The Saskatchewan Building and Accessibility Standards Appeal Board heard arguments for a stay on the City of Regina’s order to fill the Capital Pointe hole on Wednesday afternoon.

The City issued the order on April 3 on the grounds the site is unsafe because a temporary shoring foundation put in place to keep the excavation stable was only meant to last the winter.

The Capital Pointe developer, Westgate Properties Ltd., was given a deadline of March 30 to state whether they intended to move forward with upgrading the shoring on the project. When that deadline passed, the city ordered the company to fill in the hole.

In the hearing on Wednesday, Sahil Shoor, a lawyer for the project argued that the city had not presented any evidence that the site is unsafe.

Christine Clifford, a lawyer for the city, responded that the excavation exposes roadways and neighbouring building foundations, and in a case of ground shifting or extreme weather, could weaken the temporary shoring, causing imminent danger around the site.

Clifford also stated that a building permit issued in September 2017 does not cover excavation at the site. Clifford maintains that more excavation needs to be done before construction can proceed. She says the developer has not made any application for a new excavation permit since the old permit expired last September.

It was also alleged that the city had been receiving regular reports on the condition of the foundation at the site, but that the developer had recently hired a private security firm to supervise the vacant site. Clifford says the private guards do not have the expertise to detect ground shifting or other safety concerns, should they arise.

It was also revealed during the hearing that the general contractor, the shoring contractor, and the engineer for Capitol Pointe have all terminated their relationships with the project.

Shoor also revealed that Westgate Properties Ltd. has spent $14M on the project to date.

The appeal board will now decide in a closed door meeting if a stay should be granted. The decision could be made as early as Wednesday afternoon, but may not immediately be made public.

If a stay is granted, the appeal will not move forward.