In keeping with their pre-budget theme this week of re-announcing old programs as new, the Liberals today celebrated the first birthday of their April 14 2014 cycling announcement with a commemorative re-announcement.
“Congratulations to the Liberals on the first birthday of their cycling announcement,” said Ontario NDP Urban Transportation critic Cheri DiNovo. “These announcements are adorable at this age. And who knows? Maybe one day this re-announcement could grow up into an actual policy.”
The cycling re-announcement capped a week in which the Liberals voted down amendments to Bill 31 that would have protected cyclists by mandating truck side guards as per the recommendations of the Ontario coroner; and would have tightened up Bill 31’s one-metre passing rule for cyclists, which the Liberals limited to “as may be practicable.”
“’As may be practicable’ basically means ‘as may be convenient,’” said DiNovo, who first proposed the one-metre rule in her 2011 private member’s bill. “Cyclists need a real one-metre rule. This safety loophole should have been closed.”
In a remarkable display of partisanship, all four Liberals on the General Government committee voted against every single amendment proposed for Bill 31. Among them was Eleanor McMahon, who in her former role as the Executive Director of the Share the Road Cycling Coalition, had endorsed all 14 of the Ontario Coroner’s recommendations in his 2012 Cycling Death Review, including mandatory truck side guards (see recommendation #7).
“When the Liberals voted against these amendments, I thought it was an April Fool’s Joke,” said DiNovo. “It will take more than a bunch of re-announcements to keep Ontario’s cyclists safe.”