Nova Scotia

Halifax ends contract with parking contractor, brings service in-house

The city of Halifax says it won't be renewing the current contract as G4S 'didn't quite meet the expectations.'

City spokesman says contractor G4S didn't meet expectations

Halifax will be doing parking enforcement in-house starting Nov. 15. (Eric Woolliscroft/CBC)

Halifax's contractor for parking enforcement will not have its contract renewed when it expires on Nov. 14.

Nick Ritcey, spokesperson with the city, said G4S Secure Solutions will not be contracted again for parking enforcement and instead the services will be done in-house.

"Municipal staff has determined that the performance of the company didn't quite meet the expectations that we've laid out," he said.

Spike in parking tickets this summer

Example of a parking ticket issued to 17 drivers one day in July. (Michele Merrick)

This summer, there was an unusual spike in parking tickets for failing to turn front wheels to the curb.

On one day in July, 17 of these tickets were issued.

It was later revealed that the city had asked the contractor in May to limit the number of 'wheels not cut' fines.

Nine new jobs

Ritcey said the city plans to hire nine new compliance officers and the jobs will be posted in the coming weeks.

"They will be created with a focus on parking, but they will also have some other minor responsibilities, taking care of minor offences around the city," he said.

"There will be definitely a bit of a gap in between a fully staffed contractor and in-house services. So we do appreciate people's patience while we ramp up to a full staff, but we will be taking care of a service as best as possible in the interim."

Savings for the city

Ritcey said they expect to save about $100,000 a year.

"That's still preliminary numbers right now. Obviously it depends on when everybody is hired, and whether or not we need new cars or if we have some in fleet. But we definitely think there will be a savings and not a cost associated with bringing this in-house," Ritcey said.

Until 1996, parking was enforced by Halifax Regional Police. For a year following that, the city took over the role, and since 1997 it has been handled by a series of contractors.

G4S was on a one-year contract with the city.