Doug Ford’s Highway Plan Sparks Controversy

Doug Ford’s first big decision as premier-designate is a politically fraught one. Mr. Ford, the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, who won a surprise victory in Tuesday’s provincial election, is facing criticism from…

Doug Ford’s Highway Plan Sparks Controversy


Doug Ford’s first big decision as premier-designate is a politically fraught one.

Mr. Ford, the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, who won a surprise victory in Tuesday’s provincial election, is facing criticism from opposition parties for promising during the campaign to spend $1.5-billion to build an interchange at the interchange of Highway 401, and Highway 413, which links Ottawa to Toronto.

The money would be paid for with highway tolls, which would be collected by the private sector. Some opposition politicians contend that such a plan would raise fares on the 401, which is one of the busiest highways in the country.

Mr. Ford’s plans have emerged the same day that the municipal affairs minister, Mary-Margaret McMahon, announced the closure of the Don Valley Parkway until mid-December and the Spring Garden Road and the Bruce Power Parkway until March 2019 because of defects in the roadways.

The changes are a consequence of a backlog of years of work on bridge and highway repairs in the area of the Don Valley Parkway and Highway 401.

The GTA mayor, John Tory, questioned whether Mr. Ford’s proposed highway project was “logical.”

The idea of tolls to build an interchange appears at odds with Mr. Ford’s pledge to freeze tolls on the 417, Highway 400 and the 401.

The idea of tolls to build an interchange appears at odds with Mr. Ford’s pledge to freeze tolls on the 417, Highway 400 and the 401.

Mr. Ford’s Transportation Minister, Steven Del Duca, said that the government had to be “prudent” and “thoughtful” about how to spend money.

He is expected to announce details about the interchange in the next few days.

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