Sudbury

Interpaving free to bid on Greater Sudbury jobs with end of 4-year-ban

A Sudbury company that was banned from bidding on municipal contracts after a pedestrian was killed on one of its construction sites can once again do work for the city. But while the ban has ended, the relationship between the city and its former top contractor may not be mended. 

58-year-old Cecile Paquette was crushed to death on Elgin Street in 2015

After a four-year ban following the crushing death of a woman on one of its construction sites, Interpaving can once again bid on Sudbury city contracts. (Erik White/CBC )

Interpaving used to do millions of dollars worth of road work for Greater Sudbury every year.

And as of Mar. 21, the company is free to go after the jobs about to be put out for bids for the coming construction season.

Interpaving declined to comment on the lifting of the four-year ban, which was imposed after a 58-year-old woman was crushed to death by a grader on Elgin Street in 2015.

The city also refused an interview, saying only that its policies "encourage competition in a fair and transparent procurement and contract management process that ensures taxpayer dollars are used responsibly."

Interpaving has a long history of Ministry of Labour infractions, including many involving problems protecting the public from construction sites.

The Town of Espanola also banned the company from bidding on a specific municipal contract several years ago, following troubles with a previous job Interpaving did.

Interpaving tried to convince a court that the ban imposed by Sudbury city council was unconstitutional, but a judge disagreed.

The company and Greater Sudbury are still squaring off in court over a lawsuit that predates the Elgin Street accident.

Interpaving says the city owes it $233,000 for five repaving jobs from back in 2013, which the city denies.

The two sides have been racking up legal bills on that case for six years now. 

58-year-old Cecile Paquette was crushed to death by a grader when she tried to cross Elgin Street in downtown Sudbury in 2015. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)

The city and Interpaving will also be spending more time in court in the coming months to discuss the crushing death of Cecile Paquette in 2015.

Her family is also suing both the city and Interpaving for $2 million. 

The Ontario Ministry of Labour is also still going after the city for that incident. 

Interpaving pleaded guilty to health and safety charges in 2018, the city was acquitted, but the province appealed.

That case was set to be heard in Sudbury court on April 30, but that could be delayed due to court closures caused by the COVID-19 shutdown. 

About the Author

Erik White

journalist

Erik White is a CBC journalist based in Sudbury. He covers a wide range of stories about northern Ontario. Connect with him on Twitter @erikjwhite. Send story ideas to erik.white@cbc.ca

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