Transportation Minister continues fine-and-forget-it approach to winter road maintenance

Published on October 06, 2015

QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario PC Transportation critic Michael Harris says the latest $500,000 fine for a winter road maintenance contractor does nothing to deal with the flawed contracts government introduced in 2009 that led to compromised highway safety and tragic fatalities in the first place.

“Instead of government ensuring motorist safety ahead of winter snowfall, we see the same, knee-jerk, ‎fine-and-forget-it routine after damage is done,” Harris asserted during a question to the Minister of Transportation. “It’s the same lackluster approach this government has taken since watering down standards and oversight in 2009 with compromised contracts putting lives at risk to save a few bucks on the backs of motorists‎.”

Harris noted the latest penalty for the November icy QEW highway mess is the second fine for the contractor in addition to over $13 million in fines government issued to contractors around the province in 2013/14.

“For five years this government, and the Premier, knowingly risked the safety of Ontario motorists, and did nothing -  it took a scathing Auditor General report to wake them up to the reality Ontario motorists have been facing due to government’s compromised contracts,” Harris added. “This government broke the system, it’s up to them to fix it and commit to Ontario motorists their safety will not be risked this winter by the 2009 ongoing cut-rate winter road maintenance contracts.”

Harris later registered his disappointment with the fine-alone approach that has failed Ontarians for the last five years, asking: “What does a too-late $500,000 fine mean to the families of those who have lost loved ones?”

See Mike’s question in the house here: