Organizer Scott Mooney parked his truck at Queen’s Park with a strong message on its grille.
Protest organizer Scott Mooney speaks to the media during today’s protest.
TORONTO, Ont. — It could hardly be described as a convoy, but if the goal was to expose the mainstream media to truckers’ concerns about Ontario’s speed limiter law, then today’s gathering at Queen’s Park could be dubbed a success.
Fewer than 10 trucks travelled from starting points in Cambridge and Bowmanville, converging at Queen’s Park where they were greeted by a full throng of media. A couple dozen professional drivers, many arriving in their passenger vehicles, were also on-hand to lend support and sign a petition which will be hand-delivered to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario by Conservative MPP John O’Toole of Durham.
Protest organizer Scott Mooney and coordinator of the Bowmanville convoy, Jack Logan, each spoke about the negative impacts Bill 41 will have on road safety. They were supported by OBAC executive director Joanne Ritchie and the association’s technical advisor Jim Park, who each spoke of the ills of Bill 41.
“What every truck driver in Ontario and across North America is concerned about is the safety risks that this law is bringing to every motorist that travels the highways,” Mooney said.
Also presenting were New Democrat MPP Gilles Bisson and Conservative MPP O’Toole. Finally, Robert McAulay, national freight and tank haul director for Teamsters Canada took to the mic and voiced his organization’s concern about the legislation.
Bisson said Bill 41 creates safety hazards for road users and also places Ontario-based truckers at a competitive disadvantage when travelling in the US. He said the province should simply ramp up enforcement of existing speed limits.
“One, we don’t have the resources on our highways to enforce current legislation, so why are we doing this?” he asked. “And two, our trucking industry is going to be put at competitive disadvantage when it comes to other jurisdictions outside Ontario.”
Trucknews.com caught up with Bowmanville coordinator Jack Logan early this morning at the Fifth Wheel truck stop, where he was expecting some 25-30 trucks to take part. Police were consulted by organizers, and the participants agreed to travel in the center lane after the morning rush hour to minimize the impact on traffic. As it turned out, the small number of participants didn’t pose any disruption to traffic flow.
During his speech, Logan had some harsh words for the no-shows. However, beforehand, he told us “the ultimate goal is to bring awareness to the public that this law is detrimental to the travelling public.”
All major news networks in the GTA were represented at the demonstration, but the biting cold wind seemed to keep questions and interest to a minimum.
Following the presentations, Mooney told Trucknews.com he was disappointed in the turnout, but pleased with the end result. The mainstream media were well-represented, and Mooney said it was encouraging to see the petition so well-received by Opposition MPPs. He said he is holding out hope that the Legislature will “suspend enforcement until the Legislature can review all studies conducted pertaining to the effect of this law and road safety concerns.”
For a full report, see the April issue of Truck News.
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