MPP drives campaign to fix “worst” highway in Canada

NIPIGON, Ont. (Aug. 23, 2003) — An Ontario MPP and the president of a local Chamber of Commerce have initiated a campaign to improve what they and some truckers say is one of the worst stretches of road in the country.

Mike Shusterman, president of the Land of the Nipigon Chamber of Commerce and Thunder Bay-Superior North MPP Michael Gravelle are calling on the government to make a commitment to improving Northwestern Ontario’s highways, including four-laning Hwy.11-17 from Nipigon to Thunder Bay.

At a press conference this week, the two unveiled a bumper-sticker campaign that read: “I Survived the Drive! Highway 11-17 Nipigon to Thunder Bay. 4 Lanes Save Lives.”

Shusterman will be selling the stickers for $5 in order to produce a video to depict the poor state of the highway, which he says is deteriorating rapidly with large chunks of asphalt breaking off from the road. The video will be sent to Queen’s Park politicians. He also added that many truckers and tourists have told him they consider the condition of the highway to “be the worst in Canada.”

The government announced a plan over a decade ago to design a four-lane highway connecting Thunder Bay and Nipigon, Gravelle said. However, the provincial and federal governments still haven’t committed any money to the project. Gravelle estimates about $500 million would be needed to add the two lanes to the corridor.

— With files from the Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal

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