Boldt introduced a motion Monday calling for the authority’s board to ask the province to conduct a forensic audit of the books.
But councillors Dave Mendicino and Peter Chirico added an amendment to the motion stating the authority board should also ask the province to conduct a judicial inquiry.
The motion also calls for the audit and inquiry to be done at provincial expense.
A forensic audit digs deeper and looks at more in-depth financials, such as “who paid for what, who spent what and looks at the documents that were signed,” Boldt said.
The judicial inquiry would force former authority board members to answer questions about their actions while on the board, Boldt said “about who did what, who approved it and how did it get done.”
Any documents used in the forensic audit could then be used as evidence in the judicial inquiry.
“I think there’s been a lot of finger pointing, there are people who were involved and people who are involved, and I think there are some people in our community who would like to see some bloodletting,” Boldt said.
“I don’t think that’s ever going to happen. I think they’re going to find out they had the approval of the board and for whatever reason the board approved it, and they spent the money.”
Boldt’s original intent, as she posted on BayToday.ca, was to call for the audit and also find out if the city was in a position to take legal action against the previous authority board.
But she agreed to Mendicino and Chirico’s amendment, “because it was couched in better language that allowed it to come forward, spelled out more clearly what I was after, and a judicial inquiry is a legal action because it takes place in court,” Boldt said.
Mayor Vic Fedeli said a judicial inquiry could cost as much as a million dollars.
“And if the province has that to spend it might be better if it just applied that money toward the authority debt,” Fedeli said.
Mendicino said the public has said “loud and clear” it wants to know what happened.
“This is not about pointing fingers and blaming somebody, this is about finding out what happens,” Mendicino said.
“We need to find out what happens so it doesn’t happen again.”
The warning signs at the authority were there as early as 1996-’97, Mendicino said.
“Yet why did they keep assuming debt, why were they allowed to keep assuming debt,” Mendicino said.
He alluded to the biggest stone around the authority’s neck, the interpretive centre and lookout tower.
“When you start a project of that magnitude and you don’t have the financing in place you’re doomed right from the start,” Mendicino said.
“Now we have to learn from that and prevent it from happening again.”