Payouts to connected consultants an earmark of the McGuinty Grits
By Angela Bischoff –
Good money after bad. It’s bad enough that the Liberal Government is determined to spend billions of dollars rebuilding a nuclear plant we don’t really need, but now it is layering on expensive consultants as a “cost control” measure.
The government will spend upwards of $650,000 to pay an ex-Ontario Hydro employee to tell it if the project is running behind schedule and over budget, as has every nuclear project in Ontario’s history. Ontario Power Generation (OPG) itself will spend an undisclosed amount on a similar consultant to keep track of the project for a company with thousands of employees who are apparently too busy to do this.
Frankly, we don’t know whether to laugh or cry. A corporation whose CEO is paid more than $1 million a year will hire a consultant to tell the government’s consultant if its project is on track.
We have a far better solution and we’re not going to charge the government a single dollar: If you must proceed with the Darlington ReBuild Project despite all rational arguments to the contrary, at least do so only with a fixed price, all-in contract for repairs from an independent private sector company (e.g., SNC-Lavalin, General Electric). Having a bunch of consultants circling the project is not going to do anything to keep costs under control. Only a fixed price contract with a private sector corporation can ensure that the inevitable cost overruns are not passed on to Ontario’s consumers and taxpayers.
We need Opposition Leader Tim Hudak and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath to demand that the government come to its senses, drop the consultants and proceed with a no loopholes, fixed price contract. Ontario electricity ratepayers, still paying down the $20 billion debt run up on previous nuclear fiascos, deserve nothing less.