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Orazietti: Province wants feds to pay half of Highway 17 four-laning

Wednesday, April 16, 2014   by: Michael Purvis

Four-laning Highway 17 will be back on the table with the coming provincial budget, though the project’s timing might depend on negotiations with the federal government, says David Orazietti.

The Sault MPP and minister of Natural Resources said Ontario will be looking for the federal government to restore its “historic commitment” of contributing 50-percent funding for Trans-Canada Highway projects.

“We could significantly improve the Trans-Canada Highway route with a federal partner who was prepared to contribute equally to the level the province is prepared to contribute,” said Orazietti. “It’s the longest stretch of un-four-laned section in the country.”

Orazietti announced in a press release Tuesday that the four-laning of Highway 17 is among the projects included in the minority Liberal government’s 10-year $29-billion ‘vision’ for transportation and transit in the province.

Of that fund, $14 billion is earmarked for Northern Ontario.

Orazietti has long campaigned for a four-lane upgrade for Highway 17, having proposed the upgrade in two private members’ bills.

He said he sees it as a way of reducing or eliminating fatalities on the stretch of road, as well as an economic issue for the region.

“The economic benefits to the region and tourism implications are significant” he said.

While the province will be looking for federal help, the four-laning project doesn’t necessarily hinge on it, Orazietti said.

Funding Trans-Canada Highway projects on a 50-50 basis is something that dates back to the now-defunct federal act in 1949 that allowed construction on the road to begin, said Orazietti.

“We will continue to enhance infrastructure on Highway 17 with or without the federal government, but our expectation is that the federal government come to the table,” he said. “We’re not going to simply say, if the federal government isn’t there we’re going to ignore the problem.”

The Liberals, who will need help from either the NDP or the Progressive Conservatives to pass their budget, are expected to introduce the bill on May 1.

“There are a number of other elements of this budget that will be very beneficial to people in Sault Ste. Marie and Northerners as a whole,” said Orazietti.

Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
right wing 4/16/2014 5:51:52 PM Report he kidding.

Talk about smelling that your party is about to be royally kicked the hell out of power.
right wing 4/16/2014 5:53:50 PM Report

The Ontario Libs might have had some vision if they weren't wearing those "green" glasses.
Sold us down the road to the highest energy costs of ANY province in Canada!!!!
itsme29 4/16/2014 6:08:05 PM Report

wow theres lots of money too throw around all of a sudden...seems we can afford everything we ever wanted...except a decline in taxes!
last1standing 4/16/2014 6:21:38 PM Report

Again Bye Bye dave and your liberals. Throw some money at the Davey home cuts or a least ask the questions. Your name is in lower caps for a reason. Hope your fellow colleges at the school board (teachers) ride you. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Stand up next time.
OrlandoFlorida 4/16/2014 7:24:38 PM Report

Too bad our MPP doesn't even know what the party line is for the so called transportation infrastructure BS is. The 14 Billion is being proposed for all of Ontario outside of Toronto and Hamilton, not just for Northern Ontario as he indicated. Either he is telling a fib or he doesn't understand what the premier said, either way doesn't look to good on him.

I wonder how he will put a positive spin on the electric rate increase coming May 1st.

As of May 1, there will be an increase in time-of-use prices that will boost the average hydro customer’s monthly cost by $2.83, or $33.96 annually.

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) says the jolt upwards in prices includes the arrival of renewable or “green” electricity generation over the next 12 months."
palace 4/16/2014 7:27:00 PM Report

Well David...then where were you when the Feds cut funding to the ACR? Perhaps a 50-50 split would have helped but your Liberal Government has squandered our tax money for long enough! So long...a former Liberal supporter but "NOT ANYMORE!"
ThinkAgain 4/16/2014 7:35:51 PM Report

Did anyone see the gas jump today, WTF , we are starting to pay extra for it before it gets on paper.
Whitdawg 4/16/2014 8:27:24 PM Report

Since palace 4 brought up federal funding for the ACR and I didn't get a chance to comment yesterday, I would simply like to acknowledge the tireless work that Brian Hayes did to secure this funding extension. I spoke to his office several times by phone and am confident Mr. Hayes worked relentlessly to secure this extension so that the stakeholders can continue to operate while coming up with a long term solution. Mr. Hayes was the sole catalyst for making it happen. It would be slightly absurd to think that the Federal Government's extension approval was in any way influenced by a member of the opposition! Having a Member of the Government in power, as our MP, has served our riding well.
Twistinwrenches 4/16/2014 8:42:28 PM Report

Great spend more money we do not have .
muddslinger6 4/16/2014 9:41:48 PM Report

Hey "itsme19"...if they lower the taxes then there would be no money to throw around...wait a tic...their would be no money to pay their ridiculous salaries or bonuses
Great news 4/16/2014 10:46:23 PM Report

Every long week end last year gas prices rose. Looks like it is happening this year again
Stevie-E 4/17/2014 8:34:34 AM Report

Make it a toll-based system with checkpoints.

Would love to see a 4-lane Sudbury to Thunder Bay. There would be an increase in traffic, tourism and support to smaller towns along the way. Plus, it would allow us to avoid seeing those god-awful shacks beside the highway.

We would get an increase in US customers who actually enjoy the scenery up north. Someone said that people don't drive as much in another post. I beg to differ. We have an aging population and many like to RV across the country but we see them heading south, some because of the weather but many because the roads are much nicer and safer to drive on. We may be pleasantly surprised if we kept even 20-30% of those who would have went the US route instead. This is conservative but the spin off would be huge.

I really hope that they can make a go of this, Libs or otherwise.
bernwa 4/17/2014 10:18:02 AM Report


razor25 4/17/2014 10:27:39 AM Report

With all the Liberal broken promises over the years, and there have been lots and some very big ones, I don't care if they say they'll do the 4 laning for sure. I'm not voting for them for any reason. As a rule I don't trust politician promises but the Liberals have broken so many that I trust them least of all. No new taxes...HA! More like, a bigger tax increase than you've ever seen before and a massive hydro rate hike thrown in for good measure!
Nunavut 4/17/2014 10:45:08 AM Report

When you look at a map (or Google view) of North Shore to see how a fourlanes could continue east , going around Desbarats, Bruce Mines and Iron Bridge, you see some major hurdles and river bridges , but not insurmountable….....but then you come to Blind River and only way around is thru native land …………….so the negotiations for that will take 20 years ………….and then you get to Serpent River area and the same geographic and native negotiations hurdles …….So as much as one thinks it is easy to just put a dual lane beside the existing one…….once you factor in the communities and landownership……..this looks like it is just electioneering making promises about something that will not occur in our life time. They can’t even finish the four lanes into the Sault that was supposed to come out on Great Northern . I wish they could but lets limit promises to actual possiblities not pie in the sky.
Dara 4/17/2014 10:59:15 AM Report

Hwy 17 runs from Quebec to Manitoba

What section is he talking about.

I think he is banking on the Sault people thinking he means here.

For the money he is talking it may do from North bay to Sudbury, which is where it is really needed...the Sault sections won't see a penny of it.

The whole Liberal party is just putting stars in our eyes so they can get re elected
Lone24 4/17/2014 11:14:37 AM Report


Didn't hear that has been another BP oil spill. This time in lake Michigan so guess what that means. Increase in gas prices for everyone to pay for another mess BP did.
rcssm69 4/17/2014 11:15:03 AM Report

What's everyone talking about?? We already have a four-lane highway. Highway 11 and highway 17. Let's just make them one-way roads and voila!!!
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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