April 02, 2019
The Honourable Doug Ford
Premier of Ontario
Legislative Building, Queen’s Park
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A1
Dear Premier Ford,
RE: Four-laning of Highway 69
I am writing to you on behalf of the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce regarding the four-laning of Highway 69. Our chamber represents over 800 businesses employing in excess of 43,000 workers and serves as the voice of business in the Greater Sudbury area.
We previously wrote to you in September 2018 urging you to invest in the four-laning of Highway 69 to better connect Northern Ontario with Southern Ontario. In that letter we detailed the reasons you should consider this investment, and we wish to recount them briefly here: the four-laning of Highway 69 will improve Northern Ontario’s economic well-being by improving connectivity, it will improve safety conditions on the highway, and with Highway 69 being a part of the Trans-Canada Highway system, further investment in its twinning will help improve the entire province’s connectivity with Western Canada and provide more trade opportunities for Ontario businesses.
We were pleased to hear the Honourable Jeff Yurek mention the four-laning of Highway 69 as a priority of your government in his speech to the Ontario Road Builders Association in February 2019. With the first budget of your administration soon to be released, we are eager to see the exact scope of your commitment, and we urge you to announce an investment for the remainder of the twinning of the highway in this budget. Northern Ontario has long suffered from a critical infrastructure deficit that has depressed our economic growth, our population growth, our image as being open for business, and our ability to attract and retain workers. It would send a strong signal of your support for Northern Ontario businesses if you were able to deliver where previous provincial governments have not.
It is our understanding that the federal government may be willing to partner with the Province of Ontario to fund critical infrastructure projects in Northern Ontario. We urge you to reach out to your counterparts in Ottawa to initiate discussions on how such a partnership can form and work to the benefit of Northern Ontario constituents. We would welcome the opportunity to host you and federal representatives for joint or separate announcements on funding for the four-laning of the remaining portion of Highway 69.
We trust you will take our concerns and recommendation into consideration. If you have any questions about the importance of Highway 69 to Northern Ontario’s economy, please feel free to reach out to Syed Raza, Policy and Communications Manager at the chamber, at [email protected].
Debbi M. Nicholson
PRESIDENT & CEO
cc The Honourable Victor Fedeli, Minister of Finance
The Honourable Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board
The Honourable Jeff Yurek, Minister of Transportation
Mayor Brian Bigger, City of Greater Sudbury
Jamie West, MPP Sudbury
France Gélinas, MPP Nickel Belt
Paul Lefebvre, MP Sudbury
Marc Serré, MP Nickel Belt The Ontario Chamber of Commerce