Harris disappointed MPP McGarry puts Liberal party over community priorities in voting against roundabout rulesApril 2, 2015
Queens Park – MPP Michael Harris expressed his dismay following committee deliberations that saw Cambridge MPP Katherine McGarry vote down roundabout rules in the Highway Traffic Act aimed at addressing traffic-circle safety concerns in Waterloo Region, and across Ontario.
“The fact that the Cambridge MPP would make misleading comments insinuating that amending Bill 31 to include roundabout regulations would delay the bill’s passage is very concerning to me,” reported Harris. “It’s a red-herring and absolutely false to suggest any delay whatsoever – the only thing that has slowed the bill’s passage is the Wynne-Liberal members’ refusal to work with the Opposition to improve the legislation ahead of third reading debate.”
During Committee consideration last week MPP McGarry indicated that with regard to a PC roundabout amendment, “In order to be able to investigate, look at, and properly consult about what’s needed, it will delay the passage of this bill.” MPP Harris later set the record straight noting that, “This is simply an amendment that would ask the minister to start a consultation.…So you’re absolutely false in your comments to suggest that this amendment would in any way slow the passage down.”
“Instead of voting for the enhanced safety measures my amendment to Bill 31 would have provided, MPP McGarry clearly chose partisanship over partnership in siding with her Wynne-Liberal colleagues at Committee,” Harris said. “With more than 40 roundabouts across Waterloo Region in our area – and more being constructed in communities across the province – it was and remains our responsibility as legislators to move forward on enhancing roundabout safety throughout Ontario.”
While MPP Harris awaits his private members bill, the Safe Roundabouts Act to be scheduled for consideration at General Government Committee, he brought forth the motion to amend Bill 31, Making Ontario Roads Safer Act – currently receiving Committee consideration – and move forward on provincial roundabout rules in a timely fashion.
“The word ‘roundabout’ is not even mentioned in the HTA, and yet MPP McGarry continues to ignore the clear omission and obvious safety concern,” Harris said. “Look this could have been an easy fix – there is a need for clarity and consistency across the province, and it’s time we get on with it.”
While Harris says he looks forward to third and final reading debate for Bill 31, he regrets the ongoing lack of willingness by government members to consider suggestions for improvement.