TORONTO—Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha said inadequate snow-clearing practices in Northern Ontario needs to be addressed by Queen’s Park.
In a statement in the Ontario Legislature on Tuesday, Mr. Mantha stated, “Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to speak on the road conditions in Northern Ontario and, in particular, in Algoma-Manitoulin.”
“In the North, we are very dependant on the roads and highways to get our kids to school, to get around our communities and to access essential services like doctors, dentists and hospitals,” said Mr. Mantha. “Emergency vehicles often have to travel great distances on highways and rural roads to service members of our community who are in distress.”
“Snow will be flying soon. Not having the highways cleared, and cleared properly, is an accident waiting to happen,” stated Mr. Mantha. He explained, “the Ministry of Transportation contracted out these jobs to a private company. We used to have good public service employees clearing our roads. These public employees were accountable to us, the taxpayers. Now we have a private company clearing our roads in a response time which is lagging. The roads are simply not being cleared, and this is unacceptable.”
Mr. Mantha continued, saying, “Northern and rural Ontarians are as important as other Ontario residents and we should be able to get to our roads and our destinations safely. So, we in Algoma-Manitoulin we are very interested in how this government is prepared to deal with this situation.”
“We had our first snowstorm, which really wasn’t that bad according to our standards, but because of the terrible road conditions and services, many highways were closed for an extended period of time,” continued Mr. Mantha. “This is totally unacceptable. Lives are at stake. Answers are required. Accountable public services are the solution.”