December 13, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
A Winnipeg city councillor wants to ensure elected officials are not denied access to information about city contracts again.
On Friday, public works chairman Coun. Dan Vandal (St. Boniface) called on city administration to make all of Winnipeg's future contracts more transparent and to provide the necessary information to allow councillors to do their jobs.
Vandal also asked city administration to report to the public works committee about the number of complaints and penalties issued against Winnipeg's waste collectors.
The move came after several members of city council tried to find out how much Winnipeg has fined Emterra for poor service since it began collecting garbage and recycling in the former AutoBin areas on Aug. 1 and from 165,000 households citywide in October.
Winnipeg's public administration initially refused to disclose the figures to members of council, saying the information could harm Emterra's business interests.
The administration's refusal to disclose how much the city has fined the waste collector for poor service prompted a backlash from multiple members of council, who criticized the public service for withholding information from elected officials. Earlier this week, Vandal disclosed civic officials told him Emterra has been fined between $350,000 and $450,000 for service deficiencies.
On Friday, Vandal said he wants to ensure such a scenario never happens again and councillors have access to relevant contract information. Council's public works committee voted in favour of the motion, and administration has been asked to provide an update on fines levied against all private waste contractors to the committee.
Daniel McIntyre Coun. Harvey Smith said it appears the committee has rejected the idea of reviewing the waste collector contracts in full, which he called "ludicrous."
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 12, 2013 A12