The candidates were asked about their position on a province-wide cycling policy at the All Candidates Meeting held on Sept. 28th, 2011. The following is the question presented and below are the candidates responses. (Note: A submission from Rob Milligan, PC, has not been received yet)
Quebec introduced its provincial Bicycle Policy in 2008. Ontario has yet to introduce a province-wide policy which promotes cycling. If your party formed the next Provincial government, what Provincial policies would it introduce to promote cycling across the Province?
The Green Party of Ontario would certainly consider a provincial Cycling Policy. We are putting over 400 million into a complete streets program to build in cycling and pedestrian needs into new and existing roads. It also forms part of our plan to encourage health promotion to stave off chronic diseases caused by inactivity.
KIRA MEES, Ontario NDP
We will make it easier and safer for people to ride bikes. We will make it the law that drivers have to stay at least 1 metre away from cyclist on the move. We will promote planning for complete streets on municipal and provincial roadways, ensuring the safety of all users when roads are developed or redeveloped. We will create a province-wide cycling infrastructure fund for investments in bike lanes, bike storage and bicycle tourism. We will make sure that major new developments are accessible by transit and other active modes of transportation, and provide facilities for cyclists.
LOU RINALDI, Ontario Liberal Party (MPP)
Ontario Liberals are committed to encouraging more people to use bicycles and other forms of non-motorized transportation. We believe active transportation is a key part of creating a sustainable transportation network that can support our transportation needs today and protect our environment for years to come. We know there are community, tourism, health, social, economic and safety benefits — and we believe in making our communities and our province more bike- and pedestrian-friendly.
The NDP and PCs do not share our approach. When the PCs were in government, they set Ontario back a generation in building transit by cancelling the Eglinton subway project and downloading GO Transit costs
onto municipalities, leaving them to foot the bill. The NDP have continuously opposed the construction of the Air Rail Link and voted against public transit expansion for Toronto, York Region, Kitchener-Waterloo and Ottawa.
Ontario Liberals are on the right track in reducing congestion, investing in transit and ensuring a more vibrant and healthy future.