Hospital corporation’s contractor quagmire grows

The Yukon Hospital Corporation and Dowland Contracting are facing the largest lawsuit yet over unpaid subcontractor work at the Watson Lake hospital project. On March 28, B.C.

The Yukon Hospital Corporation and Dowland Contracting are facing the largest lawsuit yet over unpaid subcontractor work at the Watson Lake hospital project.

On March 28, B.C. contractor RL 7 Mechanical filed a statement of claim in Yukon Supreme Court for $1.13 million plus interest, claiming that Dowland Contracting hasn’t paid for extra work completed at the site.

RL 7 was hired by Dowland as a subcontractor on the Watson Lake hospital project. The contract stated that RL 7 would be paid $4.1 million in total, and that work would be finished on March 30, 2012. But the project ran into delays, and RL 7 had to keep working on the site. It claims Dowland hasn’t paid for any of that extra work, which continued up until January 2013.

On Feb. 7, 2013 RL 7 filed a lien for $1.27 million. RL 7 also claims that the hospital corporation should have held back 10 per cent of its payments to Dowland, and has filed a lien against that holdback money.

The statement of claim also asks the court that, if the amount of the lien is not paid within one month of recovery of judgment, an order be made directing that the land, equipment, machinery and structures at the hospital project be sold and the profits credited against the lien.

Dowland is the general contractor hired by the hospital corporation to manage both the Watson Lake and Dawson City hospital projects – both of which are now over budget, behind schedule and facing a number of smaller lawsuits by subcontractors.

No statement of defence has yet been filed in the RL 7 case.

Meanwhile, Dowland is also facing lawsuits over a hydroelectric project in Terrace, B.C.

Dowland is the general contractor hired by Veresen, the owners of the Dasque-Middle run-of-river project. It is facing a lawsuit filed in mid-March by Terrace company Main Logging, which is claiming more than $110,000 in unpaid trucking work.

In defence, Dowland has said it is owed millions of dollars by Veresen, and it can’t pay its subcontractors until it is paid itself.

According to a March 6 memo that Dowland sent its subcontractors on the Dasque-Middle project, “Dowland has performed a significant amount of work for which we are owed payment by Veresen and, due to the owner’s unwillingness to compensate Dowland as per agreements, we have submitted several claims.”

Dowland also told its subcontractors that it was pursuing “all available avenues” to collect on the money Veresen owes, and promised an update by the end of March. That update hasn’t yet happened, but Dowland has also pulled its workers and equipment from the Terrace project.

The Dasque-Middle is a run-of-river project that would divert river water through turbines to generate electricity. It was slated to be finished last year.

In March, Canada’s auditor general released a report slamming the Yukon Hospital Corporation and the territorial government for doing a rushed job on both hospital replacement projects, and possibly wasting taxpayers’ money on facilities that it cannot prove are necessary.

Dowland has repeatedly refused to comment on either the Terrace or Yukon projects. The Yukon Hospital Corporation could not be reached for comment by press time.

Contact Jesse Winter at

jessew@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, speaks at a press conference in Whitehorse on March 30. Hanley announced three more COVID-19 cases in a release on Nov. 21. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three more COVID-19 cases, new exposure notice announced

The Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Brendan Hanley, announced three… Continue reading

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: COVID-19 strikes another blow at high-school students

They don’t show up very often in COVID-19 case statistics, but they… Continue reading

The Cornerstone housing project under construction at the end of Main Street in Whitehorse on Nov. 19. Community Services Minister John Streicker said he will consult with the Yukon Contractors Association after concerns were raised in the legislature about COVID-19 isolation procedures for Outside workers at the site. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Concerns raised about alternate self-isolation plans for construction

Minister Streicker said going forward, official safety plans should be shared across a worksite

The Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley, pictured at a press conference in October, announced three new cases of COVID-19 on Nov. 20 as well as a new public exposure notice. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New COVID-19 cases, public exposure notice announced

The new cases have all been linked to previous cases

Beatrice Lorne was always remembered by gold rush veterans as the ‘Klondike Nightingale’. (Yukon Archives/Maggies Museum Collection)
History Hunter: Beatrice Lorne — The ‘Klondike Nightingale’

In June of 1929, 11 years after the end of the First… Continue reading

Samson Hartland is the executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines. The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during its annual general meeting held virtually on Nov. 17. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Yukon Chamber of Mines elects new board

The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during… Continue reading

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and — unsurprisingly — hospital visitations were down. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Annual report says COVID-19 had a large impact visitation numbers at Whitehorse General

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

City council was closed to public on March 23 due to gathering rules brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The council is now hoping there will be ways to improve access for residents to directly address council, even if it’s a virtual connection. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Solution sought to allow for more public presentations with council

Teleconference or video may provide opportunities, Roddick says

Megan Waterman, director of the Lastraw Ranch, is using remediated placer mine land in the Dawson area to raise local meat in a new initiative undertaken with the Yukon government’s agriculture branch. (Submitted)
Dawson-area farm using placer miner partnership to raise pigs on leased land

“Who in their right mind is going to do agriculture at a mining claim? But this made sense.”

Riverdale residents can learn more details of the City of Whitehorse’s plan to FireSmart a total of 24 hectares in the area of Chadburn Lake Road and south of the Hidden Lakes trail at a meeting on Nov. 26. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Meeting will focus on FireSmart plans

Riverdale residents will learn more details of the City of Whitehorse’s FireSmarting… Continue reading

The City of Whitehorse is planning to borrow $10 million to help pay for the construction of the operations building (pictured), a move that has one concillor questioning why they don’t just use reserve funds. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Councillor questions borrowing plan

City of Whitehorse would borrow $10 million for operations building

Most Read