Citing poor, slow service, the City of Montreal is moving to cancel a multi-year contract with the company that's supposed to remove snow in the Southwest borough.

Pierre Desrochers, who chairs Montreal's executive council, made the announcement on Thursday. He said it appears the company "bit off more than it could chew."

Desrochers said Pavages D'Amour will finish the season. Council still needs to formally approve the plan.

The contracts for the Southwest borough were worth $16 million over five years. Pavages D'Amour is in the first year of its agreement. 

Not living 'up to expectations'

Earlier in the day, Opposition Projet Montréal had called on the city to examine the possibility of breaking contracts with the company for both Lachine and the Southwest borough.

"The services rendered do not live up to the expectations of the Montreal population," Craig Sauvé, a Projet Montréal councillor for the Southwest borough, said in a statement.


Notre-Dame Street in Saint-Henri was difficult to navigate on Thursday. (Alexandre Letendre/CBC)

Pavages D'Amour also has a contract in Ahunstic-Cartierville. The city, however, decided to only move to cancel the contract with the Southwest borough. 

The move comes amid growing criticism of snow-removal services in the Southwest borough, which one resident described to CBC as "pitiful."

​The company also faces fines related to earlier complaints this winter. 

In one incident, a sidewalk plow crushed a bike. In another, a plow dragged garbage bags and cans along a street in Pointe–​Saint-Charles.

Only 24 per cent of the Southwest had been cleared by Thursday, according to the city's Info-Neige website, making the borough by far the city's laggard. In Lachine, 52 per cent of streets have been cleared so far.


On Wednesday, snow plows had yet to touch many streets in Saint-Henri. (Alexandre Letendre/Radio-Canada)

With files from Jaela Bernstien and Lauren McCallum