Opposition questions GPS units on government vehicles

Ryan Ross
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Opposition house leader Steven Myers

The Transportation Department has put GPS units on many of its vehicles and Georgetown-St. Peters MLA Steven Myers wants to know why.

Myers raised the issue during today’s question period when he said the government bought GPS units during the summer and had them installed on vehicles.

“Minister (Robert Vessey) can you tell us why these units were purchased and how many you bought,” Myers said.

Vessey responded that he wasn’t involved in the department’s day-to-day operations but he would get the information and bring it back to the house.

Myers pressed the issue and asked if the units were used to track employee movements to which Vessey again responded he would get the information.

The questions continued with Myers saying a supervisor accused an employee of spending five hours at the Tim Hortons next to the government garage in Charlottetown when that employee’s vehicle was actually parked in the garage lot.

“Why are your supervisors tracking employees’ movements?”

Vessey responded by saying supervisors have a role to do, which includes watching over workers and added that if Myers had information about supervisors doing something wrong he wished Myers would bring it to him so they could discuss it.

“If he wants to try to get cheap political points on the floor of the house over an HR issue, so be it,” Vessey said.

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/ryanrross

Organizations: Transportation Department, Tim Hortons

Geographic location: Georgetown, Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • big mac
    November 29, 2012 - 07:01

    the city of charlottetown should install them too.then they could check on the big convention at macdonalds every morning

  • AMAZED
    November 28, 2012 - 21:54

    This is long overdue. During Binn's regime we would have a crew block the road at around 9.30 then leave at 10.30 to come back all full of business at 2.30 and drive her till 3.30.In the in between they massed at Tim Hortons or you would trip over them at Super Store or wait behind them at a hardware store .GPS is an excellent way to see where they are because whether you want to hear this or not...some crews do not even leave their home if the boss's car is broke down,or he is checking his mail or feeling sickly.Stay inside your home till 4.30 they are told and you will be paid for the day.We need paid spys along with the GPS.

  • People can say who cares but...
    November 28, 2012 - 20:39

    1How much did we as taxpayers pay for these 2 How much did it cost to install them 3 Are there monthly fees? 4 Were they tendered Just think for a moment if there were 50 of these units at 1000 a piece? Plus installation and upkeep-and for what? Thank you Mr Myers for asking the questions for us tax paying citizens.

    • David
      November 28, 2012 - 23:14

      GPS units are so cheap you'll probably find one in your cereal as a prize. Knock a zero off the $1000 I bet in bulk these things may be $100 each or less. I'd say the GPS tracking of government vehicles would save money by preventing waste.

    • to david
      November 29, 2012 - 11:46

      Rumour has it that DOT is paying montly charges on each unit-its a GPS tracking device from what I understand-it doesnt tell the operator how to get places......wasted money

  • Gerard
    November 28, 2012 - 20:09

    Just more wast of tax dollars and corruption in this Liberal Govt. it's time they were TURFED. or P. E. I. as we know it will be BANKRUPT......

  • Brian from Winsloe
    November 28, 2012 - 19:56

    I'm very surprised that Mr. Myers, as an IT professional formerly employed in government, does not remember why GPS tracking was installed in government vehicles. He, more than anyone, should be able to explain what the advantages are when it comes to resource management and efficient use of taxpayer dollars. I'm sorry, but this sounds like trying to score some political points.

    • nitpicker
      November 29, 2012 - 08:30

      And what's unfortunate is that, in some people's eyes, he will score political points for this insignificant "issue". Unless Myers brings forth some concern of abuse of power by Transportation Department management or illegal procurement of the devices, then this doesn't warrant discussion in Question Period. I realize we like to pounce on government at every opportunity, but every activity in a government department can't necessary be traced back to some dubious activity by a politician.

  • Not Hard to Figure Out
    November 28, 2012 - 19:30

    Mr. Myers! They require the GPS units because they have no sense of direction. They may get on track if they figure how to use them. They certainly have been lost when it came to the Hills of Borden; Plan B; and HST. This province has lost direction for the past number of years.

  • Cheap.......
    November 28, 2012 - 18:41

    "Cheap political points"...Mr Vesey its time your government cuts all wasteful spending and this is spending going on under your nose-do you really think a marked government truck needs GPS? We dont live in New York City-this Sir is a waste.

    • Trollolol
      November 29, 2012 - 05:26

      You sir, are the kind of person who holds PEI back from advancing to current times. My company here on PEI uses them. They have saved me law suits. These are GPS tracking devices that tell a lot of information about what the vehicle has been doing. Not navigation devices.

  • Political Follower
    November 28, 2012 - 18:10

    One has to ask why all the fuss about GPS units in Government vehicles, I am sure other organizations such as Police/Corrections and others, my understanding they are there for Safety issues and response times etc, why would anyone be concerned about a GPS unit unless they are going or doing something they should not be doing. If any agencies goes to the point of sneaking these units in vehicles to spy on employees, than there must be big issues not being dealt with by those in control. Small stuff to be talking about when we have PNP scandal, Mayors being released form offices, major mismangement issues, the list goes on, the PC'S best use that energy on the real issues and stop grand standing over nothing.

  • political junkie
    November 28, 2012 - 17:27

    Myers you're just hoping your party will form government so you will also dip into the tax payer feeding trough.Free vehicles,free food,etc. what a life while the ordinary tax payer goes broke.You make me sick ,all parties are alike.

  • johnny cash
    November 28, 2012 - 17:11

    Just a case of employer not trusting the employee? We should tag whiz with one and see when he makes a PNP withdrawal! Or any lieberal for that matter!

  • Thank you Mr Myers
    November 28, 2012 - 16:40

    Thank you Mr Myers for keeping this government on their toes. I was one of the many who was laid off working in TPW but they can go put GPS in trucks that dont even leave their own counties? Mr Vesey laid me off and now he says he's not involved in the "day to day" operations? Thats some responsible Minister right there

  • mra
    November 28, 2012 - 16:31

    RE ;; i do belive you have hit the nail on the head.

  • Ulfric
    November 28, 2012 - 16:15

    Plenty of companies use them. This money was well spent. Like today when one stopped to talk to the other during a green light in an intersection. A car had to stop, then another, then another until the one in front of me rear ended the one in front of it. All because someone decides to stop when they should continue going, someone could be getting sued over a 'neck injury' caused by neither party involved in the suit. Sorry but the accident was a lie, just a close call for the whole lineup. They point is, GPS would allow them to tell the exact movements of the vehicle so if they were to cause an accident in this fashion it can be reported and dealt with. My boss has caught a few drunk drivers, and excessive speed drivers that way too. If they driver consciously knows they are being watched, their tendencies behind the wheel will be safer. I don't see why this is even being questioned. “Why are your supervisors tracking employees’ movements?” Well for starters they are not tracking the employee, they are tracking the vehicle. Their vehicle. It's completely legal to put GPS on any company equipment. Sorry for the crazed rant folks but there is nothing to question here besides Myers' integrity and line of thought, or lack there of.

  • Aaron
    November 28, 2012 - 16:11

    The company I work for had GPS tracking in all the trucks.it's used to insure all Safety regulations are followed and incase of theft. Not a big deal.

    • hahaha
      November 28, 2012 - 19:40

      Yeah just in case someone wants to still a marked Department of Transportation truck.....this is simply case of wasted money to line someones pockets-it may work in Toronto-but theres no need of it here.

    • To HAHAHA
      November 29, 2012 - 05:19

      Line what pockets? Every hear of a joy ride? Remember the tractor on a trailer that got stolen last year? Guess how it was found. Not because it stuck out like a sore thumb, that's for sure.

  • Sylvia
    November 28, 2012 - 16:00

    The biggest bully that's ever been in P.E.I. legislature is Ron McKinley, the way he bullied Pat Mella and Olive Crane. The way McKinley treated Olive after her accident, telling her that was her punishment for wanting to bring in Sunday shopping was the most ignorant performance I've ever read about taking place in our Legislature.

  • golftan
    November 28, 2012 - 15:46

    Vessey said he's not involved in the day-to-day operations of his department? UMMMMMM - WHAT?

    • jason
      November 28, 2012 - 18:05

      He has better things to do they employ supervisors to do that do you think that the Danny Murphy knows what each and everyone of his employees is doing every minute of the day. He employees people to do that idiot

  • Eastern Star
    November 28, 2012 - 15:45

    Myers . . . you gotta love this guy. He sees through all the BS as do the rest of us with any semblance of intelligence. He doesn't try to "act" the politician stereotype of speaking in circles with fancy four syllable words leading nowhere. If nothing else, it's nice to see them squirm a little in their shame. As far as the tracking devices, I think they got them on the wrong vehicles.

  • R. E.
    November 28, 2012 - 15:42

    Grandstanding ............. and he's darn good at it !

  • Bully in the House
    November 28, 2012 - 15:13

    I truly can't remember when we have ever had such a bully in the PEI Legislature. His form of questioning and accusations- when he does not have all the facts is getting a little tiring. Who cares about GPS?? Really? And IF the case was that an employee was somewhere where they shouldn't be for 5 hrs...then it should be looked into by HR...I can imagine if the Gov did not look into it- he would be asking why they didn't....blah blah blah!!!! Just a bunch of grand-standing.

    • Garth Staples
      November 28, 2012 - 15:32

      So Grits don't like some one fishing in their hole. Sometimes you catch a big one.