MISE À DAY
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante's administration calls suspicions of drug trafficking hanging over waste giant Ricova a concern.
The company is under the magnifying glass of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for possible drug trafficking. A drug trafficker even helped the police in their investigation in Colombia, our Bureau of Investigation revealed on Friday morning.
Despite this, the Plante administration does not think it can get rid of Ricova.
“Although the suspicions raised in the Journal de Montréal are worrying, they do not legally justify the termination of a contract,” the mayor's team said in a written statement.
< strong>Vives tensions
Ricova is a major player in waste management for the City of Montreal. It currently operates the two recycling sorting centers and is responsible for 25% of waste collections.
For months, calls to terminate Ricova's contracts in Montreal have been increasing, and there has serious tensions between the City and the company.
Last March, the Office of Inspector General (BIG) demanded that the management contracts for the Lachine and Saint-Michel sorting centers be terminated.
According to the BIG, Ricova cheated the City of 'at least a million dollars by not sharing the profits from the sale of recyclable materials as it should.
Indeed, the subsidiary Ricova International, in charge of sales abroad, took a profit of at least $20 per ton of materials without disclosing it in Montreal. More than 150,000 tons of scrap are processed in Montreal sorting centers each year.
The Plante administration has since placed Ricova on its blacklist, thus preventing it from obtaining new contracts. A decision that the company has decided to challenge in court.
A contract about to be terminated
Two weeks ago, the Ville de Montréal has announced that Ricova's contract for one of the two sorting centres, that of Lachine, will be terminated no later than November 14.
By that date, a new operator, Société VIA, will take over.
The reasons given are the poor quality of sorting and Ricova's inability to sell recyclable materials.
According to Valérie Plante's team, this shows that they have “the situation well in hand”.
The official opposition at city hall, Ensemble Montréal, thinks everyone contrary.
“Over-contaminated bundles of paper sent overseas, at least $1 million in revenue that has not been paid to the City and now suspicions of drug trafficking by through containers. Meanwhile, the Plante administration claims to have the situation well in hand. Scandals have to reach what level of seriousness for Projet Montréal to realize that nothing is going right any more?” protested the leader of Ensemble Montréal, Aref Salem.
He assured that he will follow the mayoress and her team on Tuesday in a special municipal council that will focus solely on waste management at the City of Montreal.