Statement by Ontario NDP Transportation Critic Wayne Gates (MPP Niagara Falls) regarding release of 2015 Winter Highway Maintenance Action Plan

“Privatizing winter road maintenance has put drivers in Ontario at risk all across the province. Everyone knows that in the winter it’s going to snow, and Ontarians deserve efficient and high quality snow-clearing to ensure our roads are safe.

But instead of fixing the problems, the Minister is continuing to put the interests of powerful companies ahead of drivers. In fact, earlier this year Ontario’s Auditor-General reported it’s taking longer to clear roads and many of the private contractors are failing to keep up their end of the deal. The Liberals told Ontarians they could expect better, but sadly it’s more of the same.

Privatized road clearing has failed. Unsafe roads put families at risk, and it put the brakes on trade and the economy. Drivers heading into Manitoba can see the moment they cross the border; their publicly cleared roads put public safety first, not private bottom lines. Just think what’s going to happen when Kathleen Wynne sells-off Hydro One. 

This government still has not provided the highway maintenance report from Niagara-Hamilton and they still have not apologized to first responders and the drivers of Ontario who used these roads.”