City of Charlottetown cancels vehicle agreement with U.S.-based company

·2 min read
The Prince Edward Island Automobile Dealers Association said it is 'delighted' that Charlottetown City Council has rescinded an agreement with Enterprise. (Nicola MacLeod/CBC - image credit)
The Prince Edward Island Automobile Dealers Association said it is 'delighted' that Charlottetown City Council has rescinded an agreement with Enterprise. (Nicola MacLeod/CBC - image credit)

Prince Edward Island car dealers are celebrating after Charlottetown City Council voted 7-3 this week in favour of cancelling its vehicle fleet management agreement with Enterprise, a U.S.-based company.

The deal was approved in August last year.

"It was wrong. It was wrong from the get-go," councillor Mitch Tweel said about the agreement.

"And a year later, common sense prevailed and we were able to rescind that resolution and get back to an open and fair process. Open, fair and transparent."

At the time, Enterprise told the city it would save $1.8 million over 10 years by leasing rather than buying vehicles outright. Some councillors say the arrangement saved $261,000 in its first year alone.

Savings disputed

But some, like Tweel, dispute those numbers.

"You can't say that there's a cost savings when you did not give the local businesses in this city — or in this province, for that matter — the opportunity to submit a competitive bid."

Isabella Zavarise/CBC
Isabella Zavarise/CBC

Terry Bernard, Mike Duffy and Terry MacLeod were the three councillors who voted against rescinding the agreement. None was available for an interview.

In an email to CBC News, Bernard said "it's unfortunate" the city's taxpayers will lose so much money in savings, noting that the vehicles from Enterprise would have been serviced locally, providing revenue for local businesses.

Auto dealers 'delighted'

The Prince Edward Island Automobile Dealers Association issued a news release Thursday saying it was "delighted" to see the end of the Enterprise deal.

"After 14 tedious months and a lot of letters, emails, phone calls, texts, and meetings, PEIADA has succeeded in helping Charlottetown City Council see the negative implications of not acquiring its vehicles through local dealerships," association president Charlie Fitzpatrick said in the release.

We are appreciative to those city councillors who got it right from the start. — Charlie Fitzpatrick

"We are appreciative to those city councillors who got it right from the start and continued to diligently advocate within committee and council meetings."

Eighteen new trucks were part of this year's dealings with Enterprise. Those trucks still have not arrived due to pandemic vehicle shortages.

The city said it will not face any financial penalties for ending the agreement with Enterprise.