Rides at the CNE will not be getting the usual safety inspections this year
After a two-year hiatus, the CNE is finally back in-person for summer 2022, with millions of people from Toronto and abroad eagerly awaiting the start of the famed annual event later this week.
But before flocking to the chair swings and the Polar Express or gorging on the absurd eats at the food building, you should be aware of some changes to the safety inspections process this year, which apparently won't be the same as usual.
It’s probably not a good idea to get on a travelling carnival ride if it’s only been safety-checked by scabs, instead of qualified, unionized inspectors. Those temporarily installed rides can be sketchy at the best of times. #CNE #Toronto https://t.co/XgcIgkb5qV— Matthew Cooper (@CooperMatthew_1) August 14, 2022
Inspectors from the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA), who ensure that rides, food vendors, equipment and everything else at the Ex operates in line with certain stringent guidelines each summer, are currently on strike as part of a dispute that is not expected to be settled by the time the event kicks off on August 19.
Union members walked off the job on July 21 over work contract concerns, about which they will be picketing on-site.
I'll be going to the CNE this summer, but no fucking way I'll allow anyone I love to go on their rides lol— Craig Williams (CW) (@CDUBB_CW) August 14, 2022
This means that until a negotiation is reached, customary checks both prior to and during the carnival will not be completed by TSSA officers like they have every other year.
But, of course, this does not mean that they are not happening at all.
The CNE maintains the highest safety standards in the industry. In addition to TSSA inspections/certifications, the CNE deploys third-party safety consultants & certified engineers to ensure that rides & installations exceed safety standards. https://t.co/4mX9g1TASo— letsgototheex (@LetsGoToTheEX) August 13, 2022
As the CNE assured in an official statement and to media, checks will instead be conducted by qualified and experienced third-party consultants and safety engineers who "go above and beyond" the routine practices of the TSSA.
TSSA management has also apparently examined the travelling ride equipment at other fair locations before its arrival in Toronto.
Oh how I’ve missed the CNE! Rides that can kill you, greasy food that can kill you…😂😂😂. I LOVE IT! ❤️❤️— Pepper Redcastle (@SherriStocks) February 2, 2022
"We want to assure our patrons that the CNE is safe irrespective of the ongoing labour dispute between TSSA and OPSEU," reads the announcement on the CNE's website.
"We encourage the OPSEU Local 546 and the TSSA management negotiating teams to return to the bargaining table. It is our hope that a collective agreement can be negotiated on an expedited basis so that the TSSA can return to full staff to facilitate its role in safeguarding the industry."
They really pull CNE rides out from a suitcase— 🫂 (@vibeistani) May 10, 2022
While some are now vowing not to attend the long-running event this year due to safety worries, others are joking that half the fun of the exhibition's rides is how sketchy they notoriously are — as anyone who has ever been on the Zipper during its tenured career can attest to.
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