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MPP Harris questions government commitment to enhanced road safety

March 24, 2015

Queens Park – PC Transportation Critic Michael Harris asked why the Wynne Liberals are putting up roadblocks to enhanced road safety after government members voted down a section of their own distracted driving legislation while refusing Opposition attempts to improve the bill.

“It’s a little bizarre, here we have a Premier who tells us to choose partnership over partisanship, while government members at committee are refusing to even hear from the Opposition on enhancements to road safety through amendments to Bill 31,” Harris said. “But what I find even more difficult to understand is why Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca’s own Parliamentary Secretary voted down a section of a Liberal bill impacting enhanced impaired driving restrictions.”

In the first few minutes of the General Government Committee clause-by-clause consideration of Bill 31, Cambridge MPP Kathryn McGarry helped vote down Section 4 of the Bill which contained amendments to the Highway Traffic Act regarding impaired driving. It is still unclear how the now-removed section, which had implications to other sections of the Bill, will be addressed. In the hours that followed, the Wynne Liberals took every opportunity to vote down and/or refuse consent to debate each amendment proposed by the Opposition.

“Look, we and the NDP have put forth a series of worthy amendments to enhance road safety, to legislate demerits for distracted driving, to improve medical review of license suspensions, and so far, they’ve refused to even listen,” noted Harris. “I’m hopeful that with a number of amendments to go, we will find Committee members in a more co-operative mood to consider the enhanced safety measures we are proposing so we can all move forward.”

The General Government Committee continues clause-by-clause consideration of Bill 31 tomorrow afternoon where further Opposition amendments will be put forward before the legislation comes back for third-and final-reading debate.