Trillium Line Procurement Audit Vanishes


An outrage.

Pure and simple … this is an outrage.

The audit of the Trillium Line procurement had been getting lower on the city auditor general’s list of priorities until, officially, it has fallen off the AG’s 2024-25 workplan.


If there is one really smelly thing to come out of the unmitigated disaster that is light rail in this community, it is the Trillium Line procurement. In fact, it is the most odiferous thing to come out of the mess.

As a reminder to Ottawans who might have become immune to the repeated cock-ups of LRT, a subsidiary of SNC Lavalin, a principal builder of the fiasco Confederation Line, failed the technical specifications twice for building the Trillium Line. A committee overseeing the procurement said in its recommendations that the subsidiary should not get the contract (who hears of a company getting a second chance on a procurement?).

It got the contract. And what do you know. The Trillium Line completion is amazingly late.

The technical woes were revealed by former councillors Rick Chiarelli and Diane Deans. It was one, if not the only, example of good LRT oversight in the entire rail mess by Ottawa City Council. It deserves … no demands … a real audit from the AG. What happened? Anybody smell something a bit off?

So what’s at play here? Could the federal government, a funding partner of the No Train and whose support of SNC has manifested itself in the most curious of ways, have been making a few hints to the politically aware at city hall this procurement probe should very quietly go away? Furthermore, why didn’t the provincial LRT inquiry have the Trillium Line procurement in its mandate?

But let’s look at the composition of today’s audit committee that oversees the moves of the civic auditor general.

There are a few former Watson council synchophants. There’s Allan Hubley, a member in good standing in the audit committee and curiously former mayor Jim Watson’s former transit commission chairman when the fertilizer hit the LRT fan.

And there’s ex-officio Mayor Mark Sutciiffe who doesn’t want to “relitigate” the Watson past. “Relitigate.” An interesting term.

Nevertheless there are sometimes squeaky-wheel councillors Theresa Kavanaugh and Wilson Lo. We expect them to speak loud and long about the missing procurement audit at Monday’s meeting. The community needs you. This is a time for audit committee members to search their collective consciences … at least the ones who have consciences.

One other thing. Where is the media on this issue? Where is the Citizen editorial board preaching about good governance at city hall? Were your agent still a member of that august Citizen board, this issue would not go unmentioned.

The board is the conscience of this community. It’s time to speak up.

And the Citizen/Sun columnists. Where are you on this?

It matters.

And for the past few months, The Bulldog has had a ticker on each page showing how long the auditor general has had to keep her procurement audit promise. Yes … day-by-day … hour-by-hour … minute-by-minute … second-by-second.

Must be annoying for politicians who want to get re-elected.

The Bulldog had a record 103,000 page views a week in October and quite likely will set another readership record for November.

That’s a lot of voters. Maybe it’s time to do what’s right.

Ken Gray

Audit Work Plan for 2024-2025



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3 Responses

  1. John Langstone says:

    If there were a thread of integrity here should “Allan Hubley, a member in good standing in the audit committee and curiously former mayor Jim Watson’s former transit commission chairman when the fertilizer hit the LRT fan,” not recuse himself from any discussion of an LRT audit?

  2. Brian Tansey says:

    Right ! shouldn’t shenanigans WITHIN the OAG itself ( re. the elimination of the LRT audit ) .. be investigated ?
    But where / how to ‘we’ find an independent enough auditor / investigator for that … other than the Bulldog itself, ( since as was noted, the Sun and Citizen seem to have been steered away from looking into this ) ?

  3. Ken Gray says:


    Good question. That said, I’m no auditor.



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