Concerns have been raised by Ontario PC Transportation Critic Michael Harris about a lack of contingency plans should Carillion Canada, which plows many northern highways, folds in the wake of the collapse of its parent company.
In a letter to Transportation Minister Kathryn McGarry, Harris says calls and emails are pouring into his office worried about her government’s ability to maintain winter road safety in Ontario.
"This is hardly surprising given your government’s dismal record in keeping our roads safe," complains Harris in a news release. "The Auditor General’s findings show a laundry list of government failures and inaction has resulted in substandard snowplowing services in the province."
Harris says an anonymous employee at Carillion told him that, “Our patrol yard doesn’t have enough trucks to keep the highways safe,” and that, “The majority are broken down and we can’t get any repairs done, since no one will work on them because they’re afraid of not getting paid for the work they do,” concluding “it bothers me, but there’s nothing we can do.”
"I am asking you to please inform Ontario families within the next week of any contingencies your government has put in place to ensure that roads will continue to be plowed, and families will be able to get to and from work, hockey practice, and errands safely," adds Harris.
A tweet from Carillion says, "Unless advised otherwise, all agents, subcontractors and suppliers should continue to work and provide goods and services as normal, under their existing contracts, terms and conditions."
However, Harris says court filings have shown that Carillion Canada has only enough cash to maintain operations until February 19.