Letter: Plowing Contract Needs To Be Revised

Letter to the Editor

I would like to bring to the attention of trappers, fisherman, snowmobilers and hikers of a recent decision by Transfield Services that may affect YOU!

The push outs or pull-outs that have been plowed by MTO for the last 35 to 40 years for winter outdoor users to park off the driven portions of highways in the North East Region serviced by Transfield Services will no longer be plowed out. This is in effect for the remainder of this winter season and I have been told will not be plowed next year either.

The concern I have is regarding safety!! It is illegal to park on the driven portion of the highway and is not safe for travelers traveling these roadways in winter conditions and poor visibility. It is not safe for the trapper, fisherman or any winter time user that would have to park on the side of the road, not to mention the liability if someone was to run into their parked vehicle. An example of the highways that I am concerned with are Hwy 129 and Hwy 546 which are used by many residents from Sault Ste. Marie and the Algoma District.

This decision I have been told is a contractual issue between MTO and Transfield Services. However Transfield Services has plowed these areas for the past three winters. I ask anyone that is affected by this decision to contact your local MPP to ask them to work on your behalf to rectify this safety issue.

I personally know that both MPP David Orazietti, Sault Ste Marie and MPP Mike Mantha, Algoma Manitoulin have just recently been made aware of this issue. If this decision affects you, you need to contact your MPP by phone or in writing. Not responding or just complaining in the coffee shop will not help change this decision.

Sincerely for the future our access to outdoor activities,

Robin Horwath