What will we do if this Carillion dinosaur becomes extinct? Will your local grandma scramble onto Highway 401 and begin clearing it with a shovel?Privatization of the Province of Ontario’s road maintenance was sold to the public as a cost saving and the public swallowed it like a hungry fish. As time passed, the initial large number of contractors that held those maintenance contracts became diminished as the Government slowly transferred those contracts to a smaller number of large firms. Presently, a multi-national British firm, Carillion, now has most of the contracts in Ontario. The problem is that this week the parent company fell in a financial collapse leaving the Canadian arm in limbo along with 6000 Canadian jobs. While Carillion has assured the public that road maintenance will continue it leaves the question of what the Ontario public “bought and got” due to the privatization of it road maintenance.

When the Ontario government had its own snow plows and other maintenance equipment there was no concern over what might happen  to a distance multi-national company, maintenance would continue. If the Canadian arm of Carillion were to fold what would happen to the maintenance of Ontario’s roads? Could the government send out its military to force road maintenance personnel to continue their work? Likely not. But the point is clear. The public was blindsided over deals made by certain government personnel and politicians.

In another matter, Aecon, a massive construction and engineering firm operating in Canada is recently going through the final stages of being purchased by a Chinese multi-national construction firm, China Communications Construction Co., which is a company owned by the country of China. The problem is that Aecon also won the Canadian government contact to assess the safe transportation of nuclear waste from its nuclear energy generating stations to a permanent underground facility, most likely near the Bruce generating station near Kincardine, Ontario. Again, does no one see a problem with China’s ability to influence the safe transportation of nuclear waste in Canada? Should that assessment not be carried out by a Canadian firm and Canadian experts?

Gorski Consulting was part of a group of experts assembled by Dillon Consulting, a Canadian engineering firm, to compete against Aecon for that contract. There were no problems from our viewpoint when that contract was not given to Dillon as this would have been a side-line to our regular work and could have taken us away from our regular clients for a substantial time. However, for the independent assessment of the safety of the Canadian public, we now recognize the jeopardy that could exist when China could be the one pulling the strings on its new puppet.

In totality, various deals are taking place continually in the world marketplace that have an impact on the daily activities of the general public in many countries. Canada is no exception. There is a necessity to be alert to these goings on as they can influence our communal safety. The inhabitants of Canada and Ontario should be the ones to decide how their safety will be assessed and protected.