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(Sydney) – The union representing Nova Scotia’s provincial highway workers says Ron Russell owes it to the people of the province to show them proof that privatization of department (DOT) work is actually cheaper.

The challenge comes today from Nova Scotia Highway Workers’ Union President Gareth Drinnan, who says, “The Minister of Transportation stood in the Legislature during the first Question Period of this session and made the claim that work handed out to private contractors is saving the province money. If that’s the case, then he should have no trouble showing us how and where those savings are occurring.”

The minister was given a recent example of where gravelling work done by a contractor on the West Black Rock Road in Kings County had to be redone by DOT staff, after several complaints from area residents about flying gravel, chipped windows and punctured tires. He was also told by NDP MLA Charlie Parker that the contractor was paid over $146,000 for doing such substandard work. How is this saving taxpayers’ money,” asks Drinnan.

Says Drinnan, “The people of Nova Scotia deserve to know that when the Department evaluates private sector work, they are also recording and adding the costs associated with having DOT staff go back and redo the work.”

For information:
Gareth Drinnan
President, Nova Scotia Highway Workers’ Union
CUPE Local 1867
(902) 832-1867 (o)
(902) 499-5794 (Cell)

Robert Chisholm
CUPE National Representative
(902) 478-4484 (cell)
John McCracken
CUPE Communications Rep.
(902) 455-4180 (o)