City of Hamilton taxpayer costs for Red Hill Valley Parkway Judicial Inquiry are not explained even through the $7 million budget became $27 million. Will this be swept under the carpet?

It is bad enough that a technical report on road surface conditions of the Red Hill Valley Parkway in the City of Hamilton Ontario became buried. According to City of Hamilton politicians it became necessary to fund a judicial inquiry which lasted from April, 2019 until November, 2023. The costs for the inquiry were revealed at $27 million dollars. However no one expressed the opinion that a thorough break-down should be provided as to who was paid. At a minimum, those paying this large amount, which are the taxpayers of Hamilton, ought to be able to examine the invoices to be assured that the costs are reasonable. The City of Hamilton had originally budgeted $7 million for the inquiry. So how did this estimate grow so wildly out of control? When you have your roof replaced and you are given a cost estimate do you not examine your bill to have some sense of where the cost overrun came from? Seems the answer is no.

Here is a very basic assessment. Four participants were involved in the inquiry. Were they the only entities that submitted invoices for their participation? What about the judge and the inquiry’s legal team, what money did they receive for their participation? And there were a very large number of witnesses that were called to give testimony, were they also paid for their involvement? Do taxpayers not deserve a breakdown of these costs?

Once again the citizens of Hamilton are left to pay the bill with no explanation.