One year after icy QEW traffic chaos Government plows ahead with failing cut-rate contracts News Date

Published on November 17, 2015

QUEEN’S PARK – As evidence and failed winter maintenance contracts mount, the Minister of Transportation’s ongoing refusal to admit Liberal performance-based contracts are the root of Ontario’s road clearing problems continues to risk the safety of Ontario motorists.

“We've now seen the second regional winter maintenance contract fail – first Kenora and now Sudbury – and quietly go back up for tender in the last six months,” said PC Transportation Critic Michael Harris. “Two contracts have failed within half-a-year, and they still continue on with their performance-based contracts that have placed the lives of Ontario motorists at risk.”

The Auditor General report into Winter Highway Maintenance specifically noted last April that, “service has deteriorated under performance-based contracts,” that the Liberal Government introduced in 2009.

“Sudbury represents the second failed contract in the last half-year. Even contractors themselves realize it's not working,” Harris indicated. “That's why they're dropping off the keys and walking away, and that's why the first failed contract in Kenora led to only one bidder coming forward to take the job – and they weren’t even from Ontario.”

Harris added that on the one year anniversary of the QEW pre-winter collision chaos, the Wynne Liberals stubbornly stick to their same performance-based contract system while offering lip-service to “improvements.”

“The fact is that one year later, the Minister still says he has no idea what caused the mess, and while they talk improvements, there is actually no new equipment being added for this winter, fines levied continue to go uncollected, and bare-pavement standards haven't changed,” said Harris. “New Twitter sites and plow-tracking apps that the Minister likes to boast about do nothing to help the person stuck on the highway in an accident because roads weren’t cleared!‎”

Watch MPP Harris’ question in the house here: