Nunavut hospital contractor pleads guilty to safety act charge
Five other charges against Arctic Environmental Services and its owner to be stayed
The company that helped demolish part of Qikiqtani General Hospital in Iqaluit pleaded guilty to a charge under Nunavut’s Safety Act June 2 at the Nunavut Court of Justice.
Arctic Environmental Services Ltd. and its co-accused, president Robert Valleau, originally faced five counts under the Safety Act. Valleau also faced one additional charge.
But Crown prosecutor Doug Garson said all charges are set to be conditionally stayed, except for one.
Crown and defence lawyers came to a resolution, and the company pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to ensure the adequate instruction of each worker in the safe performance of his or her duties.
The charge relates to an incident that occurred between Jan. 12 and Jan. 16 of 2013, according to court documents.
Arctic Environmental Services began renovation work at the hospital as a subcontractor, alongside NCC Development Ltd, after a different firm, NCC Dowland Construction Ltd, defaulted on a $32.3 million renovation contract for the hospital.
But according to a news release from the federal government May 21, NCC Dowland Construction Ltd. will act as construction manager for the new $84.9-million Canadian High Arctic Research Centre in Cambridge Bay. Construction is expected to begin there in the fall of 2014.
Arctic Environmental Services, which has offices in the western Arctic and a mailing address in Alberta, worked on the Baffin hospital site to remove hazardous material, the Government of Nunavut said in May 2013.
Several charges of failing to prevent the release of asbestos at the work site are set to be stayed at the next court date.
Sentencing for the company is set for June 20. That’s when all the facts about the charge will be revealed in court.
Quinan Construction Ltd. is expected to complete the hospital renovation by the end of 2015.