Norcope countersues government over airport apron saga

The company claims the government was negligent when it failed to share relevant geotechnical information it needed to perform the work and wants to be compensated.

Norcope Enterprises Ltd. is countersuing the Yukon government over the $3.7-million airport apron project.

The company claims the government was negligent when it failed to share relevant geotechnical information it needed to perform the work and wants to be compensated.

The government sued Norcope back in February claiming Norcope’s work was deficient and that it defaulted on its obligations under the apron contract.

In a statement of defence filed March 20 in Yukon Supreme Court, Norcope denies the allegations and claims the government failed to provide “geotechnical information” it had.

The government contracted Norcope in 2014 to replace 250 apron panels — the apron is where planes park and unload passengers — at Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport.

In its original lawsuit the government said it notified Norcope of problems with the work as early as June 2014, a month after the work started.

In July 2015 the government said it had identified “major deficiencies” with the work done and asked Norcope to fix them.

Norcope, the government said, claimed there were no deficiencies and that it had no obligation to redo the work.

For Norcope, the government breached its duty of care it owes to contractors when it comes to providing accurate tender, design and specification documents that they can rely on.

“The government was negligent in making the representations which were false, inaccurate and misleading,” the countersuit reads.

Norcope is claiming an unspecified amount of both general and special damages.

The government in turn is seeking to be reimbursed the entire cost of the contract.

Back in 2015 Norcope CEO Doug Gonder told the News the government had ordered the panels to be built without proper support underneath resulting in the concrete sinking as soon as it was poured.

“They just ignored everything and kept building. It’s a real shame because this is a high-profile job that should have been delivered properly,” he said at the time.

Instead, he said, “we’ve got a failed project.”

There will be a lot for the Yukon Supreme Court to sort through, since neither party can’t even agree what the cost of the contract was.

The government claims the contract was worth $3.7 million, while Norcope contends it was $3.5 million.

In its statement of defence against the YG lawsuit, Norcope argues the allegations aren’t detailed enough for the company to answer them.

But in case it is found to have been responsible for loss or damages to the government, the company said in its statement of defence the whole thing is the government’s fault.

The apron panel saga made it all the way to the Yukon legislative assembly when during question period in December 2015 the Yukon Party government blamed Norcope for the apron issues and said the company would be responsible for replacing the panels.

Gonder at the time claimed that a letter the government sent him waived his company’s liability.

A spokesperson for the Department of Highways and Public Works previously told the News the work was completed during the summer of 2014. The majority of the project was paid for by the federal government, with the Yukon government pitching in about $525,000.

Contact Pierre Chauvin at pierre.chauvin@yukon-news.com

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

Just Posted

Benjamin Poudou, Mount MacIntyre’s ski club manager, poses for a photo in the club’s ski rental area on Nov. 16. The club has sold around 1,850 passes already this year, compared to 1067 passes on Oct. 31 last year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Early season ski pass sales up as Yukoners prepare for pandemic winter

Season passe sales at Mount McIntyre for cross-country skiing are up by around 60 per cent this year

The City of Whitehorse will be spending $655,000 to upgrade the waste heat recovery system at the Canada Games Centre. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New waste heat recovery system coming to the CGC

Council approves $655,000 project

Yukon First Nation Education Directorate education advocates and volunteers help to sort and distribute Christmas hamper grocery boxes outside Elijah Smith Elementary School on Feb. 23. (Rebecca Bradford Andrew/Submitted)
First Nation Education Directorate begins Christmas hamper program

Pick-ups for hampers are scheduled at local schools

Cyrine Candido, cashier, right, wipes down the new plexi-glass dividers at Superstore on March 28, before it was commonplace for them to wear masks. The Yukon government is relaunching the Yukon Essential Workers Income Support Program as the second wave of COVID-19 begins to take place in the territory. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Essential Workers Income Support Program extended to 32 weeks

More than 100 businesses in the territory applied for the first phase of the program

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Keith Lay speaks at a city council meeting on Dec. 4, 2017. Lay provided the lone submission to council on the city’s proposed $33 million capital spending plan for 2021 on Nov. 23, taking issue with a number of projects outlined. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Resident raises issues with city’s capital budget

Council to vote on budget in December

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

Most Read