Claiming that the province’s economic prosperity is threatened by a neglected road network, The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is calling on Queen’s Park to study the establishment of a transportation authority aimed at operating and developing Ontario’s transportation infrastructure for the 21st century.
“Ontario’s reliance on trade makes it imperative that we have a road and public transit system across Ontario that will sustain us into the future,” says David Gavsie, Chair of the OCC Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “Our highways, trade corridors and U.S. border crossings, are being choked off and our economic prosperity is being threatened.”
The OCC recommends that as a first step, the Province establish a
Planning Group selected of representatives of business, federal and Ontario, regional and municipal governments to prepare a report within 90 days on a business model and governance structure for the formation of the Transportation Authority. This task force would be led by the OCC and include representatives from all levels of government, business, consumer and institutional sectors.
The OCC says a Transportation Authority is needed in Ontario for five major reasons:
1. Governments at all levels have demonstrated an inability to deal with gridlock and planning on a co-ordinated basis by themselves.
2. Gridlock and congestion are increasing alarmingly on Ontario’s roads,trade corridors and border points with the U.S., Ontario’s and
Canada’s largest trading partner.
3. Ontario’s roads and public transportation systems must be improved and expanded quickly.
4. New roads and public transportation inroads, possibly innovative, must be made immediately in concert with land and economic development in Ontario.
5. Financing, both public and private sector, will be critical to the new and improved systems.
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce represents over 57,000 Ontario businesses through 156 local Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade.
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