QUEEN’S PARK – As a third winter storm hits northern Ontario closing Highway 11, NDP MPP Guy Bourgouin (Mushkegowuk—James Bay) asked the Ford government why northern highways were being ignored again.
“In Hearst this morning,” said Bourgouin on Thursday, “trucks were lined up for 67 kilometres after a 12-hour road closure. On Ontario 511, there are no indications of road closures. How are we supposed to function up north when every snowstorm creates road closures?”
As his Bill 43, Making Northern Ontario Highways Safer Act, is set to be debated next week, Bourgouin questioned the Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney, “When will your ministry address this issue? Passing my private member’s bill is a good start.”
Bill 43 will see Highways 11 and 17 be treated as the 400 series highways, requiring snow be removed within eight hours after snowfall.
However, Mulroney replied that the Ford government was “very proud” of the highway clearing in the north. Highways 11 and 17 currently requires contractors to clear the highways to bare pavement within 12 hours after snowfall.