LRT Construction Ltd. v Igloolik Housing Association et al Will Proceed to Trial

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On February 13, 2018 Justice Earl Johnson of the Nunavut Court of Justice dismissed in part an application for summary judgment brought by Nunavut Housing Corporation (“NHC”) in the case of LRT Construction Ltd v Igloolik Housing Association et al.

The case concerns the Igloolik Housing Association’s (“IHA”) conduct in repairing three housing units. In 2009 IHA employees repaired the first unit (“Burn Unit”), which was damaged in a fire. These employees were paid overtime hours using NHC funds to complete the work. The IHA did not attempt to contract out the repair work.

In 2010 the IHA contracted out the repair work for the second two units (“M&I Units”), which involved making modernization and improvement retrofit repairs. The IHA issued three separate invitations to tender for the work. The first included both the materials and work required for the repairs. Payment for the materials and work would follow completion of the work. LRT Construction Ltd., the plaintiff, interested in bidding on the tender, requested that the IHA modify the payment condition. The IHA refused. No one bid on the first tender. The IHA then issued two new invitations to tender, one for the materials, the other for the labour. The materials tender did not include the same payment condition as the first tender. This invitation was successful; IHA awarded the materials contract to two Nunavut based companies, and the labour contract to a Quebec based company. LRT Construction did not bid on either tender.

LRT Construction alleged that the IHA and NHC did not follow various federal and territorial legislation and policy in the process of repairing the units, and as a result LRT Construction sustained damages. LRT Construction alleged that the IHA’s decision to use its own employees to repair the Burn Unit undermined the objectives of the Nunavummi Nangminiqaqtunik Ikajuuti (“NNI Policy,” which applied to the design, administration, and interpretation of any tender process which involves the Government of Nunavut in certain defined ways) and the Government Contract Regulations (which applied to all contracts entered into by or on behalf of the Government, which has since been repealed and replaced). LRT Construction further alleged that the IHA did not adhere to the Government of Nunavut Contracting Procedures Manual (which provides guidance and assistance to all public officers and contract authorities in carrying out contracting on behalf of the government of Nunavut), the NNI Policy, the common law, or the terms of the tender itself in securing the contract for the M&I Units’ repairs.

Justice Johnson held that the evidence presented by LRT Construction relating to the Burn Units did not reveal any issue requiring a trial. However, Justice Johnson held that the evidence presented regarding the M&I Units’ tendering process presented factual issues which required a full trial, and dismissed the NHC’s application for summary judgement on the related claims.

This blog post was written by a CCLA-PBSC RightsWatch student. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCLA or PBSC.