TWO YEARS LATER THE ‘FIGHT FOR FAIRNESS’ CONTINUES: Masse joins with Talbot Road resident to challenge the MTO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 31, 2008

TWO YEARS LATER THE ‘FIGHT FOR FAIRNESS’ CONTINUES
Masse joins with Talbot Road resident to challenge the MTO to apply its own rules fairly

Windsor, Ont- “Almost two years ago, I called upon all levels of government to establish a clear and accountable process to purchase properties and a mitigation fund for neighbourhoods affected access route to the new border crossing. A fight for fairness campaign was launched,” declared NDP Transport, Automotive, and Border Critic Brian Masse, M. P. (Windsor West). Last year I disclosed the provincial ministerial directive for advance property purchases and was attacked for it. Today, with the Slingbys’ revelations, we discover the provincial Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is not even applying its own rules fairly. This is an outrage.”

The Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) study months ago revealed the access route to the next crossing to public outcry and condemnation. The so-called “Parkway” contains only 25 percent tunnelling along the route. The provincial Ministry of Transportation (Ontario) is responsible for purchasing property for the access route and has been doing so for the last year. The process has never been outlined or clarified for the residents by the DRIC or MTO.

“What is disturbing is that instead of creating a transparent, understandable and fair process for acquisition of residents’ properties and businesses, the MTO has decided to not even institute their own guidelines appropriately. The Slingbys’ have performed a public service by disclosing their ordeal. Hopefully the MTO will be shamed into correcting this process for future purchases so no other citizen has to suffer these indignities." exclaimed Masse.

Mrs. Slingsby outlined the refusal of the MTO to proceed to arbitration for resolution of property dispute, even though this is the provided for in the MTO’s directive on advance property purchases. This forced the family to accept an agreement that did not include their home based business. The negotiations had been going on for several years.

“I will be requesting that the Minister intervene to correct the MTO actions in this community with regards to the access route property acquisitions. The entire DRIC process has a long way to go. We have to make sure transparency and accountability are paramount. Affronts such as this must be stopped,” demanded Masse.

-30-