QUEEN’S PARK - Oshawa NDP MPP Jennifer French wants to see action on her bill to finally scrap the unfair tolls from highways 412 and 418 after her bill passed second reading in the legislature on Wednesday.
“Premier Doug Ford and his Durham MPPs promised they would take off these tolls, not decades down the road, but right after they were elected,” said French who is also the NDP's critic for Infrastructure, Transportation and Highways.
“Two years later and drivers in Durham haven’t seen the tolls removed. They are still stuck in traffic avoiding those tolls they can’t afford.”
MPP French’s private member’s bill, 43, Freeing Highways 412 and 418 Act would remove the tolls from the 412 and 418 Highways, and would prevent new North/South 407 connector roads from being tolled. Unlike Highway 407 ETR that was sold by the Harris Conservatives, the new 407 East extension is still public and owned by Ontarians, as are Highways 412 and 418.
Chambers of Commerce, Boards of Trade and local municipalities all support the removal of the tolls. The Region of Durham advocated for their removal during pre-budget submissions.
“Ford has the power to make my bill the law and take these tolls off before the holidays,” said French. “Drivers from Oshawa, Whitby and the Durham region who are stuck in traffic along the 401 instead of being home with their families, will find it hard to forget Ford’s campaign promise.
"It is disappointing that with seven MPPs elected to represent the Durham Region, I was the only one to stand up and fight for this issue at Queen's Park. This issue has been driven by the community.
“I will keep fighting for Durham residents and not allow this government to sit on this bill, hoping it will be forgotten. We have waited patiently for this government to follow through on their promise to do as they said. It’s time for action now.”
Video: MPP French presents Bill 43 before debate to scrap tolls on highways 412 and 418