QUEEN’S PARK – Doug Ford’s northern transportation re-announcement on Thursday failed to address northern transportation concerns, says the Ontario NDP.
Jennifer French, NDP Transportation and Highways critic, and Northern NDP 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.
“Doug Ford 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 Doug Ford, 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 Ford government provided nothing new for fly-in communities that depend on northern airports which are lifelines in the Far North.
The Ford 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.”