A report from the inspector general of the city of Montreal shows the snow plow by Transport Rosemont incomplete. The photo above shows one of the company's snowplow trucks with a capacity of 10 percent.
A Montreal snow plow company that sent hundreds of half-full trucks to city dumps last winter, while full-load recharging will be stripped of its snow clearing contracts and probably banned from bidding for the next five years.
The Montreal Inspector General noted that Transport Rosemont, which had two four-year contracts to free snow in two districts of the Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Parc Extension worth $ 9.3 million, sent 300 of the 500 trucks to the landfill only partially full during the fifth clearing operation of the season. Similar illegalities were found during other snow clearing operations. The investigation was motivated by the fact that the contractor was "engaging in a systematic strategy to significantly increase the amount of its snow clearance payments".
The report was presented to the city council on Monday.
Snowplow companies are paid on the assumption that their trucks are at least 98% full for every trip they take. Depending on the size of the truck, the company is paid between $ 172.12 and $ 332.61 per load.
The officers and workers of the company questioned by the investigators of the inspector general said that it is up to the snow plow operator to signal when a truck is full, which he or she determines by seeing two or three large snow hills in the part top of the truck bed.
But when 514 photos of the trucks arriving at the dump were analyzed, the inspectors found that 300 trucks were filled to 50% or less. In total, 50% of the loads from one sector and 66.5% of the loads from the second sector have been filled at least 50%. During the snow clearing operation in February, 81 arrived at 10% full or less.
In comparison, the trucks operated by a different contracting company in an area close to that operated by Transport Rosemont were found to have brought only three trucks at half full on 202, a percentage of 1.5%. The acceptable standard is considered two percent.
Even after the company's general manager was informed of the issues, during the sixth snow-emptying operation, Transport Rosemont still had numbers on the standard, with seven percent of trucks reaching half full in one sector and 21 percent in another, although the contractors were aware that the city's employees were monitoring them. During the first four snowfalls of the year, the numbers of Rosemont Transport for half-full trucks ranged from 11.5 to 45.5%.
"Not only do we see that there are still attempts to defraud the system, but also that the defense measures that the city should take are not working," said Lionel Perez, leader of the opposition Ensemble Montréal party. "If the trucks can be weighed, why don't they work? Why didn't they discover the fraud?"
Perez asked for an immediate investigation into all the snow clearing operations, saying: "If it is happening in Villeray, I am sure it is happening in other districts. This shows that there is still something wrong with the snow plow in Montreal ".
A general report from the 2015 inspector revealed a widespread collusion system in the Montreal snow plow industry.
Workers with the Rosemont transportation, who knew the regulations had systematically ignored them, wrote the inspector general, adding that the excuses provided by company officials were not credible. Company officials claimed that a large portion of the cargo was full of ice, making them heavy and justifying partial loads; that some trucks had come to the end of a road or that the roads were narrow, making the filling of trucks too difficult. Inquiries were denied by inspectors.
The repetition of events in multiple snow plows shows that the company did not operate in good faith in relation to its signed contract, wrote the inspector general.
"In behaving as it did, Transport Rosemont has irremediably undermined the relationships of trust that link the entrepreneur to the city," reads the report.
"The inspector general pronounces the termination of the contracts granted to Transport Rosemont by the city".
It also recommends excluding the company from any city contract for the next five years, a city council recommendation is expected to follow.