Conservative Party Members of Parliament expressed massive concern to the Department of Public Works last week, as the department said that the renovation of Parliament Hill in Ottawa would exceed the projected costs by 38 percent. The project was already expected to cost $3.04 billion dollars, according to Blacklock's Reporter.
“Can we be assured these costs will not escalate beyond this 38 percent?” asked Portage-Lisgar MP Candice Bergen to the House Leader. “In the private sector there’s somebody paying the bills, there’s a business case that’s being made, and that usually helps provide checks and balances.”
Assistant deputy minister of the Public Works Department Rob Wright told the House of Commons board of internal economy that the project first part of the project alone was estimated at $530 million, and that an an additional $203.5 million in contingencies was "normal."
“As we move into construction, there are essentially unknown conditions,” he said. “We will run through a number of those experiences as we move through in a hundred-year old building.”
Conservative MP for Stormont-Dundas Eric Duncan drew comparisons between Canada's Parliament Hill renovation project, and a similar one in Edinburgh, that saw similar delays and increases in pricing.
“That building was supposed to be completed around 2001; it was several years late,” said Duncan.
“Original estimates were supposed to be between $17 million and $70 million, and it ended up at $731 million,” said Duncan. “I do find a lot of similarities.”
“We’re digging a hole on the front lawn but we don’t know what’s going to be in it, and we don’t know how much it’s going to cost,” Duncan continued. “To me, I think average Canadians would be watching that and might be a bit concerned.”
Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) confirmed on Thursday that Canada's federal debt has reached an astonishing $1 trillion after Canada's unprecedented pandemic spending,
Since the pandemic began, the Trudeau government has sunk billions into efforts to place Canada's economy in a hibernation throughout the lockdown, according to Blacklock's Reporter.