Published on May 13th, 2014 | by Jordan

A Quick Summary of how CAA has been Advocating on Your Behalf

The following post comes to us care of Elliott Silverstein, Manager of Government Relations for CAA South Central Ontario. If you’ve ever wondered how we’ve been affecting change on behalf of our Members, here’s your answer. 

Alongside the first signs of spring emerged another type of sign – election signs.  Volunteers have begun to canvass in support of their local candidates, and political party leaders have begun their exhaustive tour of Ontario. After two and a half years of a minority government, a provincial election has been called for Thursday, June 12.

While Ontarians will race to the polls that day to elect the province’s next government, the recent term of government was a successful one for CAA and its Members, bringing key issues to the forefront for all three political parties at Queen’s Park.

CAA actively advocates at Queen’s Park on behalf of its Members for increased safety on Ontario’s roads and better transportation infrastructure, among other issues. The result was a series of bills – both those introduced by the government, and others introduced by the opposition parties (known as private member bills) – were designed to address issues including distracted driving, cycling safety, safe use of roundabouts, and the regulation of the towing industry.

When Lieutenant Governor David Onley signed the writs that officially launched the provincial election, it also immediately ended debate on all issues at Queen’s Park.

As we look back on the issues that were discussed at Queen’s Park, CAA was able to champion several critical issues and raise awareness among Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs). Building on our previous efforts to introduce a ban on distracted driving (dating back to 2009), CAA continued to support legislation that would increase the penalties for distracted driving and introduce demerit points, an effort that was supported by 80 per cent of CAA Members in a recent survey.

Bill 173, entitled Keeping Ontario’s Roads Safe, was introduced in March by the Hon. Glen Murray, Ontario’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. The bill not only included changes to address distracted driving, but also reflected a number of issues that CAA has been advocating for. These issues include efforts to enhance cycling safety, and CAA’s “Slow Down, Move Over” campaign, an initiative that would provide tow truck operators with a safer place to work while on Ontario’s roads.

Most recently, the provincial budget was introduced and called for the establishment of dedicated funds to pay for roads, bridges and transit across the province. CAA has been calling on the government for several years to allocate revenue collected from motorists and place it into a separate fund dedicated solely to infrastructure instead of going into the government’s general revenues.

While there are a number of topics that will be discussed in the days leading up to the election, transportation and infrastructure will continue to be subjects discussed by the Liberals, Progressive Conservatives and NDP.

Following the election, CAA will be reaching out to MPPs and the new government to raise issues of importance to our Members, and ensure that Ontario’s roads are increasingly safe for all road users.


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