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Arbitrator sides with 407 ETR over legality of rate hikes

TORONTO, Ont - There's more bad news for truckers upset over rates on the 407 ETR.

TORONTO, Ont – There’s more bad news for truckers upset over rates on the 407 ETR.

An independent arbitrator’s decision has confirmed that the 407 ETR is not required to submit a Change Request, nor obtain any other Ontario government approval, in order to change tolls or fees.

The decision is the result of the agreement of both parties on an expedited arbitration by a retired Ontario judge. In his ruling, the arbitrator stated that the 407 ETR’s February 1 toll increase was in compliance with the contracts with the Province and he therefore ruled that the Company was not in default of the contracts.

The Province had alleged that the 407 ETR did not have the right to increase tolls without first obtaining the government’s approval. Specifically, the government suggested that the Company had to file a Change Request in order to increase tolls and was in default for not doing so earlier this year.

The 407 ETR disagreed with the Government’s position, maintaing that the contract signed between the Company and the Government in 1999 did not contain such terms and conditions. The dispute went to arbitration in mid-June after amicable negotiation and mediation did not resolve the issue.

407 International Inc. is the sole shareholder, operator and manager of 407 ETR, which extends 108 kilometres east-west, just north of Toronto. 407 International Inc. is owned by a consortium comprised of the Canadian subsidiary of Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte (co-owned by Grupo Ferrovial and Australian-headquartered Macquarie Infrastructure Group) and Canadian-based SNC-Lavalin.

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