Photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo /kwiktor

NDP Demands Answers About Snow Plowing

Ontario’s NDP transportation critic is demanding to know what the long-term plan is for snow plowing on Ontario highways.

Wayne Gates has written Premier Kathleen Wynne a letter demanding details about the latest agreement with Carillion Canada, which operates snow plows on highways across the province.

The province vowed to work with Carillion Canada and keep the plows operating after the collapse of its parent company in the United Kingdom.

“Since that time, Carillion Canada has been revealed to also be in dire condition,” writes Gates. “It’s been reported that Carillion Canada will run out of funds in just 11 days – with no assurances that roads and highways will be cleared, or that road workers and subcontractors will be paid, after February 19.”

“If there is a new agreement in place to ensure highways are plowed now and the safety of drivers and their children and grandchildren are protected, and that the jobs of snow plow operators will be protected, I’m calling on you to disclose this agreement now,” he continues.

Gates says operators in the Muskoka, Parry Sound and Haliburton areas had received little information and feared for their jobs and safety on Ontario highways.

“Workers were even quoted [by Muskoka 411] saying that their patrol yard doesn’t even have enough trucks in a good state of repair,” says Gates.

Last month, Minister of Transportation, Kathryn McGarry said there had been meetings about continuing winter maintenance in eight contract areas across Ontario, including in the London, Chatham-Kent, and Windsor areas. She said the Ministry of Transportation was looking at all of its options for continuing highway maintenance after the winter season.