News November 29, 2007

Standing Committee on Economic Development and Infrastructure Calls for Answers to Deh Cho Bridge Questions

YELLOWKNIFE (November 29, 2007) – In a letter to the Premier of the Northwest Territories, the Standing Committee on Economic Development and Infrastructure is demanding a response to its request for information pertaining to the Deh Cho Bridge concession agreement. 

Committee Chair Dave Ramsay says, “The information the Committee is seeking from the Premier falls into three categories: transparency, accountability, and fiscal responsibility.” 

The letter sent to Premier Roland seeks an immediate response to the committee’s request for the following information: 

1. A copy of the concession agreement; 
2. A list of the incomplete schedules to the concession agreement and in general terms, the matters that they would address; 
3. A copy of the most recent cost/benefit analysis, whether or not it still considered a draft; 
4. An undertaking from the Premier that should the conditions precedent for the agreement not materialize (for example, if the Navigable Waters Permit is denied) the government will not take any further action on this project without first hearing from the Committee and the public; and 
5. An undertaking from the Premier to have a formal policy and changes to the Financial Administration Act drafted to outline the process, including consultation requirements, for any Public Private Partnerships, or similar projects, that would commit the government to substantial operations spending in future years without requiring approval through the infrastructure acquisition plan. 

Mr. Ramsay further states, “Committee Members are determined to ensure the process used to make multi-year, multi-million dollar decisions is inclusive of all Members, is in the best interest of Northerners, and is fiscally responsible.” 

The mandate of the Standing Committee on Economic Development and Infrastructure is to review multi-year plans and budgets, review departmental performance, and to consider other matters with respect to the Departments of Transportation, Municipal and Community Affairs, Environment and Natural Resources, Public Works and Services, Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations, and the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation. 

For further information contact: 

Dave Ramsay, EDI Chair 
MLA Kam Lake 
Legislative Assembly of the NWT 
P: 867-669-2296 or 1-800-661-0784