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Ontario enforcement officers blast Liberal funding freeze

TORONTO, Ont. -- The Union representing Ontario's Transportation Enforcement Officers (TEOs) says a Liberal spendin...

TORONTO, Ont. — The Union representing Ontario’s Transportation Enforcement Officers (TEOs) says a Liberal spending freeze on public service areas will impact road safety.

Joe Daniel, president of OPSEU Local 506 representing TEOs said truck traffic is expected to double in the next 10 years and his members will have difficulty monitoring and enforcing compliance within the trucking industry as a result of any Liberal funding freeze.

“The TEOs that work for the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) Road User Safety Division take pride and great satisfaction in the job that they do and the safety that their work provides to the people of Ontario,” said Daniel. “But it is hard for them to do their jobs properly due to the freeze.”

He suggested funding should be in line with the increasing growth in traffic rather than being frozen while traffic volumes continue to climb. He said a reduction in staff, operating budgets and training are hampering the TEOs ability to monitor truck traffic for compliance with regulations. He also condemned the Liberals for forcing truck inspection stations to close on statutory holidays so it can avoid paying enforcement officers extra money.

“But they can afford to pay police officers a hefty premium to conduct highway blitzes while our program is completely shut down and the trucks operate virtually unchecked,” Daniel blasted.

He added: “There is a crisis developing on our roads, and though flying wheels are not in the news as regularly as they once were, they still come off. The wheels are also loosening on our program. If the questions are not asked today and if the government does not soon refocus its efforts on this program, there maybe virtually no program left to monitor the trucking industry tomorrow."

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