Alberta working on snow contingency plan in wake of Carillion problems

The provincial government is developing contingency plans in the wake of the bankruptcy of British multinational Carillion, whose Canadian subsidiary holds three highway snow removal contracts in Alberta. ​

Canadian arm of insolvent British company holds three contracts for highway snow removal in Alberta

Carillion holds three contracts for highway snow removal in Alberta; the contracts cover about 43 per cent of Alberta's highways. (Terry Roberts/CBC)

The provincial government is developing contingency plans in the wake of the bankruptcy of British multinational Carillion, whose Canadian subsidiary holds three contracts for highway snow removal in Alberta. ​

A spokesperson for Carillion Canada said Tuesday the subsidiary's leadership is looking at how to continue operations. Employees, subcontractors and suppliers are still being paid. 

Alberta Transportation Minister Brian Mason said his department is working on a contingency plan.

"We have no reason to believe at the moment that they're about to be unable to perform their responsibilities," Mason said. "But in case that happens, we're going to be ready."

Snow removal on Alberta highways is performed by private companies that bid on contracts.

The three contracts held by Carillion Canada cover 43 per cent of Alberta's 33,000 kilometres of highways.

The areas covered by the Carillon contracts are: 

  • Stettler, Three Hills, Drumheller, Hanna, Coronation, Provost and Oyen;
  • Fort McMurray, Boyle, Smoky Lake, Cold Lake, St. Paul, Lac La Biche, Vegreville, Tofield, Lamont, Lloydminster, Wainwright, Vermilion, Camrose, Viking and Killam;
  • Slave Lake, Wabasca, Swan Hills, High Prairie, Kimuso, Sherwood Park, Morinville, Gibbons, Barrhead, Westlock, Athabasca, Leduc, Warburg, Drayton Valley and Stony Plain.

Mason said his department is reviewing how snow removal is delivered in Alberta. However, he said the government won't move the service back into the public sector.

"I don't think that's a direction that we're going to be going right now," he said.

Carillion has about 6,000 Canadian employees.