R.J. Simpson, now a cabinet minister, congratulates his father, Rocky Simpson, for winning Hay River South in the territorial election Oct. 1. A former construction manager with NWT Housing Corporation says the elder Simpson, the owner of Concept Energy Services Ltd., should never have been given a contract to build 19 modular homes in 2016. NNSL file photo

A former NWT Housing Corporation construction manager says the government agency bowed to political pressure and ignored numerous red flags when it awarded more than a dozen modular home contracts to an ill-equipped and inexperienced company run by newly-elected MLA Rocky Simpson, a decision that ultimately resulted in the project’s failure.

Allan Cleary, a contractor with decades of experience in the construction industry, began working for the NWT Housing Corporation (NWTHC) in 2014.

He was privy to how the corporation evaluated construction bids from contractors. The standard internal procedure involved three to five NWTHC managers sitting down to assess each bid before a recommendation was made to senior management, according to Cleary.

But in June 2016, when NWTHC awarded Hay River-based Concept Energy Services Ltd. – owned by Simpson, MLA for Hay River South – contracts to construct 19 two-bedroom duplexes, Cleary says that process was “completely bypassed.”

“It never happened,” Cleary told News/North. “I talked to other managers in the office and we all felt kind of jilted that we weren’t party to the decision making, that it went over our heads.”

Subscribers can read the full account here.


Brendan Burke

As the Yellowknifer’s crime reporter, it’s my job to keep readers up to speed on all-things “cops and courts” related. From house fires and homicides to courtroom clashes, it’s my responsibility...

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  1. ole boys club kicks in eh?
    what politics and “Pals” is all about, more to say but better left as is!!