News / Halifax

Halifax regional council defers decision on parking enforcement contract

Staff recommended granting the contract to G4S, but councillors want to look at two other proposals -- from current provider ISSA, and the Commissionaires.

A Halifax Parking Enforcement officer writes a ticket on Barrington Street.

Jeff Harper / Metro

A Halifax Parking Enforcement officer writes a ticket on Barrington Street.

Halifax regional council deferred a decision on Tuesday on who will take over writing parking tickets across the municipality starting this fall.

Halifax Regional Municipality declined to renew its contract with the current contractor, Independent Security Services Atlantic (ISSA), after controversy with the company’s performance. Three of that company’s employees – who’ve since been fired – were charged last fall with writing fake parking tickets.

Municipal staff had recommended granting the new contract to G4S for its bid of $840,048, taxes in, but the will among councillors was to look at two other proposals, from ISSA and Commissionaires Nova Scotia.

“For those of us who are in the urban core, where I think a lot of the parking enforcement happens, there have been ongoing issues and difficulties with how parking enforcement has worked,” Coun. Jennifer Watts said during the meeting.

She noted that the Commissionaires scored the best of any proponent in nearly every category of staff’s ranking. But they also had the highest bid, at $1,049,935.

“You get what you pay for,” Watts said.

Coun. Steve Adams, among others, argued that the municipality should renew its contract with the current provider, ISSA.

“I know that there were some issues with regard to the rogue guys that were writing tickets inappropriately, but I think if you want to Google the recommended proponent, you’ll find something far more problematic,” Adams said during the meeting.

G4S has been under scrutiny for its employee vetting after news emerged that the gunman in the Orlando nightclub shooting worked for the company even after FBI investigations into his behaviour -- the latest in a string of issues.

Council directed staff to review all proponents, and make another recommendation.

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