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Snow removal contracts beset by fraud in Montreal

Photo:  Ville de MontrealBlue collar workers point out that they are the best bastion against corruption

The Office of the Inspector General of the City of Montreal has cancelled two contracts worth more than $9.3 million with subcontractors providing snow removal services, after noticing some fraudulent practices. The Montreal blue-collar workers point out that these situations could be avoided by bringing the work back in house.

“We quickly forget the lessons we learned in the past. The Charbonneau Commission mentioned that in-house expertise is the best bastion against collusion and corruption. We have this expertise, and the citizens of Montreal would be further ahead if we made more use of our own internal resources,” explained Stephan Meloche, a CUPE administrator.

In one particular case, a snow remover significantly boosted their volume-based pay by increasing the number of snow loads, but many buckets were less than half full.

“Situations such as this simply cannot happen if the work is done by City of Montreal employees. Whether it is snow removal or building security, we can never be better served than by ourselves,” said the CUPE administrator.

The OIG report is also critical of the supervision of the City’s property portfolio. Thousands of people come in and out of these buildings every day, and the audit findings point to significant security-related deficiencies.

Photo:  Ville de Montreal

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