvement comes when a possible settlement could be in the works without legal action taking place, the local publication reported.
The city issued a notice of action in Hamilton Superior Court about the stadium project about a year ago, and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats filed similar court action.
Hamilton’s notice named Ontario Sports Solutions, and its principles, Kenaidan Contracting Ltd., and Bouygues Building Canada, as well as the 2015 Pan Am organizing committee, Infrastructure Ontario and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Football Club, asking for about $35 million in damages for breach of contract, negligence and misrepresentation when it came to the planning, procurement, design, construction, project management and other issues.
Kirkland said the work done on the stadium by his company is “not representative of our capabilities as a contractor.”
Infrastructure Ontario stated the stadium would be completed by June 30, 2014 in time for the Tiger-Cats to play there. However, there were delays and stadium was still under construction by Sept. 1, 2014, officially opening n May 2015, more than 10 months overdue.
City officials have stated the stadium still has deficiencies, Hamiltonnews.com reports.
Kirkland said Kenaidan has worked on many other projects in Hamilton, including a water retention pond and the West Harbour GO station.
Kirkland said if given another chance to bid and win a tender for a project in Hamilton, “I will give my personal guarantee…we will demonstrate to the city the quality of the contract we built our reputation on.”