Notable progress: Ian McLeod
BY STEVEN WARBURTON
Staff Count Ian McLeod among the Eastern Ontario mayors who have a renewed sense of optimism after meeting with the province’s transportation minister about problems on provincial highways.
Mr. McLeod, the mayor of South Glengarry and Warden of the United Counties of SDG, met with Transportation Minister John Yakabuski on the weekend to discuss issues facing his municipality.
And although some of the other area mayors who met with the minister spoke mostly about widening the 401 to three lanes, Mr. McLeod had some other issues he wanted to bring to the minister’s attention.
One of them was his longstanding grievance about vehicles using Glengarry’s roads when they’re detoured off the 401 due to an emergency. He says that causes a lot of damage to the local infrastructure – especially trucks – and that municipalities like his need to be compensated for it.
He also suggested that trucks shouldn’t be allowed to detour onto South Glengarry’s roads and that, if there is an emergency on the 401 that necessitates closing the highway, that trucks should be required to wait until the highway re-opens.
The mayor maintains that trucks make up a big part of the total traffic and that they are involved in more and more collisions.
“Twenty years ago, you never heard of a truck being involved in an accident on the 401,” he says. “Now you never hear of an accident there without a truck.”
He also asked the minister for more compensation for the township’s fire department and first responders who respond to emergencies on the 401. He says the ministry only pays for about 40 per cent of the calls the township makes to the 401 – usually when there’s a fire that needs extinguishing or an extraction that’s required.
Finally, he asked that passing lanes be added onto Highway 138.
“There’s a fair bit of traffic there and a lot of accidents,” he said.
Mr. McLeod was happy with the meeting, saying that Mr. Yakabuski was much more accommodating than his Liberal predecessors and took a lot of notes during the discussion.