Kenora, ON – MP Eric Melillo was proud to join representatives from the Ontario government for an announcement regarding the progress of the Trans-Canada Highway twinning project in Kenora.
“The twinning of the Trans-Canada Highway through Kenora is an essential project that will improve safety for travellers and pave the way for increased economic development in the Kenora riding,” Melillo stated. “I would like to thank Minister Rickford and Minister Mulroney for their work moving this project forward.”
Kenora-Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford, who also serves as the province’s Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and Indigenous Affairs, was joined by Ontario Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Niiwin Wendaanimok (Four Winds Group), a partnership among the governments of Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, Washagamis Bay First Nation, Wauzhushk Onigum First Nation, and Niisaachewan Anishinaabe First Nation.
Minister Rickford called Wednesday’s signing ceremony “an important milestone” that provides “a clear path forward to completion,” stating: “Today, we are one step closer to twinning Highway 17 and improving road safety for the people of Kenora-Rainy River.”
Travelled by 5000-7500 vehicles each day, Highway 17 is a strategic link in the Trans-Canada Highway system. As there is no alternate route, collisions and road closures have major economic impacts both locally and nationally.
Kenora riding MP Eric Melillo has joined MPP Rickford as a strong advocate for the twinning project.
In his Maiden Speech in the House of Commons last month, MP Melillo called on all levels of government to come together to fund the project. Describing current road conditions as “notoriously dangerous,” he argued that twinning the highway would improve safety for travellers and “reduce barriers to economic activity in the region.”
“This is a local issue for us, but it’s also a national issue,” Melillo said in his House of Commons speech. “When there is a crash on the Trans-Canada Highway in my riding, our entire economy shuts down and our country is literally split into two.”
After Wednesday’s announcement, Melillo committed to pressuring the federal government to fund their share of the project.
The Ontario government has committed to putting shovels in the ground by the summer of 2020.