SPECIAL REPORT: Ontario extends comment period on speed limiters

| 6/6/2008

Friday, June 6, 2008 – A legislative committee in Ontario, Canada, has extended the public comment period on the issue of speed limiters to 5 p.m., Tuesday, June 10.

The comment period for legislation known as Bill 41, designed to require speed limiters on heavy trucks doing business in Ontario, was originally scheduled to end at the conclusion of a public hearing Thursday, June 5, in Toronto.

Following testimony at that hearing, which included oral and written comments from OOIDA to oppose government-mandated speed limiters, members of the Ontario Legislature’s Standing Committee on Justice Policy voted to extend the comment deadline.

The hearing Thursday, the only hearing called for Bill 41, was packed with U.S. and Canadian trucking officials and included testimony by conference call with several others.

OOIDA Government Affairs Counsel Laura O’Neill said there is an urgent need for people to get involved and file comments because Bill 41 was basically brought to the government by members of the Ontario Trucking Association who are intent on furthering the competitive agenda of large motor carriers.

Following the deadline for comments, the members of the Justice Policy Committee are scheduled to meet Thursday, June 12, to evaluate testimony and discuss whether to amend Bill 41.

“They’re going to be going clause by clause through the bill and evaluating how good it is,” O’Neill told Land Line.

Committee Clerk Susan Sourial said if the committee does not complete its work on June 12, there will be another committee meeting June 19. She further explained the process.

“Once they complete clause-by-clause, they report the bill back to the House, either amended or not amended,” she told Land Line. “Then it’s up to the government to call it up for what we call third-reading debate.”

Following debate at the third-reading stage, the Legislature could call for a final vote.

As committee clerk, Sourial is compiling the public comments. With only a few days left before the comment period ends, comments should be faxed, e-mailed, called in or walked in to ensure they are received. The contact information is as follows:

Susan Sourial, clerk
            Standing Committee on Justice Policy
            99 Wellesley Street West, Room 1405
            Whitney Block, Queen’s Park
            Toronto, Ontario
            Canada M7A 1A2

            Phone: (416) 325-7352
            Fax: (416) 325-3505
            TTY: (416) 325-3538
            E-mail: susan_sourial@ontla.ola.org

Click here to read the text of the speed-limiter bill.

– By David Tanner, staff writer