The city of Montreal said it will cancel its snow clearing contract with Pavages D’Amour in the Sud-Ouest borough after weeks of citizen complaints, saying the company did not meet its obligations. The cancellation of a snow contract for failing to clear the snow was a first for the city, said Anie Samson, executive committee member responsible for public security, on Thursday afternoon.
At 11 a.m., Thursday, the city of Montreal said 57 per cent of streets had been cleared. In Lachine, snow removal was listed at 60 per cent, but only 24 per cent had been done in Sud-Ouest.
Pavages D’Amour snowplows were also accused of breaking trees, bicycles, doors, poles and even gas lines in recent weeks. The broken gas lines resulted in evacuations. The borough had signed $16-million in snow-clearing contracts with the firm. To date, Les Pavages D’Amours Inc. had been fined $151,000 for breach of contracts. The company had bit off more than it could chew and was unable to handle snow-clearing in the congested borough, executive committee president Pierre Desrochers said.
The city expects Pavages D’Amour to fulfill the rest of its contract for this winter, and will be overseeing its operations and perhaps using blue-collar workers from other boroughs to meet demand, Desrochers said.
Citing a growing number of complaints from citizens, opposition party Projet Montréal had been calling upon Montreal city hall to suspend the snow removal contracts held by Pavages D’Amour in the boroughs of Lachine and Sud-Ouest.
City councillor Craig Sauvé said the opposition party was asking the city’s executive committee to suspend the contracts “for the short term” because of a growing number of complaints received over the quality of the firm’s work.
“The services rendered are not meeting the expectations of the population,” said Sauvé. “Citizens who work every day and pay their taxes have a right to efficient and quality services.
“Montreal is a winter city. It seems to me that after 375 years of existence, we should have developed snow removal methods that are quick and efficient.”
The party contends most of the complaints it has received are concerned with the speed and efficiency of snow removal crews and the clearing of local sidewalks.
Soon after Projet Montreal’s complaint was made, Mayor Denis Coderre tweeted that he had demanded an explanation from the firm for its “execrable” service and that executive committee chairman Pierre Desrochers and Sud-Ouest borough mayor Benoit Dorais would be discussing the situation.