Yellowknife Centre MLA accuses minister responsible for medevac contract of mismanagement

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Yellowknife, NWT – Yellowknife Centre MLA Robert Hawkins is accusing the Health and Social Services Minister of mismanaging the process to award a new medevac contract in the Northwest Territories.

Hawkins says it was to have been awarded this spring, but adds it may now take up to a year to do that.

He says Glen Abernethy has not handled the file very well.

“The minister specifically informed us that there was some legal and contract wording in there. I find it to be a real disappointment that we have to pull the contract after they’ve been reviewing it for several months. They closed at the end of February which meant they’ve been reviewing this wording and the contract proposals for almost two months before they finally decided to just cancel it and start over.”

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Hawkins says it’s a black mark for the territorial government, adding a compromise could’ve been reached.

“We wanted them to work with the proponents that submitted proposals that had been accepted and certainly are qualified contractors who could do this job but the minister’s office cancelled the contract and reissued it. This could lead to significant delay. I’m not a believer that this will put residents at risk but this is a major contract for the Northwest Territories.”

Hawkins says it’s not fair to the companies that made their bids in good faith.

He says he understands why, in light of this delay, companies might be hesitant to bid on future GNWT contracts.

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