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Street sweeper fiasco shows folly of cutbacks, contracting out

streetsweeper-via-flickr-user--Let-Ideas-CompeteMedia reports of malfunctioning street sweepers spewing dust and debris into the air are not surprising to the members of Local 79 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 79).

“The street sweeper fiasco Torontonians learned of this week was entirely predictable, and we, in fact, warned the councillors who voted to outsource the city’s spare parts and servicing operations two years ago,” said CUPE 79 President Tim Maguire.

Published newspaper, television and radio reports this week highlighted how the City of Toronto cutbacks and outsourcing are resulting in state-of-the-art street sweepers being unable to perform, instead spewing dirt and debris into the air.

“What we’ve seen this week is a textbook example of just how contracting out hurts communities,” said Maguire.

“When Doug Ford and three other councillors voted to contract out the city’s aftermarket parts and parts’ management to a private firm, millions of dollars left Toronto. A system that ensured quality parts were readily available was abandoned for an outside supplier that sends parts which don’t fit the machines they’re designed for, if they send the correct parts at all.”

In 2012, Councillor Doug Ford and three other members of the city’s government management committee voted to award a sole-source contract for parts and servicing to a private company, at a cost of $25 million over five years.

Maguire said it’s time for city council to re-examine the wisdom of that decision. “We’re calling on the city to review this contract and examine whether we are, indeed, getting the same value for residents’ tax dollars. If anything, this fiasco shows the folly of contracting out vital support functions that ensure residents get the quality services they expect and deserve,” he said.


Contact Information

Tim Maguire
CUPE 79 President

Kevin Wilson
CUPE Communications