Honourable Glen Murray,MPP Ministry of Transportation/Ministry of Infrastructure, 3rd Floor, Ferguson Block, 77 Wellesley Street West Toronto, Ontario M7A 1Z8
As you know, Ontario has lost 300,000 well-paying manufacturing jobs and our unemployment rate has been higher than the national average for seven straight years. Clearly we need to do better for our workers. As Ontario PC Transportation Critic, I’ve spoken to countless workers, their families, employers, and stakeholders and there’s a consensus that Ontario’s clogged highways are holding back our economic potential. In Southern Ontario, the economic case for building the Mid-Peninsula highway is compelling. Not only would such a highway alleviate congestion on the existing QEW, it would create thousands of jobs. That’s why I was troubled when I read comments you made in which you referred to the Mid-Pen highway as ‘ridiculous.’ Was this accurately attributed to you, or were you misquoted? As you know, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, the Regional Municipality of Niagara, the City of Hamilton, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, the Burlington Chamber of Commerce and others have all voiced their support for this project.
Even your own candidates in the Hamilton area – Javid Mirza and Ivan Luksic – have also taken strong positions in support of the Mid-Peninsula highway. They recognize that such a highway would enhance cross-border trade and entice job-creators to set up shop or expand existing facilities. The Ontario PC Party stands firmly behind our commitment to this project and the jobs it would unleash. However, we are curious why you would forgo this job-creating project and instead raise gas taxes on residents of the Niagara Region to pay for streetcars in Toronto. With 600,000 people out of work, Ontario cannot afford your abandonment of job-creating projects like the Mid-Pen highway. In addition to abandoning this project, your government has failed to deliver any credible jobs plan whatsoever.
Minister, I would like to know if you’re prepared to stand on the side of workers, their families, and job creators and put forward a plan to break the crippling congestion in the Niagara Region without raising their taxes to fund projects two hours away. I look forward to your prompt response.
Jeff Yurek, MPP Elgin-Middlesex-London
Cc: Premier Kathleen Wynne