It’s Ontario’s way or the highway

Sometimes, no matter how good an opposing point of view is, it doesn’t make a lick of difference if the powers that be turn a deaf ear to it.

That’s especially relevant in Ontario and Quebec, where provincial lawmakers made speed limiters mandatory on all heavy trucks starting Jan. 1. If you are a trucker doing business there, you need a working speed limiter set at or below 105 kilometers per hour, or 65 mph.

Owner-operators represented by OOIDA and Canadian owner-operator group OBAC provided strong testimony and independent research about why a speed-limiter mandate will not be a safety or environmental panacea, which the Ontario Trucking Association has claimed.

OOIDA’s argument included real-life testimony from truckers and an independent study conducted by Steven Johnson of the University of Arkansas about the dangers of speed differentials on the highways. Still, the Liberal Party government turned a deaf ear and went ahead with implementation.

Progressive Conservative and New Democratic Party lawmakers who sided with OOIDA on the issue also had their opinions squashed in Parliament.

Ontario Transportation Minister James Bradley told them that if the Ontario Trucking Association supports speeds limiters, that’s good enough for him.

When grilled on the issue, Bradley did everything shy of covering his ears and proclaiming, “I can’t hear you, la la la la!”

A one-track mind-set by any government can lead to far-reaching consequences beyond the issue of highways.

As U.S. President Harry Truman said, “Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.” LL