City responds to dozens of LRT orders issued by Ministry of Labour
The City of Ottawa has responded to the dozens of orders that were issued by the Ministry of Labour last week at LRT construction sites.
The Ministry conducted 14 inspections the week of March 20th, resulting in 47 orders. According to the MOL, the main issues were vehicles backing up, having consent to operate internal combustion engines in the tunnel, damaged, non-compliant or absent fire lines and equipment and inadequate lighting.
On Wednesday, an interview request to the Rideau Transit Group, the company building the LRT, was referred to the city.
"It's important to note that an order doesn't necessarily mean a significant safety violation," says Steve Cripps, director of O-Train construction. "It may be a request for documentation or something as simple as that...a training record for an employee for example."
"While I think on the surface it seems like a high number, I think it doesn't tell the whole story," he adds.
CTV first reported the orders Tuesday night. A tweet to Mayor Jim Watson from the Ottawa & District Labour Council was critical, saying "47 MOL orders issued in 1 wk (sic) at LRT...an Ottawa record.. yet you claim its perfectly safe. Seriously Jim...seriously??"
On Wednesday, the president of the Council stood by it.
"Some folks that are looking at it lightly like our mayor, who did a week ago, when he said that he's hearing complaints from one person out of 1100, certainly nothing to be concerned about...it's ludicrous," says Sean McKenny.
Watson wasn't available for an interview Wednesday.
Cripps says the city doesn't get copies of the orders, that's between the Ministry and RTG. He also explains how RTG continues to respond to them.
"The Ministry of Labour hasn't come and shut down the tunnel as an example," he says. "RTG would take the initiative to stop work in that area, remedy the situation and then continue work again."
McKenny met with RTG CEO Antonio Estrada and the city's head of transit services John Manconi last week. Both sides call the meeting positive and will continue to meet monthly moving forward.