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June 2nd election called in Ontario; Ford promises to “end gridlock” on 401 in eastern Ontario

Photo used to depict “Gridlock on the Eastern 401 near Belleville.” Photo: Twitter/Doug Ford

Ontario’s election has been called, as Premier Doug Ford announced that Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, has accepted his advice to sign a proclamation dissolving the 42nd Parliament of the Province of Ontario, effective as of 4:00 p.m. May 3rd. The election will be held on June 2nd.

The provincial budget which was released on April 28th now essentially serves as the Progressive Conservative’s election platform: the Budget was not debated or voted on in Parliament. However, if the PC Party is re-elected to a second majority government, they will be able to point to the general election results as a mandate to implement their Budget, which includes particular focus on roads and highways.

According to the Budget, “Ontario is investing $25.1 billion over the next 10 years to build roads, bridges, highways, creating jobs, helping to improve productivity and fight gridlock.” Chapter 1, Section C of the Budget document is titled “Building Highways and Key Infrastructure” and contains plans including:

  • Bridge replacement in Oshawa to facilitate future widening between Brock Road in Pickering through to Highway 35/115.
  • Bridge replacement in Port Hope to facilitate future widening between Highway 35/115 through to Belleville.
  • Land acquisitions to facilitate future widening of Highway 401 through Belleville and Brockville.
  • The QEW Garden City Skyway rehabilitation project which will include a new twin bridge on the QEW over the Welland Canal connecting the City of St. Catharines to the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
  • Continuing the next phase of construction for the new Highway 7 between Kitchener and Guelph. The new Highway 7.
  • Widening Highway 6 in Hamilton to double capacity from two to four lanes over a nine-kilometre segment between Highway 403 and Upper James Street.
  • Finishing the widening of Highway 17 from Arnprior to Renfrew to four lanes.
  • Widening Highway 3 from two to four lanes for 15.6 kilometres between the Towns of Essex and Leamington.

Current messages from the Ontario Liberal and NDP parties: