NDP, Tories claim Ont. highways not cleared of snow fast enough
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, February 26, 2013 1:37PM EST
TORONTO -- The opposition parties say Ontario's roads are not being cleared of snow as fast as they should be, leading to sometimes fatal consequences.
Timmins-James Bay New Democrat Gilles Bisson says there are more highway closures and accidents in winter than ever before, and he's convinced the province's standards for snow clearing are not being met.
Bisson blames the fact the ministry of transportation uses private snow plow operators and has also privatized the monitoring of highways to determine when they need to be salted or cleared.
He says the contractors are responsible for doing the patrolling, which the NDP feels the ministry should be doing itself.
Conservative Vic Fedeli says Highway 11 outside North Bay looked more like an ice road in the far north than a major four-lane corridor after one recent storm, and he too is worried standards are not being met.
However, Transportation Minister Glen Murray says the province's standards for clearing snow off highways have not changed and are being met, and blames climate change for making the problem more difficult to deal with.