NDP demand answers on Metrolinx conflict of interest and embedded consultant
OTTAWA – NDP MPP Joel Harden (Ottawa Centre) and NDP transit critic, Tom Rakocevic, released the following statement following a Toronto Star investigation into Metrolinx that found the agency awarded its Vice-President’s private consulting firm contracts worth millions. The consulting firm, Boxfish, is based in Ottawa and played a leading role in Ottawa’s LRT.
“Our LRT has been a disaster. And now we have evidence that a well-connected private consultant who worked on the Ottawa LRT fiasco was able to embed himself within Metrolinx at the executive level, exposing Ontario’s transit planning system to conflicts of interest. Even worse, Metrolinx refuses to fully disclose what is going on with this bizarre and disturbing arrangement. We know how the Ottawa LRT turned out — trains off the rails, delays, stoppages and frustrating, long, miserable commutes for people. We need to take a close look at Metrolinx’s embedded consultants and any conflicts of interest,” said Harden.
The Toronto Star found that Brian Guest, a director at the Boxfish Infrastructure Group consulting firm, held vice-president titles at Metrolinx between March 2018 and May 2020. Over that period, the public transit agency issued two contracts to Boxfish, one of which was sole-sourced. The Toronto Star is reporting that Guest’s company is currently set to earn between $20 million and $30 million from Metrolinx over a two-year period.
“Ottawa commuters waiting in freezing temperatures and piles of snow and ice for a train have been frustrated again and again when the LRT’s been broken down or off the rails. The people of Ottawa deserve answers about why their LRT has been so disastrous. Both the previous Liberal government and its former transportation minister Steven Del Duca, and Doug Ford have a lot of explaining to do,” said Rakocevic