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Doug Ford government votes against motion to remove Hwy. 407 tolls for transport truck drivers


Premier Doug Ford’s government has voted down a NDP motion that would have committed them to remove tolls for transport truck drivers on Highway 407.

The motion, which is largely symbolic and would not have any legislative impact, argues that eliminating tolls for transport trucks would remove 21,000 vehicles per day from Highway 401 and other adjacent roadways.

This, the NDP say, would reduce traffic for other drivers as well as help reduce carbon emissions.

The idea isn’t new. It was part of the Ontario NDP’s 2022 campaign platform and it resurfaced again in November 2023 after advocacy group Environmental Defence released a report that suggested moving trucks to Highway 407 could save 80 minutes of travel time for those drivers.

“You could land an airplane on it. I mean literally, an airplane landed on it right in the middle of the day with no problem,” Ontario NDP Leader Marit Stiles said Monday, citing a 2021 incident in which a small aircraft was forced to land on the roadway due to engine failure.

“The highway is underused because the tolls are too high.”

While Environmental Defence argued the government should subsidize the tolls, the NDP is hoping to reopen and renegotiate contracts with the private company responsible for the tolls.

Speaking to reporters, Stiles said she thinks the government can apply some pressure because the ministry didn’t force the company to pay heavy fines they incurred the pandemic.

“The government clearly knows and acknowledges that tolls are an issue for a lot of people right now who are struggling with affordability issues and sitting in congestion. But they don't seem to be willing to do anything actually about it.”

In response, the government pivoted to other ways in which they have helped the trucking industry.

“Everything we’ve done as a government has been to keep costs low,” Transportation Minister Prabmeet Sarkaria said in question period. “When that member [Stiles] and the Liberal government previously had the opportunity to remove tolls on the 412, 418, what did they do? Absolutely nothing.”

The Progressive Conservatives voted against the motion Monday afternoon.

The Ontario government recently tabled legislation that would ban future governments from tolling provincial roadways. The legislation, however, doesn’t impact Highway 407.

Highway 407 ETR, the company responsible for the tolls, increased rates last month. Top Stories

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