Sudbury?s MPP Rick Bartolucci has discovered some information for his campaign for the four-laning of Highway 69 from Parry Sound to the city limits.
The Liberal representative revealed in the Legislature Wednesday the existence of two 30-year old Ontario government environmental and feasibility studies that could greatly expedite the multi-laning on the heavily travelled traffic corridor.
The first study, completed in 1973, focused on the stretch of road between French River and Estaire. The second study, completed in 1974 examined the road between Estaire and Sudbury.
Bartolucci explained the 1973 study was conducted under the auspices of then government minister G. Carton while the second was signed off by transportation minister John R. Rhodes.
?Both studies clearly indicate that within a very short period of time?in the next 20 years that highway would not be able...to serve the capacity,? said the MPP.
?So clearly these feasibility studies?suggest that multi-laning, four laning, divided highway, whatever you want to call it, is necessary. This way in 1973 and (the recommendation was) that it should be done before the 20 year period.?
The government said last month it had a Highway 69 action plan that included short-term improvements, promotion of safe driving habits and increased enforcement of commercial vehicle safety laws.
A total of 50 roadside safety message signs, to be installed between Sudbury and Parry Sound will target aggressive and unsafe driving practices.
Later improvements to the ?S? curve will include fully paved shoulders with rumble strips and reflective markers to increase visibility on the roadway.
Planning will be launched soon to examine costs and feasibility for the realignment of the highway to eliminate the curves entirely. Since 1995 more than $1.6 billion has been invested on highway improvements in Northern Ontario. In that time 34 kilometres of new four-lane highway have been opened along the Highway 69 corridor ? construction valued at $121 million. Construction worked valued at $152 million is underway to expand 30 kilometres of Highway 69 to four lanes south of Parry Sound.
Mediator to meet with Sudbury Star
A provincial mediator will be in town Monday morning to see if there?s any chance of ending the now five-week-old lockout at the Sudbury Star.
Mediator Bill Lloyd called the union and the company Thursday. Arrangements have been made for discussions at a meeting room in the Howard Johnson Hotel.
?It?s something that we?ve been saying all along?we?re certainly looking for ways and means to overcome this impasse,? said Star publisher Ken Seguin.
But it remains to be seen whether there will be face-to-face talks or whether the mediator will meet separately with both sides.
Northern Ontario Newspaper Guild spokesperson Denis St. Pierre said nothing has been announced on that particular point.
In an interview Friday the Guild spokesperson said he was going to advise the membership not too read too little or too much right now into the development.
?The message we?ve received is that it?s an exploratory meeting called by the mediator to review where both sides stand,? said St. Pierre.
The picket line has been generally peaceful during the course of the dispute.
Two union people were charged about two weeks ago with one count each of criminal harassment for reportedly following a delivery truck. Nails were thrown at the delivery vehicle.
The unionized workers are represented by two national organizations, the Newspaper Guild Canada and the Graphic Communications International Union which negotiate collectively as a joint council.
Huntington to give Bob Rae degree
Former Ontario premier Bob Rae will be receiving an honorary degree from Huntington University.
A doctor of sacred letters will be conferred on Rae Nov. 14 during Huntington?s 2002 convocation scheduled to start at 8 pm at St. Andrew?s United Church on Larch Street.
Rae served as Ontario?s 21st premier and was elected eight times to federal and provincial parliaments before his retirement from politics in 1996.
Rae is a partner with Goodmans? law firm in Toronto.
The former premier was named a Queen?s Counsel in 1984 and was appointed to Her Majesty?s Privy Council for Canada in 1998.
He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000. Rae has published two books, From Protest to Power and The Three Questions.