Metrolinx President and CEO on court appeal: ‘Contracts defines new approach to pandemic risk’

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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Metrolinx announced it will appeal a recent court decision dealing with the Eglinton Crosstown project.

Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario are launching an appeal to a court decision involving project builder Crosslinx Transit Solutions.

Crosslinx wanted to renegotiate its contract with Metrolinx due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The builder believed the virus created an emergency. The Ontario Superior Court agreed, and now Crosslinx could be entitled to a portion of $134 million it has paid in additional costs to protect workers during the pandemic. 

The following is a statement by Metrolinx President and CEO Phil Verster:

“Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx appealed the recent court decision which addressed Crosslinx’s COVID-19 claim.

“The appeal materials submitted in court focus on legal issues we believe are important, and if not appealed could have broad repercussions.

“As public agencies entrusted with taxpayer dollars it is our responsibility to ensure that any costs paid for by the public are properly substantiated before payments are made.

“We are committed to work with all of our contract partners to discuss the challenges and costs that have occurred over the past 15 months—recognizing that neither the Province, nor its partners, caused the pandemic.

“On P3 projects we have brought to market since the outbreak reached Ontario last year, we have already established a regime in our contracts that defines a new approach to pandemic risk. That regime will be used on all projects being procured now—including Ontario’s ambitious transit plan.

“Our goal has always been, and remains, building great partnerships that deliver great public projects.

“We do not intend to comment further on this matter as it is before the courts.”

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