Dawson hospital contractor sued for outstanding bills

Dawson hospital contractor sued for outstanding bills The general contractor in charge of building Dawson City's new hospital is being taken to court over unpaid work by one of the project's subcontractors. Dennis Smith Construction Ltd.

The general contractor in charge of building Dawson City’s new hospital is being taken to court over unpaid work by one of the project’s subcontractors.

Dennis Smith Construction Ltd. filed a civil suit in the Yukon Supreme Court on Feb. 12, claiming it is owed more than $80,000 in unpaid bills by Dowland Contracting Ltd.

The Yukon Hospital Corporation is also named as a defendant in the suit.

According to court documents, Dennis Smith Construction was hired to provide exterior siding, trims and other work for the new building, which is already running late and over budget. The court filings say that the work was completed in early November.

After filing a lien for the money in December, Dennis Smith Construction is now seeking the court to order Dowland pay the owed $80,932.68, plus interest.

Dowland has yet to file a statement of defence. A man at Dowland’s Whitehorse office said that company employees have been instructed not to speak to the media, and hung up.

Opposition leader Liz Hanson said the suit is indicative of much deeper concerns with the Yukon Hospital Corporation’s handling of the project.

“The lawsuit is more of a symptom than anything else. It is a continuation of the criticisms that the auditor general has levied against the territory for not making its decisions based on information, but on what they thought was going to be winning political points. That cost us all money in the long term,” Hanson said.

An auditor general’s report on the Yukon Hospital Corporation’s capital projects is expected to be released by the end of the month.

Dowland Contracting is 51 per cent owned by the Inuvialuit Development Corporation. It has worked on major infrastructure contracts in remote communities across Canada’s North.

The Yukon Hospital Corporation could not be reached for comment by press time. (Jesse Winter)

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