Letter to Harinder Takhar (2004)

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The following was a letter sent to Transportation Minister Harinder Takhar from MPP – Mike Colle which launched an investigation on the 407 ETR in 2004

The Honourable Harinder Takhar
Minister of Transportation
Ferguson Block, 3rd Floor,
Queen’s Park
Toronto, ON M7A 1Z8

Dear Minister,

I am pleased to submit the final report of the Review of Customer Service — Highway 407 ETR.

During the course of my work, I had the opportunity to hear from over 700 Ontarians in the Greater Toronto Area. Some presented their views in person, some by mail, some by phone and some electronically. Regardless of the medium, the message was largely the same — a sense of disappointing levels of customer service. Most people said that they knew of others who had the same frustrations.

Highway 407 ETR remains an excellent transportation corridor and a definite asset in helping Ontarians move quickly across the northern GTA. But clearly there is dissatisfaction with the way it was being administered – the faulty billings, the failure to respond adequately to consumer complaints, the perception of a reliance on an overly aggressive collection agency.

Throughout my report you will see direct quotes from Ontarians. In many ways their voices speak more eloquently than my own to the problem of poor consumer service. On occasion, those voices are intemperate, reflecting the frustration that underlies them. But I have left them intact, as it is essential to bring home to the Ministry of Transportation — and even the operator of Highway 407 ETR — the strength and depth of the feelings of the many dissatisfied customers who provided evidence to my inquiry.

As in all investigations based on public testimony, I cannot confirm the factual accuracy of the concerns that were voiced. Quite possibly some were exaggerated or unjustified. It may well be that there were reasonable explanations for the conduct that gave rise to many of the concerns. Nevertheless, to have received so many critical comments from consumers of a publicly offered service was troubling. It is simply not acceptable in this Province that so many consumers were dissatisfied with the manner in which the operator of a vital toll highway dealt with them.

I believe that the problems can and must be rectified. I am pleased to present for your consideration a series of recommendations. Together, they reflect the views of Ontarians and my own on how consumers can receive the responsible and responsive service they deserve while using a highway for which they have, and continue, to pay.

Respectfully submitted,

(original signed)
Mike Colle, MPP

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