Road safety enhancements receive bumpy ride from Wynne LiberalsMarch 30, 2015
Queens Park – After a rocky three days at Committee, PC Transportation Critic Michael Harris questioned why Wynne-Liberal members clearly chose partisanship over partnership in voting down over 30 consecutive road-safety amendments to Bill 31, Making Ontario Roads Safer Act, as well as an entire section of their own distracted driving legislation.
“It’s like the Wynne Committee members were determined to vote “No” on any ideas that the opposition proposed…to the point that they even voted down a section of their own bill impacting impaired driving provisions!” Harris stated. “Again and again over the last three days of committee we’ve seen very thoughtful amendments we had proposed to strengthen the Bill given short-shrift by the Liberals.
“It was really disheartening to see government members follow their marching orders to vote down these important amendments for no other conceivable reason other than the fact that they were proposed by Opposition members.”
Despite Wynne’s previous assertions that the Liberal regime would choose “partnership” over “partisanship”, throughout the Committee process the government members did the exact opposite, balking at any attempt by the Opposition to amend the Bill.
“We support road safety and we wanted to work to strengthen this Bill, but to have over 30 amendments voted down makes you question the motives of the Minister and this Government,” noted Harris. “It’s frustrating when fellow MPP’s refuse to work with you on a matter as important as road safety.”
Some of these amendments rejected by the Wynne Liberal members included mandatory demerit points for distracted driving, improvements to the medical review process, left-lane, move-over provisions, timely municipal powers for unpaid fines, and the establishment of a highway incident management advisory committee.
While Harris and his PC colleagues will vote in favour of Bill 31 at the third and final reading debate, he regretted the lack of willingness by government members to consider suggestions for improvement.