Wilson Introduces Motion to Re-Start Hwy 26(2007-06-04) Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson introduced a motion in the Ontario Legislature today calling upon the McGuinty Government to complete the re-development of Highway 26 from Stayner to Collingwood this summer.
“Enough is enough,” said Wilson following this morning’s accident on Highway 26 at Poplar Sideroad – the second automobile accident at that location in the past two weeks. “It’s time to put shovels into the ground and stop the excuses and empty promises.”
In 1987 there was an average of 15,300 cars travelling the old stretch of Highway 26 each day during the summer months. In 2000 that number grew to 18,700 cars per day and it is estimated that nearly 32,000 cars travel on that same stretch today. Roughly 815 accidents have occurred on the highway during the same period of time with several of them being fatal.
Wilson got the project started back in 2000 when the previous Progressive Conservative government approved the project, acquired the land and confirmed the engineering required to begin construction. Shovels were in the ground and bulldozers were on the site until the new McGuinty government pulled the construction crews off the site in the summer of 2004.
Since then Wilson has raised the issue of the Liberal decision to cancel the project 47 times in the Ontario Legislature. He began a postcard and petition campaign that saw more than 4,500 signatures from area residents along with letters of support from local councils.
“We would have been driving on the new highway today had Dalton McGuinty not cancelled the project,” said Wilson. “After nearly four years in office it appears as though the only thing that will change the current status of Highway 26 is a change in government.”
Wilson’s resolution reads as follows:
That, in the opinion of this House, the McGuinty Government should complete the re-development of Highway 26 from Stayner to Collingwood this summer to improve road safety and help stop traffic accidents and fatalities on the highway.