Critics say $120-million rail car refurbishment contract should stay in Ontario to save jobs and boost tax revenues
TORONTO—Ontario’s New Democrats (NDP) have asked Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty to scrap a $120-million GO Transit refurbishment contract with a Montreal firm, saying the jobs should go to a northern-Ontario bidder.
North Bay’s Ontario Northland made a “very competitive” bid for the contract, which would keep more than a hundred jobs in the province, according to NDP critic Gilles Bisson.
He says awarding the contract to Montreal-based CAD makes little sense because the deal would pump hundreds of millions of dollars into the North Bay’s economy.
“Keeping the project in Ontario would more than offset the $2 million more it’s going to cost to keep it here through tax revenues,” says Bisson. “The Ontario government needs to remember that these are public dollars and it is the taxpayers of Ontario that pay Metrolinx by way of fares or subsidies, not people in Quebec.”
The contract between Metrolinx and CAD has not been executed.
The Ontario Northland bid would cost $2 million more than the CAD offer but would keep jobs in Ontario and boost tax revenues to the treasury of almost four times as much.
Ontario Northland workers have been wrapping up a current contract to refurbish 121 GO Transit coaches and the company’s union has said it’s worried the 100 employees who work directly on refurbishing the rail cars may be at risk.