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CARMACKS JOINS LEGAL ACTION LAUNCHED IN ALBERTA OVER CARILLION ROAD MAINTENANCE CONTRACTS

Five Alberta companies file court application over Alberta Transportation deal with Emcon

EDMONTON, ALBERTA, JULY 31, 2018 – The five companies that currently maintain Alberta’s provincial highways (the Alberta Highway Maintenance Contractors or “the HMCs”) have joined forces to take legal action against a costly and potentially illegal deal, approved by the Alberta Minister of Transportation, in the matter of the Carillion Canada bankruptcy proceedings.

Our five companies (Alberta Highway Services Ltd., Carmacks Maintenance Services Ltd., LaPrairie Works Inc., Ledcor Highways Ltd. and Volker Stevin Highways Ltd.) are competitors, but we share a common concern in this case. We have retained legal counsel (Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP) and filed an application with the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench. The court application requests judicial review of the Government of Alberta’s role in the agreement that was announced by the Alberta Minister of Transportation on July 26, 2018. The agreement in question assigns highway maintenance contracts covering 40 per cent of Alberta highways to Emcon Services, a B.C. company. Emcon was reportedly granted better terms than those of the previous owner of the contracts, Carillion Canada.

We have no objection to Emcon or any other company entering Alberta under a fair, competitive and transparent process. We ask only that experienced, proven Alberta maintenance companies be given an equal opportunity to compete for business in Alberta.

We are therefore asking the Court to review whether the Alberta Minister of Transportation, Brian Mason, violated his government’s legal requirements by granting contractual concessions and extensions in favour of one company, effectively sole-sourcing contracts worth over half a billion dollars of public money over several years.

As Carillion is under creditor protection, its assets were sold as part of a court supervised process in Ontario. Carillion’s Alberta and Ontario road maintenance contracts were marketed as a single package of assets. Our group’s smaller members were thereby shut out because they operate today only in Alberta. Our larger members were blocked by the Minister’s own rules around reducing the number of maintenance contracts that any one firm can hold in Alberta. We did recommend a made-in-Alberta solution to the Minister many weeks ago; it is disappointing that he did not stand up for that solution.

Even more questionable than eliminating Alberta-based competition, however, is the fact that the Minister of Transportation apparently approved more favourable contract terms for Emcon than previously existed. In other words, this is not just an asset sale as the Minister has claimed. This is a large, sole-sourced piece of business with Alberta Transportation, funded by Alberta taxpayers.

The Minister stated in a release that Alberta Transportation will reveal more details about the terms of the new contracts after the Emcon deal is finalized. We call on the Minister to disclose those details now, so that Albertans can assess whether this deal is in the public interest.

Specifically, we call on the Minister to disclose whether any of the following three concessions are granted in the deal: an extension to the term of the contracts; a higher price for the work; or freedom from the environmental liability formerly held by Carillion Canada. The first of those three concessions is unfair to the HMCs. We stand ready and able to take over the Carillion contracts today, and extensions will delay the next public tender process in which we could compete. The second and third concessions are unfair to Albertans, because they raise the cost of highway maintenance and shift risk and liability from a private company to taxpayers.

The Minister has also suggested that the Emcon deal is about preserving jobs. We agree with the need to ensure Carillion’s Alberta employees, who are AUPE union members, do not face layoffs. As we have told the Minister consistently, our companies are prepared to hire those workers. Our five companies collectively employ nearly 1,000 Albertans in our road maintenance businesses.

We regret that this action on our part has become necessary. The HMCs have enjoyed an excellent relationship with the professional staff of Alberta Transportation dating back many years. Alberta Transportation has demanded value for Albertans, and in return has consulted constructively and openly with our industry to solve problems. Contracts and changes of direction have always been communicated and made available to all players in the industry equally. We struggle to understand why the competitive playing field has suddenly been tilted so sharply toward one non-Alberta company.

Media Contact
Laurie Stretch
(403) 617-4798
laurie@stretchcommunication.com


CARMACKS AWARDED ALBERTA TRANSPORTATION PROJECT

Carmacks has been awarded an Alberta Transportation multi-site project with locations in Edmonton’s southeast and east of Nisku. The project involves fifteen intersection improvements and milling and paving on four highways with additional work such as street light installation at some of the intersections. There is an interim completion date of October 15th, 2018 on a small portion of the work, with the remainder to be completed by August 15th, 2019.

HIGHWAYS DIVISION AWARDED CONTRACT – HWY 4, SASKATCHEWAN

The Highways Division has been awarded a surfacing project, total distance of 30.30 km, on Hwy 4 near Val Marie in southern Saskatchewan. The scope of work involves remixing, sub-base, GBC and ACP. The project is expected to commence in July with completion by mid-August.

EIA PERIMETER ROAD

Carmacks has been carried by Pidherney’s on the EIA Perimeter Road project to complete the concrete and paving portions of the work. This project consists of upgrading a 1.4km section of existing gravel road to a four lane arterial in order to create sufficient access to the new Century Mile Casino. The north/south limits of this section are Airport Road and 56 Avenue East. The scope of work includes the placement of 2500 lineal meters of curb and gutter and 5400 square meters of median infill, for a total of approximately 1000 cubic meters of concrete. Carmacks is responsible for paving 8500 tonnes of 20mm-B and 6000 tonnes of 10mm-HT, for a total of 14,500 tonnes of ACP.

MUNICIPAL DIVISION TO COMMENCE WORK IN ST. ALBERT

The Municipal Division has won a contract with the City of St. Albert. The work includes 2.35km of curb replacement, 2500m2 of driveway, pararamp and sidewalk replacement, 10,300m2 of cement stabilization, granular base and asphalt paving. The job is located in the neighborhood of Stanley Drive and Springfield Crescent in the southeast side of St. Albert, AB. Work will begin the end of May and be completed by fall of 2018.

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