Province taking steps to change winter road maintenance contracts

Ontario’s minister of transportation says the province has already taken steps to improve winter road maintenance, but, Steven Del Duca says it is still looking to improve highway maintenance.

Ontario's minister of transportation says the province has already taken steps to improve winter road maintenance, but, Steven Del Duca says it is still looking to improve highway maintenance.

On Wednesday, the auditor general released a report stating drivers have been dealing with roads that are less safe since 2009, when the province changed how maintenance contracts were issued.

Bonnie Lysyk said the roads weren't being cleared as fast, and the amount of de-icing spray was reduced.

She also said the province typically issued contracts to the lowest bidder.

Del Duca said that process is changing.

"We no longer simply go with the low bid contract when it comes to the procurement," he said.

"We look at what's called a value based bid which means we do have scoring that does confirm that a bidding contractor has the sufficient … capacity [and] the equipment to do the job," he said.

Del Duca added he's asked the auditor general to do a follow up report at the end of next winter.

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