Info on Rossland contracts buried on website

Rossland resident shares where to find public reports on the City's webiste.

Most people in Rossland are aware of the circumstances surrounding the City’s former Building Inspector, Jason Ward, issuing contracts, worth about $185,000, to his own company (ADA Co. Inc.) for renovation work on the arena.

Following Mr. Ward’s abrupt departure from the employ of the City in October 2012 and the “friendly” gathering in the Seniors Centre in January 2013 where Mayor Granstrom unsuccessfully tried to explain what Council was going to do to address the issue, Council asked the Electrical Inspector and Fairbank Architects to review the renovation work done in the arena in 2010 and 2011. Reports from those inspections were received by the City by the end of February 2013.

In April, under the provisions of Freedom Of Information (FIPPA) legislation, I asked to see copies of those reports because they had not been released publicly by the City. My request was refused. I appealed the City’s refusal to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) to review their decision. The OIPC had scheduled an inquiry to be held about the City’s refusal to release the reports with initial submissions due on December 19, 2013.

But lo and behold! – the City has just released the reports. They are available on the City website but you’ll have to look hard to find them. They are not highlighted on the home page of the City’s website under “Recent News & Notices”, they are buried in the section on “Reports & Studies” under “Arena Reports”. They make for interesting reading.

While it appears that the City realized that their refusal to release the reports was unjustified, and that the OIPC would undoubtedly order the City to release the reports, they really don’t seem to want the people of Rossland to find out what the reports say. No wonder. The reports contain comments that point to the failure of senior staff and Council to monitor the work of their employees and to take responsible corrective action.

The Electrical Inspector’s report identified “multiple technical non-compliant aspects of the installation” that did not conform to the BC Electrical Safety Regulations. The Electrical Inspector ordered the City to rectify the non-compliances before February 28, 2013. There has been no word from the City that these safety-related non-compliances were rectified nor what the cost was if they were.

The 23 page Fairbank Architects report contains many findings, opinions, and recommendations that underline the inadequacies of the work done by ADA, and the questionable value of the work performed.

The City’s refusal to notify the public of these safety-related issues is outrageous. The FIPPA specifically states that a public body must disclose to the public information about a risk of significant harm to the environment or to the health or safety of the public, or the disclosure of which is, for any other reason, clearly in the public interest.

In spite of Mayor Granstrom’s statement at the “friendly” meeting in the Seniors Hall that “I will say that the fact that we got value for money is fact,” it appears that the fact is not in fact, fact.

This whole disgraceful chapter in the history of Rossland continues, largely as a result of the stonewalling by Mayor Granstrom and, with the sole exception of Councillor Kathy Moore, the inertia of the remainder of Council. Council appears to have taken little, or no, action to find the whole truth in this matter. There has been no attempt to provide a full accounting of the costs associated with the project.

I imagine Council prefers that the whole issue would simply disappear.

Laurie Charlton

Rossland

Just Posted

Area A Director Ali Grieve (right), Village of Fruitvale Mayor Steve Morissette (front), and Village of Montrose Mayor Mike Walsh (left) held a congratulatory ceremony for Beaver Valley students who are part of the Class of 2021 graduates of J. L. Crowe Secondary at Beaver Creek Park on Thursday. Photo: Jim Bailey
Beaver Valley Grads of 2021

Beaver Valley mayors, RDKB Area A director celebrate their 2021 graduates with gift ceremony

Adrian Moyls is the Selkirk College Class of 2021 valedictorian and graduate of the School of Health and Human Services. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College valedictorian proves mettle in accomplishment

Adrian Moyls is a graduate of the School of Health and Human Services

A volunteer delivers food to families as part of a West Kootenay EcoSociety program. Photo: Submitted
Farms to Friends delivers 2,500th bag of food to families in need

The program services communities in the Nelson, Trail and Castlegar areas

Selkirk College has begun its search in earnest for a leader to replace president Angus Graeme who is set to retire from his position in May 2022. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College seeks community input for president search

Current president Angus Graeme retires next year

A report shows nine West Kootenay communities are have more low-income persons than the provincial average. File photo
Study casts new light on poverty in the West Kootenay

Nine communities in region have more low-income residents than provincial average

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read