TRURO - A $6-million dollar lien has been filed against the Colchester East Hants Health Centre by an electrical contractor involved in the construction process.
"They feel they are owed for work that they haven't been paid for," said Peter MacKinnon, CEO of the Colchester East Hants Health Authority. "Our position is that we have paid them for all the work that has been completed and approved by our consultants for payment."
The lien, which MacKinnon said was filed within about the past two weeks, was placed by Aisnworth Atlantic for $6.2 million (plus HST).
Ron Davis, the general manager for Ainsworth Atlantic in Halifax, said he was not involved in the process and referred the matter Ainsworth Inc., the company's head office in Toronto. A call for comment to that office was not returned by deadline.
"What they're saying, is that it's for extra work that's been completed," MacKinnon said.
But as far as the health authority is concerned, the company has been paid for all completed work, with the exception of a nominal amount of "holdback" money that is held until all aspects of the contract have been fulfilled.
"So, our view is that they have been paid. We have asked them in writing on at least three different occasions since ... almost the fall of 2011, to substantiate their claim for extra payment. And they have not provided any of that requested documentation. In fact, they have refused to provide it," he said.
MacKinnon said there are "very clear terms" to be followed in the process for such contract disputes, but instead of doing that, the company has opted to file a lien.
"They've chosen not to pursue that, which is a little bit puzzling given that those provisions are there in the contract. It's puzzling that they've gone down the lien process. But that's their right."
MacKinnon said the company was actually put on notice by the health authority a year ago "for failing to meet timelines and schedules as we had agreed to in the contract."
As far as the lien is concerned, it has "zero" impact on the operations of the hospital, he said.
"It doesn't affect our ability to provide service or care."