Election Time & 407 ETR

Well it’s election time again.  It seems with all the by-elections lately, this is a normal event.  Speaking as a normal everyday citizen, I have to express my indifference with politicians.  They smile and tell you they care about you the taxpayer/voter, but what happens after election day? 

Let me tell you about the time I met Steven  Delduca, Liberal candidate in Vaughan’s By-election.  He was vying to replace Greg Sobara after he quit cabinet.  Many Liberals left… just quit at that time… even the Premier himself, Dalton McGuinty. As a normal everyday citizen, you have to wonder what the heck was going on?  Why was everyone jumping ship, even the captain?
I met Steven Delduca because he said he was interested in what I had to say about 407 ETR issues.  I took with me a constituent from his riding that was a small business man in Plate Denial for charges 407 ETR wouldn’t resolve.  The charges occurred on a stolen plate.  In the 407 Act, you aren’t responsible for charges that occur on a stolen plate. 407 ETR wouldn’t even acknowledge an issue existed and demanded payment from the man anyway.  This is typical behavior for this company. Steven listened to the gentleman’s story and my rant and promised that if he got elected, by golly, he was going to do something about this problem.  Come election day, Steven Delduca became MPP for Vaughan.  What happened after election day and his promise to work with us to resolve 407 ETR issues?  I have no idea because to this day he hasn’t returned an email or phone call.
Ironically, just prior to that I was invited to the City of Vaughan to speak with Ward 3 Councillor Rosanna DeFrancesca. She was gun ho to do something about the problems we were having with 407 ETR because their city desperately needed to move people.  They are snarled in gridlock traffic.  Highway 407 is a valuable asset in their area, but it is too expensive for people to use. Even Michael Di Biase wrote a letter to the Province to do something about the rising price of 407 tolls, but after Mr. Delduca became MPP and pushed transit initiatives in their area, City of Vaughan Councillors lost interest in doing anything about Highway 407.
This is my experience of what happens after election day.  Does that discourage me? Yes, however, it doesn’t stop me from finding a solution to the problems we face with this private corporation that has been allowed to disrespect taxpayers for far too long. To be honest, I have more HOPE that the solution will come through the courts than I do politicians getting their act together.

Many of you that have followed my blog and column in the Toronto Caribbean know that for the past 4 years I have worked diligently with people from across the Province that have had horrific customer service issues with 407 ETR.  I’ve brought them to speak with 407 ETR & MTO, we went to Queen’s Park to speak with Transportation Critic Gilles Bisson (NDP) & Frank Klees (PC), I’ve done deputations to municipalities, reached out to MPP’s and even did some mainstream media (which being on the radio was one of the most nerve racking things I’ve ever done).  I continue to write my little blog in an attempt to keep the issue fresh.  I have sat down with several law firms, spoke with countless paralegals and lawyers all in an effort to bring some relief to thousands of people in this Province that have had the misfortune of becoming victim to 407 ETR’s shady business practices.
All of this effort is done with our own resources and time.  We don’t have donors supporting us.  The politicians draw a paycheck because they are supposed to do these kinds of things for us, however, when they fail to do their job it is up to us to do it for them because it is in our better interest. 
I am happy to say I have referred people to Scarfone Hawkins and a Class Action has been launched against this company on behalf of people that have claimed bankruptcy, but remain in Plate Denial.  The Superintendent of Bankruptcy & Class Action lawyers got an Order in Appeal Court that says section 22 of the 407 Act is inoperative with respect to bankrupts, however, 407 ETR appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada.  We are now waiting to see if the court will hear 407’s argument.
Jodie Parmar, former VP of Corporate Development, Privatization Secretariat/Ontario that successfully led the $3.107 billion privatization of Highway 407 has reached out to the Province to work with them to fix some of these outstanding pocketbook issues with 407 ETR.  So far, the Province, under a Liberal government, has refused his offer.
It’s election time and I have reached out to my local candidates, again, in an effort to move politicians to take some action and regulate this company properly.  What this company is doing effects thousands of people in the Province of Ontario, but there seems to be a disconnect.  For what ever reason, the politicians are out of touch with how this has affected people. People have lost their homes & their livelihoods because this company thinks it’s above the law and our politicians aren’t holding them accountable.
Locally here in Ajax we have, Liberal incumbent, Joe Dickson.  Of course he tows the partly line, there is nothing we can do, our hands are tied, we lost in court… Someone call the waaambulance! Oh… he’ll write a letter and act like he’s done something, but he’s done NOTHING! NDP candidate, Jermaine King, says if he is elected he’ll work with us and his office will become a hub of activity.  PC candidate, Todd McCarthy, says if he is elected he’ll work with us and needs grassroots movements like ours to help him.  Sounds promising doesn’t it?  I mean it’s the kind of excitement I felt after we met with Steven Delduca, but this time I’ve got the support of 2 parties.  But do I?
When neither of their party leaders will start a conversation about …. or even utter a word about… how pocketbook issues like 407 ETR are important to taxpayers and they are committed to fixing the problems, it kind of makes me wonder if they are Steven Delduc…ing us, telling us what we want to hear and then once they are elected they disappear into oblivion. 
Here’s the way I see it, regardless if we get political support or not, this issue will get placed on the lap of who ever is leading this Province to deal with eventually because the courts will make sure consumers are protected from this corporation that is exploiting political inaction. 
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One Response to “Election Time & 407 ETR”

  1. D Murphy says:

    According to the Legislation in Ontario, if individuals have a legal problem with Government involvement, Provincial or Federal, The Ministry of the Attorney General, is the entity to contact.
    However upon doing so, I receceived a reply explaining they could not assist in matters of Private Companies the 407 ETR.
    They seem to have forgotten that the MTO is part of their responsibility, and the MTO is under court order to place individuals under plate denial on behalf of the “Private Company” the 407 ETR.
    This situation is absolutely ridiculous,either they do not know what the Laws are? or they simply refuse to deal with the complaints.
    The Government Offices are literally passing the buck from the MTO, Ministry of Tranportation to MPP’s all over Ontario to Lawyers, to so called “Public Protection agencies”
    Start upholding the laws of the Land!!! Stop! Protecting a Private Corporation, the 407 ETR, that is using extortion tactics to collect on alleged debts.
    People all over are being denied a plate with perfect driving records for unsubstantiated amounts of cash.

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