LETTER: Councillor stands by record on bridge

I stand by my record on this major capital project, the city’s most costly in its history.

Re: Councillor should look at his record on bridge (Letters, Feb. 4)

A letter writer suggests I should examine my record on the Johnson Street Bridge project, but provides no examples.

I stand by my record on this major capital project, the city’s most costly in its history.

In early 2012, shortly after being elected as a city councillor, I introduced a proposal with then-councillors Lisa Helps and Shellie Gudgeon to proceed with a more conventional procurement process, in order to simplify the design, contain costs and ensure future rail capability of the new bridge (a proposal that did not receive majority support).

A month later, I voted against increasing the project budget from $77 million to $93 milion.

When preliminary bids were received in mid-2012 — and two of the three responding firms expressed serious concerns over the feasibility of completing the project within the available budget — I suggested the city should consider alternatives, rather than proceed further with procurement.

When a final contract was submitted for city council’s approval at the end of 2013, valued at $63 million, I voted against, because I believed the project contingency was too small and because I believed the contract exposed the city to too much financial risk.

My focus now is on applying as much fiscal discipline to the project as possible, to ensure the city retains the financial capacity to pursue other important social and environmental priorities.

Ben Isitt, Victoria city councillor



Just Posted

Hundreds of foreign species still washing up on B.C. coast, eight years after tsunami

The Royal BC Museum is home to thousands of samples collected along the west coast of North America

Victoria first Canadian city to join United Nations tree planting challenge

The City of Victoria pledges to plant 5,000 trees by the end of 2020

Car drives into Vic West TD Canada Trust building

No one was injured, building damaged

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

B.C. truck drivers to face higher fines for not using winter tire chains

As of Oct. 1, not using chains on the highway when required could net you a $598 ticket

Most Read