cne 2022

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.

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.

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.

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.

"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."

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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