Monday, May 05, 2014

Company Rob Ford Gave T.O. Garbage Contract To Has Safety Rating Downgraded

The one universally acknowledged success of Rob Ford administration at City Hall was his farming out of garbage collection west of Yonge St. to GFL Environmental.  However, at the time even some within the mayor's office were unsure of the GFL's ability to do the job properly; they had performed poorly out in Kawartha Lakes, and in 2011 their contact  had not been renewed for that area.

It turns out these doubts might have been prescient.   A recent (April 30th) Ontario Superior Court decision has been issued with regards to GFL's safety record as given by its Commercial Vehicle Operator Registration (or CVOR).  It turns out that earlier this year GFL's ranking was downgraded by the Ontario Registrar of Motor Vehicles, to "conditional" from its previous "satisfactory rating",  due to "a substantial deviation from acceptable safety standards", as the decision puts it.

This downgrade did not make GFL happy.  In fact the decision is a judgement on their "motion for a mandatory injunction or for a stay of the Registrar’s decision".  Specifically, the decision denies that motion, which may wind up having some significance for Toronto politics.  As GFL argued in its motion (bolding is mine):

... [GFL Environmental] will suffer irreparable harm if an interlocutory injunction or a stay is not granted because: (a) GFL Environmental will be disqualified from obtaining new municipal contracts; (b) GFL Environmental will be in default in its contractual obligations to current municipal clients; (c) the Applicants will suffer reputational harm; and (d) the Applicants will face increased insurance and financing costs.

Now, there certain complexities here.  Many in the trucking industry think the formula used by the Registrar discriminates against companies working urban routes:

CVOR [uses]  kilometric values...based on the premise that if you travel more kilometers, you must have greater exposure and should be granted additional points. This works well when two fleets of the same size and in the same line of work are compared and one is busier than the other. 

Unfortunately, it penalizes vehicle fleets [which] do not travel very far compared to a highway tractor, but we are subjected to the same exposure or more than a highway tractor due to urban road conditions. Therefore changes to the current system should benefit CCLA [Canadian Courier & Logistics Association] members. 

And in fact this is the argument GFL Environmental put forward in its motion.  But whatever.  GFL may be in default of its contract with the City of Toronto.  If so, Rob Ford's one acknowledged success may wind up being yet another failure.

PS.  You can buy the CVORs for $5.00 a pop from here.

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