Region of Waterloo requests audit of Miller Waste after two fatal pedestrian collisions
A waste collection truck seen on a Kitchener street on Feb. 18, 2021 after a crash involving a pedestrian. (Dan Lauckner / CTV Kitchener)
KITCHENER -- The Region of Waterloo is looking to an independent audit to review the corporate health and safety programs of Miller Waste Systems, following two fatal crashes involving pedestrians.
On Wednesday, council requested an external auditor be retained to conduct the review to ensure the contract terms are being met.
“This is a new tactic for council,” said Regional Chair Karen Redman. “When you have two tragedies like this, we really looked at what is in our purview to do.”
In a statement issued to CTV News, Denis Goulet, the president of Miller Waste Systems, notes the company welcomes the review.
“Miller Waste Systems welcomes and intends to full cooperate with the region in the exercise of their rights to an independent review of our corporate health and safety programs,” said Goulet in the statement. “We are confident that this audit will give Miller Waste, the region and residents alike the comfort of knowing that our health and safety program is compliant with our obligations to the region.”
The independent auditor has not yet been retained by the region as the scope of the work still needs to be finalized. The review could take up to four months and cost between $20,000 and $30,000.
Redman stresses the audit does not presuppose any outcome.
“There are other investigations around these two tragic incidents but, this is something that council could do to ensure the safety of the community,” said Redman.
Only once the audit is completed and presented to council, will members review any potential actionable options according to Redman.
“It’s something council will have to debate and have to decide at the time but, I don’t think we can presuppose what those findings will be,” said Redman.
Nancy Ouellette, 68, died after being struck by a waste collection truck on July 14 while crossing the street with her dog on Tuerr Drive. Months later, a 77-year-old woman died following a collision with a waste collection truck on Tremaine Crescent while crossing the street.
The Waterloo Regional Police Service has charged a 29-year-old Cambridge man with careless driving causing body harm or death and unsafely starting from a stopped position in relation to the incident in July. The investigation into the crash on Tremaine Crescent is ongoing.
The region and Miller Waste Systems agreed to a 7-year contract beginning in 2017 that pays the company between $18-million to $20-million a year.