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MTO: Over a quarter of required Carillion plows needed repairs

By Drew McMillan, Muskoka 411/Pamela VanMeer Kawartha 411

Plows used by a company that clears some roads in the City of Kawartha Lakes were out of commission and in need of repair recently. Carillon Canada filed for bankruptcy weeks after it’s parent company in the UK did the same. The City of Kawartha Lakes says it’s business as usual in the city.

After a story published by Muskoka411 last week, we were inundated by feedback from the public, Carillion Canada Inc. employees and even an employee of Kathryn McGarry, Ontario’s Minister of Transporation.

“Road safety is our top priority,” said Alana Kiteley of the Ministry of Transportation in an email to Muskoka411. “We want to assure the travelling public that there is no impact to service in Huntsville. MTO staff are closely monitoring Carillion’s current equipment situation.”

Kiteley told us that the Ministry of Transportation was aware that at one point last week, 13 of 51 (25.5%) pieces of equipment used by Carillion in snow removal were needing repairs. This information was shared by a Carillion employee we spoke to last week, and echoed by another employee who reached out after reading our original story.

“Many repairs are not being done,” said the second employee, who also would only speak with Muskoka411 under the condition of anonymity. “Some trucks have no heat and that’s very hard to get fixed.”

In relation to a photo of a collision last week that Muskoka411 posted of a jackknifed tractor trailer on Highway 400 north of Healy Lake Road taken the employee alleged that the stretch of road had not been serviced in over six hours due to broken trucks.

In her email, Kiteley indicated that a number of those damaged pieces of equipment have now been returned to service.

“Given the harsh conditions that the equipment is subject to, maintenance and repairs are required on an ongoing basis,” Kiteley said. “As the equipment is repaired, it is returned to normal service. A number of pieces have already been returned and more are expected [last Friday]. Carillion is also required to keep spare units available, which we can confirm they have.”

The Carillion employee noted that many employees of Carillion, which has declared bankruptcy, are worried they may not be paid at their next pay date, February 23.

“[In that case] drivers will be working for free,” the employee said. “But many will just stop plowing.”

In the fall, the Ministry of Transportation announced that it had agreed to end its contract with Carillion Canada Inc. five years early on September 1, 2018. Carillion was responsible for snow removal on Highways 11 and 400 through Muskoka, Parry Sound and Haliburton.

Click here to read our original story on Carillion and the City of Kawartha Lakes: https://www.kawartha411.ca/2018/01/16/bankrupt-uk-company-contracted-to-plow-roads-in-the-city-of-kawartha-lakes/

Click here to read the original story by Muskoka 411.http://muskoka411.com/start/exclusive-carillion-staff-left-with-little-budget-and-equipment-to-do-winter-operations/

Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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