A general contractor with a signed, sealed, and delivered bullet-proof contract to build a new badly needed Langley public school begins construction.
Right after the foundation is poured, the government has a change of heart and runs a bill through the legislature which ends all school construction contracts and imposes governmentâ€™s terms. All BC Liberal MLAs claim we canâ€™t afford to honour the original contracts because the provincial budget must be balanced.
The general contractors take government to court twice, and twice they win. The judge confirms a contract is a contract, the general contractors have a right to negotiate terms with government, and government must respect their contractual commitments.
The government launches a court appeal and gets another judge to withhold evidence in support of the contractorâ€™s case until the appeal is heard.
Some general contractors are faced with bankruptcy, along with some of their sub-trades.
What action should the general contractors take?
â€¢ All school construction to continue, for the sake of the students, parents, educators, trustees, sub-trade contractors, and suppliers?
â€¢ Bolt from the job-sites, give notice to sub-trades and suppliers, and await the appeal court judgeâ€™s decision?
â€¢ Clients with deeper pockets, where are you? Go job hunting.
â€¢ Designate a mediator to reach a solution to remaining on the job-site until the appeal court decision is announced?
â€¢ Engage foreign workers to help meet our provinceâ€™s budget restraints and still make a profit?
Enough of this nonsense!
Will school doors open in September? Will students, educators, and support staff arrive eager to begin their new school year? Letâ€™s hope so! T
hey will if thereâ€™s a strong enough public outcry.
Larri Woodrow, Walnut Grove