The Vegreville immigration case processing center officially closed in September of 2018.
The closure, announced in 2016 by the Liberals, meant the central Alberta community would lose over 200 jobs and relocating them to downtown Edmonton.
Documents obtained by Global News in 2017 showed the unexpected move to Edmonton would cost nearly 47 million dollars in renovations and leasing of a new building, while upgrading the existing Vegreville facility would cost just 36 million over the same period of time.
The findings dismantled the oft-cited cost savings excuse the Immigration Minister at the time, John McCallum, used to justify the closure.
Conservative MP Shannon Stubbs isn’t letting the Liberals gut the town in her riding without being held accountable. She asked an order paper question to two separate bureaucracies about the costs to “fit-up” the new Edmonton building to accommodate the new processing facility.
And the responses don't add up. In fact, the responses are completely different and millions of dollars apart.
According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, “the fit-up cost for the new workspace in Edmonton was $2,903,000.00.”
But according to Public Services and Procurement Canada, the total cost incurred by PSPC for the fit-up of the workspace is $5.3 million. The cost includes $2.5 million to address base building requirements necessary to prepare the space for fit-up and $2.8 million to provide and install the furniture and other materials related to the fit-up”
Which one is it — 2.9 million or 5.3 million? What’s the real cost, besides the livelihoods of 200 people in east central Alberta? The Liberals won’t say.
But, for Trudeau, transplanting 200 jobs from a Conservative stronghold to an Edmonton riding the Liberals are danger of losing is priceless.