News — 18 October 2017

By Michael Christianson

Weeks after MPP Sarah Campbell addressed Queen’s Park about the long-delayed twinning of Highway 17 MP Bob Nault is reflecting her concerns over the lack of action on the highway.

Nault says he has been in talks with the provincial government around this issue and while they keep calling it a priority the Ontario government keeps pushing the work back.

“I’m very disappointed at the lack of vision and direction of the government of Ontario when it comes to northern Ontario and I’ve been, I hope, very clear about that,” said Nault. “We’re not going to succeed if they don’t give us the economic tools to do so and one of those is good infrastructure. I would think the TransCanada Highway, our number one highway in the minds of Canadians would be the best piece of infrastructure that would go through our riding but in fact it isn’t.”

Nault says he has continued to push hard on the twinning issue and he was happy to see Sarah Campbell standing up for her fellow northerners.

Nault added that this and many other infrastructure projects, such as power grids and faster Internet are needed to ensure northerners aren’t left behind and that we can all compete, still live here and be a success. 

Nault pointed out that in peak months the traffic between the Manitoba Border and Kenora can be bumper to bumper while the area between Kenora and Vermillion Bay is still one of the more unsafe stretches in the area.

The Federal government is also willing to help fund the project if Ontario will make it a priority Nault said. 

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Chris Marchand is a native of Dryden, Ontario. He served his first newspaper internship at The Dryden Observer in 1998 while attending journalism studies at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops B.C. He's worked desks as both reporter and editor at the Fernie Free Press as well as filled the role of sports editor at the Cranbrook Daily Townsman. Marchand was named editor of the Dryden Observer in Aug. 2009.

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