Gilles Bisson MPP Timmins

Government of Ontario

Government's failure to take action on northern transportation means dangerous winter highways continue

Published on December 10, 2020

QUEEN’S PARK – The government’s northern transportation re-announcement on Thursday failed to address northern transportation concerns, says the Official Opposition.

 
Jennifer French, MPP for Oshawa, and Northern MPPs Michael Mantha, (Algoma-Manitoulin), Judith Monteith-Farrell (Thunder Bay –Atikokan), Sol Mamakwa (Kiiwetinoong), Guy Bourgouin (Mushkegowuk-James Bay), France Gélinas (Nickel Belt), John Vanthof (Timiskaming-Cochrane), Gilles Bisson (Timmins) and Jamie West (Sudbury) released the following statement.
 
“The Premier has shown today that he is choosing not to connect northern communities or to address critical winter road maintenance. That means this winter, the lives of northerners and their families are at risk when they take to the highways and roads that the Ford government has failed to make safe.

Small northern towns still do not have bus service and residents who have to travel to medical appointments, still have to pay out of pocket to stay overnight in other communities.
 
Under the current Premier, trucking insurance costs are putting northern businesses and jobs at risk, Drive Test Services have been chopped down across Northern Ontario, and the vast portion of Highways 11, 17 and 69 will remain two-lane in spite of the increasing traffic volumes in the region.
 
The government provided nothing new for fly-in communities that depend on northern airports which are lifelines in the Far North.
 
The government’s re-announcements have no targets, service standards, timelines or any way to measure progress. There has been no progress towards restoring the Northlander rail service, and there is no clear plan to address remaining gaps in intercity service in the Northwest.”