Liberals’ prorogation eliminates legislative tools to get answers on Hwy. 7/8October 22, 2012
NEW HAMBURG — Last week, the Liberal government shut down parliament to cover up its politically motivated decision to spend nearly $1 billion on the cancellation of the Mississauga and Oakville gas plants just to save five Liberal seats in the GTA, Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris said today.
“With no regard for the public interest, the Liberal government turned out the lights and locked the doors at Queen’s Park just to take the focus off of its seat-saver program in the GTA,” Harris said. “As a result, MPPs no longer have the legislative tools necessary to probe the Liberals’ numerous scandals and obtain critical information on other important areas of concern, like Highway 7/8.”
On Sept. 26, Harris met with officials from the Ministry of Transportation to discuss the Highway 7/8 expansion project.
“Unfortunately, I was unable to get answers on many of the important issues I raised, including the total price tag for the expansion, the projected impact of the proposed route on Wilmot Township, the total costs of the Ministry’s studies to date and where this project ranks on the province’s priorities list,” Harris said.
Shortly after, Harris filed a request with Legislative Research Department to retrieve this important information from the Ministry. But again, MTO refused to provide it.
“My next course of action was to table an order paper question in the Legislature to determine how this expansion project will affect New Hamburg residents and businesses.”
(An order paper question is a written question tabled in the Legislature requesting information from a Ministry of the government, to which the Ministry must respond within 24 legislative days.)
“I also planned to put my questions to Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, when he appeared before the Estimates Committee, which I’m a member of,” Harris said. “Unfortunately, both of the those options have now been eliminated by the Liberal government as a result of its selfish, politically motivated move to shut down Ontario’s democracy just to serve its own narrow, partisan interests. Ontarians deserve better. They deserve accountability in government.”