The Government sold a portfolio of seven federal office buildings to Larco Investments in a controversial sale-leaseback deal in 2007. Critics called the sale a massive giveaway of prime public assets. The Minister of Public Works at the time, Michael Fortier, described the transaction as a fair deal for taxpayers.
Larco Investments is landlord to dozens of federal agencies. The Canada Revenue Agency is a major tenant in three of the buildings (see table) – but that agency is not the only government tenant.
Click on the name of the building to see other Government tenants.
|Federal Building Sold/Leased-back to Larco||Location||Largest Tenant|
|Harry Hays Buildings||Calgary||Canada Revenue Agency|
|Canada Place||Edmonton||Canada Revenue Agency|
|CRA Building||Montreal||Canada Revenue Agency|
|Royal Canadian Mounted Police Building||Montreal||RCMP|
|Skyline Complex (Towers I-VII)||Ottawa||Canadian Food Inspection Agency; Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada|
|Thomas D’Arcy McGee Building||Ottawa||Courts Administration Service|
|Joseph Shepard Building||Toronto||Employment & Social Development Canada|
In 2014, the CBC obtained documents that revealed years of bickering, allegations of over-charges, and budget disputes between Public Works and Maple Leaf Property Management, the Larco-owned affiliate handling operations at these government buildings.
Larco can now add one more building to its list of CRA offices. The historic Dominion Public Building in Toronto, which houses about 1,500 government workers including CRA staff, was recently sold to Larco. In January, Public Services (formerly Public Works) transferred the building to the federal government’s property arm, Canada Lands Company. Canada Lands then sold the building to Larco. While the feds have plans to move staff out of the Dominion Building over the next several years, federal agencies will be paying additional rent and other fees to Larco in the meantime.
Canada Lands Company CEO, John McBain, served as Assistant Deputy Minister of Public Works’ Real Property Branch when Larco overtook day-to-day operations of the seven federal buildings (listed above) in 2009.
The sale of the Dominion Building comes on the heels of the federal government’s 2017 budget which promises to direct $524 million to the CRA to prevent tax avoidance and evasion.