Highway 17 twinning motion introduced by MPP Sarah Campbell


QUEEN’S PARK — After years of the Liberal government’s failure to move forward with the long-promised twinning of Highway 17 from the Manitoba border to Kenora, Kenora-Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell’s motion, that sets clear goals and timelines for this project, passed with unanimous support of the Legislature today.

The motion calls for the expansion and four-lane widening of Highway 17, from the Manitoba border to the City of Kenora by 2020, with the Minister of Transportation to provide updates every 6 months.

“Today we have taken an important step towards the long-standing promise of expanding and twinning Highway 17,” Campbell said.

In her remarks, Campbell called on the Premier to personally ensure the completion of the Highway 17 twinning, given her long history with the project.  Premier Wynne oversaw this project as both the Minister of Transportation, then the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs.  Yet it was during this time, that discussions between the Ontario government and First Nations communities broke down. By 2012, the community of Shoal Lake #39 stated that it would only deal with former Premier McGuinty on the matter.

“Our Premier has a lot of making up to do to fix the mess that has been made and to make this project a reality,” Campbell said.

Campbell stated that the success of this twinning project is essential to the social and economic advancement of the region, as well as for the safety of all road users. She stressed that this project is also symbolic to northerners: that its completion would demonstrate that the Liberal government takes seriously the issues facing northerners and that it is capable of engaging in a true relationship of mutual respect with First Nations people and communities.

“Northerners are calling on all members of this government to step up to the plate and deliver on this long-promised project.”