The City of Winnipeg is heading to court over defects at the Downtown police station after all.

Last week Mayor Brian Bowman said a clause in the construction contract with Caspian Projects prevented the city from suing the general contractor over building deficiencies.

Now the city says it has a new legal strategy and has filed a lawsuit against Caspian and engineering design consultants AAR.

The suit claims Caspian is in breach of contract:

“Caspian or its employees, agents were negligent in the construction of the WPS headquarters" 

The lawsuit says as result, the city has incurred significant costs to repair the defects. Winnipeg Chief Administrative Officer, Doug McNeil said the city wants to recoup money for those repairs.

"We claim were the fault of the designer and or the contractor," said McNeil.

For the first time the statement of claim outlines the full range of problems with the building, police have endured since moving in. It alleges Caspian is responsible for some of them including:

  • Concrete on one level starting to dislodge and fall
  • Structural and loading deficiencies with an evidence control unit floor
  • Waterproofing membrane not installed properly resulting in water compromising forensic labs
  • The loading bay and garbage room leaking into sensitive spaces
  • Some sprinkler heads not vandal-proofed as required
  • Asbestos abatement not complete in multiple locations
  • A missing catwalk on the fifth floor

City CAO Doug McNeil said the defects are worth more than $10 million.

"It's unusual to have this many, this many and number of deficiencies and the amount so shortly after taking possession," said McNeil.

CTV News was unable to reach representatives from Caspian and AAR for comment. None of the allegations have been tested in court.

The project is around $85 million dollars over budget and the subject of an ongoing investigation by RCMP. In court documents Mounties allege the city is the victim of a multi-million dollar fraud.

Those allegations have not been tested in court and no charges have been filed.