MTO prepares for winter snow season
Transportation Ministry admits some private contractors "struggled" with last year's "big winter"
"We did have a big winter last winter," said Ian Smith, Regional Director, Ministry of Transportation (MTO) in Northwestern Ontario at a news conference near Thunder Bay on Tuesday.
"We did notice that some of the contractors were struggling in terms of meeting their performance targets, so we have worked with the contractors over the course of the summer to look at their routes and work with them to make some changes to their operations."
Smith said the ministry hired some additional staff "to oversee the contractors and ensure they are meeting their performance targets."
'We do monitor them'
Last winter's extreme weather made those targets difficult to meet according to Rob Batson, superintendent of construction and operations for Carillion Canada, one of the contractors.
Smith said there are times, such as in severe weather or accident situations, when it is impossible to meet ministry standards, but he said there are consequences for non-compliance under ordinary circumstances.
"All of the equipment has tracking equipment on board, so we can track in real time in our offices on computers where every piece of equipment is ...so we do monitor them. If they don't meet the performance targets in the contract we can apply financial penalties to them," Smith said.