Last Thursday, the Conservative government voted unanimously to defeat my bill, the Making Northern Ontario Highways Safer Act. Lives could have been saved by reducing the number of winter closures and accidents on highways 11 and 17, oftentimes caused below-par winter maintenance standards — but Conservative MPPs stood together to say no.
During the debates, Conservative MPPs unconsciously called this project "premature" and “a disservice to the people of Ontario,” costing “taxpayers a great deal of money without substantial benefits.” To add insult to injury, The three Northern Ontario Conservative ministers thought it unimportant to attend the debates or vote. Vic Fedeli (Nipissing) and Greg Rickford (Kenora-Rainy River) chose Ford boosterism events over being in the house for this vote, and Ross Romano (Sault Ste. Marie) just didn’t show up.
Northern Ontario Highways need to be safer. As representatives, we have a moral responsibility to ensure that children, families and workers can travel without risking their lives at every turn. I intend to keep fighting for the changes this bill would have enacted.