Double Standards for 407 ETR

There are so many complaints the public has with respects to Highway 407 and how it’s been operated over the past 15 years. At the heart is 407 ETR’s lack of concern for following consumer protection laws. It seems the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as one of the shareholders in this highway is notorious for ignoring the law in Spain.

Ferrovial is the largest shareholder of 407 ETR, owning 43.23%. They definitely have a say in the day to day operations of 407 ETR and have a double standard for what they expect for the company and what is expected from its customers.

The group “Global Anti-Toll Alliance”, GATA for short, has been highlighting scandals surrounding Ferrovial and questions why governing authorities continue to do business with this foreign company that has a reputation for ignoring the law.

In Spain, the law is that construction companies have 60 days to pay their creditors. In a report released by La Plataforma Multisectorial contra la Morosidad (PMcM), which is available through CNMV, an agency that lists timing of collections and payments in Spain’s construction industry, Ferrovial is reported to be the worst offender of this law. Ferrovial has taken as much as 536 days to pay their suppliers. That’s about 10 times the legal limit. This has put some smaller suppliers out of business and has caused an outcry.

When company’s like Ferrovial practice business this way, it leaves a lot of heartache because it’s not just that the company has to shut down. People lose jobs. They lose their ability to provide for their families. Sometimes a good paying job is replaced with a job that pays far less and so the standard of living is reduced. Our governing authorities have to stop worrying about these multinational corporations providing jobs and look at what their business practices do to good paying jobs.

Although Ferrovial will take as much as 536 days to pay their suppliers, no financial penalties are imposed on the company. In contrast, the company demands that their customers pay after only 34 days. As we have seen here in Canada with 407 ETR, not only does this company demand to be paid within 34 days, but imposes harsh financial penalties to the tune of thousands and thousands of dollars. To make matters worse, our governing authorities help the company perpetuate this gross misconduct by keeping people in what is essentially debtor’s prison by means of Plate Denial, until you pay whatever usury amounts of money the company imposes on you for nonpayment. Talk about your double standards.

Ferrovial can destroy smaller companies, putting them out of business by simply not paying them. Ferrovial can operate a foreign company like 407 ETR and destroy people’s lives by imposing harsh financial penalties for nonpayment and have governing authorities place people debtor’s prison. A double standard at it’s finest. The question is why? Why do we continue to allow large multinational corporations do this? Don’t we, as a democratic society, frown on sovereign nations that treat their people in this manner? Then why is our very own governing authorities doing business with a company that does the same thing?

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4 Responses to “Double Standards for 407 ETR”

  1. Jenn says:

    Hi Tammy,

    You mention the interest payments we are stuck with and the plate denial process we have to endure and the costs associated with this process. However, what seems to be forgotten in all these conversations are the cars that are sitting in the driveway rusting apart while we are stuck in this process. Will the bankrupts be compensated for the new machines that will now need to be purchased – I doubt it…..Consider the thousands of dollars lost on our vehicles while they sit idly in the driveway deteriorating…..The twenty six percent interest is just the tip of the ice burg!!

  2. george mdonald says:

    I was wondering if it is legal or illegal, to have a “for profit company” avoid the HST

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