I agree to Idea Change the 407 Act!
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I disagree to Idea Change the 407 Act!

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Fair & Just Society »

Change the 407 Act!

Bring fairness & transparency back to consumers & reign in spiraling tolls. Sign the petition http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/change-the-407act

Grievances against 407ETR include spiraling tolls, invoice suppression, undocumented invoicing, interfering with 407Act, keeping bankrupts in plate denial, ignoring the Statute of Limitations, improper billing, double billing, equipment failure, paying the bill and not getting credited, usury rates of interest, ect... Unsuspecting citizens receive a bill for undocumented amounts of money. In some cases the amounts are for thousands and thousands of dollars and has caused undue hardship to many.

Ferrovial, owner of 407ETR is spreading their greed around the world. Texas has the same problem as we do here

We can not continue to turn a blind eye to this company's disrespect for Canadian public policy. The government must get out of this company's business all together and stop acting as their personal collection agency. This will level the playing field for consumers.

Because our government felt this company's success was vital to important public policy, it gave this company unique powers to deny a person's plate for renewal if the company says the person owes them money.

The problem is that this company has exploited those unique powers for financial gain to the determent to citizens. 407ETR makes their own rules & MTO claims their hands are tied and can not do anything about it. This is not true! MTO can do something about it and we can help them do it starting with making sure that the independent arbitrators are exactly that... INDEPENDENT from 407ETR's influence.

On October 30th, 2003, Dalton McGuinty gave his first speech as Premier to the Economic Club of Toronto. He used weighty words claiming that his predecessors produced budgets the way that the circus puts on an act with smoke, mirrors and spin. He touted that he would put the public interest ahead of political interest, give people the straight goods, tell people the truth about the province's accounts. He was critical about the sale of 407ETR saying it was sold at fire sale prices, putting short-term political interests ahead of the public interest.

What did he do about 407ETR issues? On November 12th, 2004 he commissioned Harinder Takhar to conduct a review of 407ETR's customer service.

The problems that were found in that review, still exists to this very day. Dalton McGuinty did absolutely nothing about rising tolls and customer service issues. As a matter of fact he quit, made an "amicable" settlement with this company, threw consumers under the bus and blamed Mike Harris for everything. So much for putting the public interest ahead of political interest.

Now we have this highway being extended to the east. The Ontario Liberal Party claims that the extension will be publicly owned and that they will be able to control tolls and customer service issues. However, they gave the same consortium of investors in the current 108 KM's, not only the contract to design and build the extension, but also the contract to operate and maintain the highway for 30 years. Nothing with respect to tolls or customer service issues will change. Is this just smoke, mirrors and spin? OR will you change what Premier McGuinty didn't?

Tim Hudak says government should stay out of a business' way and let them create jobs, ect... I would ask him and other leaders to take that thought a step further. If this company wants to buy/build a highway without a gate, find a way to protect your own bottom line. The government should keep out of this company's business completely. Stop acting as their own personal collection agency.

We have been petitioning this government to speak to Jodie Parmar, former Vice President, Corporate Development, Privatization Secretariat/Ontario that successfully led the $3.107 billion privatization of Highway 407. Do what is fair and just for consumers. Change the 407 Act!

Please watch the documentary "Truth be Tolled" all 12 parts on YouTube

Submitted by Tammy Flores 10 months ago

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(latest 20 votes)

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  1. The idea was posted
    10 months ago

Comments (28)

  1. Jon

    I'd prefer to see the Liberal's purchase the 407 and make it a toll free highway as it should have been in the first place.

    10 months ago
    7 Agreed
    1 Disagreed
    1. yes we need to drive on that hiway for free. we pay so much tax here as it is, yet no one in government wants to hold themself accountable for what goes on inside..

      10 months ago
      7 Agreed
      1 Disagreed
  2. The government should not support and or assist the unfair billing practices and invoice suppression that seem to be a daily strategy a 407ETR. I have personally been targeted by this practice. It is not about people who don't pay their bills. With proof and supporting documents and perhaps even considering a little interest charge most Canadians will pay what they owe. When there is no proof and conflicting evidence and horrendous amounts of interest blindly applied then most Canadians will not pay. The government should remove the plate denial rights of the 407ETR and should should bring in an active third party arbitrator to resolve these payment issue associated with the above illegal actions.

    10 months ago
    14 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
    1. Tammy Flores Idea Submitter

      @Anthony Jefferson There are 3 independent arbitrators appointed each and every year. They are paid appointments, however, the public is not even aware that they exist.

      September 9th, 2009, I was told by Lou Politano, the Ministry of Transportation's Regional Director, "the Ministry is responsible for monitoring 407ETR's compliance with the Highway 407Act, 1998 and the Concessions and Ground Lease Agreement".

      In my quest to find out how the public is supposed to access the legislated independent arbitrators, the Ministry of Transportation says "The Dispute Arbitrators are paid appointments, and 407 ETR Concession Company Ltd., the Concessionaire of Highway 407 ETR, is legislated to pay all fees and expenses of the Dispute Arbitrators." but the answers fall short of how we are to access these arbitrators because they go on to say that their "only involvement ... with the 407 Dispute Arbitrators is processing the paperwork for the appointments."..." our office has no dealings with the 407ETR or the Dispute Arbitrators, so I am unable to provide you with answers to your questions."

      According to Jodie Parmar, the lead executive when the 407 Act was created, independent arbitrators should be able to create a formal body and advertise their services.

      Communications were sent to Executive Director of ADR Institute of Ontario, Mary Anne Harnwick, asking questions about how to access the independent process. Her responses were short, evasive & very protective. Without answering any of the questions asked, she claimed we were in a disagreement and that the dispute process was independent, was not biased and was in accordance with law, however, she felt an overwhelming need to be transparent with Denise Peltier, 407ETR's own internal, biased Ombudsman and sent my emails to her.

      How is that an independent process when you take your marching orders from 407ETR?

      The last time I checked the 3 Orders-in-Council, Denise Peltier's name was not on them appointing her as an INDEPENDENT arbitrator. I have since asked Mary Anne to explain the basis of her belief as she really didn't say much more than the above. To date she has not responded.

      I also wrote to each one of the 3 independent arbitrators. They have not responded.

      This is not a fair and just process and has to change.

      10 months ago
      11 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
    2. in the consumer protection act 2002 sec 4,5 and 6 it reads

      Consumer agreements

      4. A consumer agreement that meets the criteria of more than one type of agreement to which this Act applies shall comply with the provisions of this Act and of the regulations that apply to each type of agreement for which it meets the criteria, except where the application of the provisions is excluded by the regulations. 2004, c. 19, s. 7 (5).

      Disclosure of information

      5. (1) If a supplier is required to disclose information under this Act, the disclosure must be clear, comprehensible and prominent. 2002, c. 30, Sched. A, s. 5 (1).

      Delivery of information

      (2) If a supplier is required to deliver information to a consumer under this Act, the information must, in addition to satisfying the requirements in subsection (1), be delivered in a form in which it can be retained by the consumer. 2002, c. 30, Sched. A, s. 5 (2).

      PART II

      CONSUMER RIGHTS AND WARRANTIES

      Rights reserved

      6. Nothing in this Act shall be interpreted to limit any right or remedy that a consumer may have in law. 2002, c. 30, Sched. A, s. 6.

      so we still have remedy

      10 months ago
      5 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
  3. 407 charges 19% compounded. this is contrary to the interest act of canada which only allows for 5% for unsignatured contracts.

    Interest Act

    R.S.C., 1985, c. I-15

    Interest rate when none provided

    3. Whenever any interest is payable by the agreement of parties or by law, and no rate is fixed by the agreement or by law, the rate of interest shall be 5 per cent per annum.

    10 months ago
    9 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
    1. Tammy Flores Idea Submitter

      Thank-you for this information. I really appreciate this enlightenment. 407ETR calls the shots. They claim a lot of things that I think is against important public policy issues such as Bankruptcy, Statute of Limitations and Consumer protection laws. As a matter of fact I wrote a mockup of what it's like when you talk to this company. You can find it here http://407etr-abuseofpower.com/index.php/407etrs-information-regarding-your-bill-is-it-legal-travelling-the-407etr-enters-you-into-a-15-year-agreement/

      The company claims that by merely driving on their highway you have agreed to enter into a 15 year agreement! I don't think anybody in their right mind would enter into a 15 year agreement they have never seen.

      Who would you say is responsible to reign in this company's unlawful business practices? I always thought regulations set by the government would take care of that, but for some reason, it appears this government decided it would wash their hands of that responsibility and let this company run rampant, even stretching the laws in the 407 Act in favor of this company.

      For the past 3 years we have tried to appeal to the decision makers to act and it fell on deaf ears. I hope now they are listening because too many people are being exploited by this company.

      10 months ago
      8 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
  4. tammy ive attached in your hotmail account a copy of the interest act of canada as well as the consumer protection act. sec 4, 5 and 6 of the consumer protection act needs to be adhered to. in this case it is not..here it is

    Consumer agreements

    4. A consumer agreement that meets the criteria of more than one type of agreement to which this Act applies shall comply with the provisions of this Act and of the regulations that apply to each type of agreement for which it meets the criteria, except where the application of the provisions is excluded by the regulations. 2004, c. 19, s. 7 (5).

    Disclosure of information

    5. (1) If a supplier is required to disclose information under this Act, the disclosure must be clear, comprehensible and prominent. 2002, c. 30, Sched. A, s. 5 (1).

    Delivery of information

    (2) If a supplier is required to deliver information to a consumer under this Act, the information must, in addition to satisfying the requirements in subsection (1), be delivered in a form in which it can be retained by the consumer. 2002, c. 30, Sched. A, s. 5 (2).

    PART II

    CONSUMER RIGHTS AND WARRANTIES

    Rights reserved

    6. Nothing in this Act shall be interpreted to limit any right or remedy that a consumer may have in law. 2002, c. 30, Sched. A, s. 6.

    10 months ago
    4 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
    1. Tammy Flores Idea Submitter

      Roger, I agree. As a matter of fact I took it up with MTO and they told me I had to deal with MCS because our issues were "consumer issues". MCS refused to investigate stating to quote their June 12th, 2013 letter to me “The Consumer Protection Act, 2002 is a broad piece of marketplace legislation… where there is an industry-specific regulator in place which administers legislation governing the same issue as provisions found in a more general statute, the industry-specific legislation is applied. It would be inappropriate for the Ministry of Consumer Services to mediate or investigate a matter where the business is regulated by a designated regulator…”

      Didn't the Ministry of Consumer Services, in April 2013, take steps to ensure that consumers were provided with clear information and fewer surprises when they enter into cell phone and wireless services contracts? Isn't the CRTC the industry-specific regulator in place that administers legislation that covers the same issues? Am I wrong to conclude then that it was inappropriate for the Ministry of Consumer Services to mediate/investigate the complaints they received about the cellphone market?

      It appears to be a lot of double talk with this issue and nobody wanting to do their jobs and correct the problem.

      10 months ago
      8 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
  5. sorry tim the conservatives caused this mess in the first place- so its going to take a long time to be trusted - the linerals arnt much better -but they didnt sell it to foreign interests! the whole 407 thing is wrong- if the highway is needed it should be there anyway (and it is needed) if the government has a good profitable thing going like LCBO -why mess with it -

    10 months ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
    1. Tammy Flores Idea Submitter

      OK... but it's been 10 years and nothing has changed. People are being exploited. I think one should advocate for change and not continue to blame others for the mess. Blaming others doesn't fix the problem. Positive actions will remedy the problem.

      10 months ago
      3 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
  6. MPP Glen Murray, the Minister of Transportation, is just as quilty as the 407 for breaking the Ontario Laws.

    Plate denial, is to be imposed for unpaid fines under the "Provincial offences Act" POA and offences under the Highway Traffic Act.

    Not for the private use of the 407 extortion racket tactics. They, the 407 are not a crown corporation!

    It is ridiculous to deny a person with a "perfect" driving record, their right to drive "lawfully" in Ontario.

    10 months ago
    3 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  7. The 407 is unfortunately out of the governments control. Luckily, they aren't being as stupid with the 407 extension, and the Government will be collecting the profits from it and be setting the toll rates.

    10 months ago
    0 Agreed
    2 Disagreed
    1. Tammy Flores Idea Submitter

      This statement is false.

      10 months ago
      3 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
    2. @ tammy

      how so? They are hiring the spanish company to operate the extension but will be setting the rates and collecting the fares. it will be set up the same way the Eglinton LRT will be, with the provincial government contracting operations out to the TTC but maintaining ownership and collecting (if any) profits.

      10 months ago
      0 Agreed
      2 Disagreed
    3. Tammy Flores Idea Submitter

      @innsertnamehere I am going to try and be respectful as possible. Think of what I am about to say as speaking truth to power.

      Jodie Parmar, is a former Vice President of Corporate Development, Privatization Secretariat/Ontario and successfully led the $3.107 billion privatization of Highway 407. As executive lead, he knows the intent of the Act he helped create.

      In my conversations with him over the past year, he has said that what is happening now with respects to the spiraling tolls and customer service issues is the result of one of two things.

      It's either this government is completely incompetent or there has been direct interference.

      Jodie Parmar spoke candidly with me and said they knew when they were creating the act and making up the contract that they may not have thought of everything and so made provisions to reset the agreement at some point in the future if needed.

      The fact that this government, so far, has not showed any serious interest to sit down and discuss this is concerning.

      Like I said in my original post the former Premier, Dalton McGuinty "quit, made an 'amicable' settlement with this company, threw consumers under the bus and blamed Mike Harris for everything.

      Why? Is it that it's just easier? Are people lazy? Is it that they like the easy way out and don't want to put forth the effort it will take to correct this... abuse of power? OR is it something more sinister? I personally would like to believe it's incompetence or laziness.

      Tolls and customer service issues will not change because the same consortium of investors were given the contract to operate and maintain the extension for 30 years. NOTHING will change!

      407ETR are more arrogant than ever because of the lack of action. So many important public policy issues are being ignored.

      It seems that the public interest is only a financial transaction these days. The public doesn't have a Kevin Sack for tolling matters. Kevin Sack is 407ETR’s paid lobbyist that is able to walk into any government service such as the Ministry of Government Services, Ministry of Infrastructure, Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Transportation, the Office of the Premier and Cabinet Office, Metrolinx, Ontario Infrastructure and Lands Corporation (Infrastructure Ontario) and any MPP’s office and have an audience. Kevin Sack can discuss policy programs, projects, back office and customer service decisions, transit, transportation infrastructure, etc...

      Who does the public have to balance those discussions out? ABSOLUTELY NOBODY! There should be a public voice to balance out corporate interest.

      That's what I have been trying to accomplish for the past 3 years. We can change the 407 Act!

      10 months ago
      5 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
  8. The wool has been pulled over the public's eyes. We need to stand up to the bullshit and correct the wrongs. The Government needs to listen to the public.

    10 months ago
    4 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  9. The MTO is not a collection agency for the illegitamate/extortion tactics & billing practices of the 407,although the supreme court of Ontario allows this practice. Who is reasponsible for creating the smoke screen? with NO accountability!!!

    Denying people, with a clear driving record, their right to drive legally or to own a vehicle, is criminal!

    10 months ago
    2 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
    1. Tammy Flores Idea Submitter

      @dborgin Yes, 407's tactics and billing practices are atrocious, but MTO is responsible as the regulator to regulate and they so far have refused to. I am not convinced of MTO's spin on that ruling in 2005. Remember rather than appeal, Premier McGuinty quit and made an "amicable" settlement with this company. That settlement was supposed to have dealt with the customer service issues and did absolutely nothing for the problem.

      It's a stretch to believe the judge was telling the 407 that they could ignore all the other public policy issues currently being ignored.

      Really, the 407 Act is Ultra Vires and MTO has a responsibility to us to fix what they can. MTO has become their collection agency by de facto. They are not absolved of responsibility.

      10 months ago
      3 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
    2. Tammy Flores Idea Submitter

      Thousands of people have been hoodwinked by 407ETR & MTO made the problem worse. 407ETR made errors in their “Notice of Failure to Pay” and accordingly they should withdrawal their section 22 notices with the Registrar, but they don’t and MTO stretches & interprets that to mean there is nothing they can do because of that 2005 Judgment. Because of the atrocious language in this Judgment and the Act, MTO interprets this to mean that unless 407ETR withdraws, they will still act on Plate Denials. Is this fair? Absolutely not!

      The 407 Act doesn’t trump, override or amend other laws unless it specifically says so (e.g., para 8 – Non-application of Expropriations Act). The unwillingness for either the Ministry of Transportation or the Ministry of Consumer Services to intervene comes down to politics and jurisdiction.

      407ETR had sympathy from this Judgment because they took 10 of the most flagrant abusers of this highway and plead a case. MTO has the responsibility to go back to court and demonstrate how 407ETR has flagrantly abused this atrocious language and as a result thousands of consumers have been ripped off!

      10 months ago
      3 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
    3. Tammy Flores Idea Submitter

      Just look at the language in that 2005 judgment in #27 & #28 “ As noted above, the purpose of the Act was to privatize the operation of Highway 407 and, given its open-access character, to provide the owner an effective method of toll collection.

      By De Facto MTO is their collection agency.

      10 months ago
      3 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
  10. A big part of Toronto's problem is people like me who only want to get from A to B and find Toronto to just be a huge obstacle. From Detroit/Windsor to Kingston/Montreal, we need a bypass! We don't want to get in your way. The 407 was meant to be a bypass but now it will be privately owned until long after we are all dead, fossil fuels are gone and cars are obsolete. Can we build a bypass further north so we do not get in your way?

    10 months ago
    1 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
    1. Tammy Flores Idea Submitter

      Actually there are plans for a Highway 413 north of the 407. The problem with 407 is not that it is privately owned. It's this company's lack of a conscience and the government's lack of action that's the problem. The government's job is to regulate them so that they comply with important public policy that they are willfully ignoring.

      10 months ago
      2 Agreed
      1 Disagreed
  11. The 407 is a privately owned business. They can charge whatever tolls they want. When it gets too high people will stop using it and they'll be forced to drop prices. Why do people always want gov't intervention, just let the friggin free market control things like this.

    9 months ago
    0 Agreed
    5 Disagreed
    1. Tammy Flores Idea Submitter

      Did you even read the OP? It's about the government getting out of their business and stop being their personal collection agency!

      9 months ago
      2 Agreed
      0 Disagreed
  12. There are hundred (if not thousands) of people who can't renew their plates because of an amount owing to the 407 that is either incorrrect or completely outrageous. In our case, we paid everything we owed and then, many years later, we get a bill for $33,000!!! It has now grown to over $45,000. Something has to be done to protect the people of Ontario from this kind of fiasco!!

    9 months ago
    4 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  13. I'd like to know Kevin Sack's place of work; address and anything else you can offer.

    9 months ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
    1. Tammy Flores Idea Submitter

      Well as you can see on the Lobbyist Registry he is directly employed by 407 ETR https://lobbyist.oico.on.ca/LRO/RegistrationPublic.nsf/b13320178443e46e8525682a0073cea9/1d9939dd02fd942585257854006a03f6?OpenDocument&Highlight=0,407,etr Just like the Office of the President and the 407's Ombudsman, everything is in house at 407 ETR's offices.

      6300 Steeles Ave. West

      Woodbridge, ON

      L4H 1J1

      His phone number is 905-264-5374 and his email is [email protected]

      9 months ago
      0 Agreed
      0 Disagreed