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NDP Member Sees Reclassification of Hwys 11/17

By Randy Thoms Nov 28, 2022 | 2:29 PM

Another effort is being taken to reclassify Highways 11 and 17 as Class 1 highways.

Mushkegowuk—James Bay MPP Guy Bourgouin has introduced for the third time a private member’s bill, that would, if passed, put the northern highways in the same class as the 400 series in southern Ontario.

If approved, it would speed up the time it takes to remove snow from the highways in the winter.

Bourgouin says the highways are lifelines to the region and need to stay open as best they can.

We don’t have other bypasses like to south have. We don’t have trains. We don’t have buses. We don’t have Metros, but we do have is just one main highway, and these are trans-Canada highways. When they shut down, guess what. The province is losing millions, and so is the country,” says Bourgoin says in an interview with Acadia Broadcasting.

The province recently announced a new standard for the highways in northern Ontario.

The new “ON Trans-Canada” standard will require contractors to clear the highways to bare pavement within 12 hours after a storm.

Bourgouin says it should be better.

“(It) is an improvement, but we deserve better than 12. We need 8 hours.”

MPPs are expected to debate Bourgouin’s bill next week.

He anticipates it will be defeated but remains hopeful that he can find government support.

“I hope they will support it. I know municipalities have supported it, as have experts and truckers. It’s a no-brainer. The faster we clean the highways, the better and safer it is for us that live up north.”


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