Minister responds to article on Okanagan jail

An open, competitive process will harness the experience of qualified bidders and maximize value for money.

I’m writing to correct the record about the Okanagan Correctional Centre and the use of the public-private partnership model to deliver the project (NDP critic questions costs for Okanagan jail, Dec. 21).

British Columbians have seen many projects delivered under the PPP model — on or ahead of time, and on budget. The ongoing expansion of the award-winning Surrey Pretrial Services Centre is continuing this successful approach. Just last year, it was recognized with a Gold Award for Project Financing by the Canadian Council for Public Private Partnerships. The Okanagan Correctional Centre project is likewise on schedule at this stage, with the construction cost estimated to be about $200 million — a lower estimate despite adding an 18-cell women’s unit.

An open, competitive process will harness the experience of qualified bidders and maximize value for money. In the past year, we’ve seen unprecedented interest in partnership projects, with upwards of 11 teams responding to RFQs — most of them Canadian.

As a holistic approach incorporating not only construction but also operations and maintenance, the PPP process typically goes further, providing the contractor with incentives for meeting deadlines, incorporating state-of-the-art efficiencies and ensuring a lasting, quality facility. At the same time, the PPP model ensures government maintains control over services, owns the asset, and uses an amortization schedule that is standard for any large capital project.

We also want to point out that our stated offer to pay the two unsuccessful, shortlisted bidders a small portion of their Okanagan bid-related costs is not unique in the development industry. The construction cost and length of agreement contemplated are considerable and warrant an in-depth process toward final bidder selection. This is just one more step that will protect taxpayers’ interests and maximize value-for-money for more than a generation to come.

The community and citizens of Oliver signalled their interest in hosting this new secure custody centre, and the Osoyoos Indian Band site had community support and met all of the project criteria. We look forward to working with the Osoyoos Indian Band during the facility’s construction phase, which will create up to 500 direct and 500 indirect jobs. When it’s finished, the centre will employ around 240 workers and many others in B.C.’s interior, including nurses, doctors and trades personnel.

Shirley Bond

Minister of Justice and Attorney General

 

Just Posted

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

(Pixabay.com photo)
No COVID-19 baby boom in Summerland

Pandemic has not resulted in surge in births in 2020 and 2021

(Black Press file photo)
EDITORIAL: Curtailing attempts at scams

The true total of losses from all scams and frauds could be much higher than the figures on file

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

(Drive BC photo)
Vehicle incident closes Highway 3 east of Osoyoos

Drive BC says to avoid the area until the road is clear

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Photograph By MICHAEL POTESTIO.KTW
Former Kamloops security gaurd wants job back after kicking incident caught on video

Rick Eldridge quit when a video surfaced of him kicking a man outside a facility for homeless

People participated in a walk to honour the 215 children found at a former Kamloops residential school, as well as residential school survivors. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna marks National Indigenous Peoples’ Day with walk to remember Kamloops 215

“Let’s speak the truth and deal with the truth, and heal.”

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

A home on Cameo Drive sustained major damage due to an early morning fire Monday, June 21. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Fire sparked during Vernon home renovation

Heavy black smoke from Cameo Drive home, no one inside

The new Civic Memorial Park will incorporate pieces of the 80-year-old arena it replaces. (Artists rendering)
Pieces of Civic Arena reclaimed for new Vernon park

City centre space to incorporate wood from the historic arena

Most Read