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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Enough cuts - say no to Ford

Harris PC government failures that continue to haunt us. Recently there have been articles about Carillion the private contractor for road maintenance going bankrupt. 

Memory lane for highway maintenance:
Cutting corners on highway maintenance

In 1996, the Ministry of Transportation began a multi-year plan to contract out all highway maintenance on the province’s highways, including the 400-series highways. At the time, the Harris government said privatization would save the government at least five per cent compared to the ministry’s costs. The 1999 provincial auditor’s report, however, revealed that of the first four maintenance contracts, three had actually cost more under private operation.

1 Auditor Erik Peters also found that subsequent to awarding highway maintenance contracts, the Ministry engaged the contractors to perform additional work without tender and offered these contractors surplus ministry vehicles and equipment without going through the required public auction.

2 “Perhaps the biggest danger to taxpayers from managed outsourcing is that MTO equipment gets given away at fire-sale prices,” MTO purchasing officer George Kerhanovich said at the time. “It’s happening now. Contractors are picking up MTO plows and trucks for a song. Taxpayers are not getting fair value.”

Even more significant than the financial losses from privatization were the safety issues noted by Erik Peters: “There were concerns that individual patrol areas were too large to adequately monitor the work of contractors to ensure that provincial highways were safe, usable and protected from untimely deterioration.”4 Credit

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