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Review coming for tire recycling procurement

Premier Scott Moe announces Cam Swan will review procurement practices and assess future needs of tire recycling and processing
Premier Scott Moe, seen speaking to reporters at the legislature Monday, has announced a review of tire recycling procurement practises.

The province has announced a review of procurement practises in the wake of a controversy over the tire recycling procurement bidding process in the province.

The issue erupted in recent days after Saskatchewan based Shercom Industries Inc. closed its tire processing facility after its contract lapsed last month. There has also been word that a contract has been signed with California-based Crumb Rubber Manufacturers, which will be taking on recycling of Saskatchewan tires at a facility out of Moose Jaw. 

The move drew a response from the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce who expressed their concerns in a letter to the province. 

Now, it appears the whole procurement process will be reviewed. 

It was announced Monday morning that Cam Swan, former Deputy Minister to the Premier and former Deputy Minister of the Environment, has been appointed by Premier Scott Moe to review procurement practices and provide recommendations to the Minister of Environment. As well, a current Request for Proposals for a Saskatoon-area processor has been put on hold.

Here is the statement from the government in full:

"Premier Moe has asked Cam Swan, former Deputy Minister to the Premier and former Deputy Minister of the Environment, to engage with the Ministry of Environment and Tire Stewardship Saskatchewan (TSS) to review procurement practices and assess future needs of tire recycling and processing, and to provide recommendations to the Minister.

"As a result, the Government of Saskatchewan has asked TSS to pause the current RFP for a Saskatoon-area processor. The review is expected to be completed later this summer."

Speaking to reporters about the situation Monday afternoon, Premier Moe explained the rationale behind the decision.

"It's an important program, the tire recycling program, like many of our recycling programs. It seems there's been, you know, to some degrees of breakdown in some of the relationships in that realm. We need those relationships to be strong between any and all the companies that are involved, as well as the stewardship group, the TSS group, that is really there to represent the retail industry and folks that are selling tires and collecting the levies. Cam Swan has been my deputy minister, he's been the deputy minister with Environment, he knows this space, and I'm certain he will be able to just dig a little bit deeper, try to bring everyone in the realm of the scrap tire industry, the tire recycling industry, into the same conversation, the same page. Most certainly, (this) provides some strong direction, recommendations, or whatever that might be to the Minister of Environment."

In speaking to reporters Opposition Jobs Critic Aleana Young said Swan was a respected civil servant in Saskatchewan and was confident in the work he would do.

"If I have any concerns, it's really about the fact that the government procurement processes are so consistently flawed, and so consistently shipping of jobs to other jurisdictions, that they need an independent third-party to review their own practices," said Young.

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