Dec 01, 2022
By Jeremy Logan
According to Ontario’s auditor general, the province ignored its own experts when deciding to prioritize the construction of eight highways, including Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass.
Both highways were major campaign platforms for Premier Doug Ford’s re-election campaign in the spring.
According to Bonnie Lysyk’s annual report, the Minister of Transportation directed the ministry to defer six higher priority highways that had previously been approved by the Treasury Board.
Lysyk also discovered that the ministry failed to notify the government that the minister’s decision contradicted the recommendation of its own subject-matter experts, who stated that they would not have recommended four of those highways at the time.
The auditor general also discovered that the ministry lacked a tolling strategy when the province removed fees from Highways 412 and 418 before the costs could be recovered.
In April, a month before the election, Ford announced the removal of the tolls.