The Monsanto of Traffic, 407 ETR/Ferrovial

When you say the name Monsanto, it’s synonymously recognized as a corporation aimed to take over our most valuable resource. OUR FOOD!!! May 23rd, 2015 the world marched against this corporate takeover and pleaded with world governments to reign in this corporation. Corporate subsidies and political favoritism is at the root of Monsanto’s monopoly over the world`s food supply. Finally, governments the world over are starting to listen to the outcry of farmers and consumers. So far about 64 nations have signed on to curb Monsanto`s march by making them label genetically modified foods. This gives the consumer more power to choose with their wallets what they will support.

407 ETR`s parent company Ferrovial IS the Monsanto of our limited resources for travel options. We have been pleading with our leaders to reign in 407 ETR by better regulating the company’s Plate Denial provision. So far our pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

Ferrovial started their march for world domination in 1998 when they signed their first deal for an open access highway, traffic management system here in Ontario, Canada known as 407 ETR. Leaving in the wake of their journey to date is many corporate bankruptcies, questionable business practices, beaten consumers and a bewildered populace. How can our governments support taking our very limited resource, land put aside for public use, land in most cases taxpayers already paid for, off the books, so that a private corporation can control what segment of the population get to use that land? How can our governments support a traffic management system that NEEDS congestion to be viable? It’s nonsensical! Traffic planning is no longer about moving people; it’s about how to monetize travel to make a buck. If you can’t pay, you won’t get to play.

Citizens in Texas and North Carolina, USA and Ontario, Canada have started to shed light on the problems having a corporation control our travel initiatives. Their movements, TURF, Exit 28 Ridiculousness and Stop the 407 ETR’s Abuse of Power are gaining momentum.

September 17th, 2015 saw a conference on The Future of the Car/Transport Futures that bundles Ferrovial`s traffic management solution in with car sharing services, Uber, bike paths, carpool lots, high-speed busses and LRTs. The spin is being painted that congestion pricing, like 407 ETR’s highway, is just another option to travel. But really, it’s about a new economy that some misguided leaders think will make the planet more environmentally sound.

Attending the conference were politicians like Ontario’s Minister of Transportation, Steven DelDuca and bureaucrats like Stephen Buckley, General Manager of Transportation Services for the City of Toronto. Ferrovial’s lobbying efforts are working and the public for the most part remains in the dark as to what is about to be decided by our leaders that are supposed to have our best interests at heart. You think life is expensive now? You haven’t seen anything yet. If the government of Ontario continues to buy into Ferrovial’s spin, you will see tolls on all major highways. Your travel costs to get to work will cost you another $400/month. Do you think your boss will give you a raise to pay for it? If you don’t pay the toll, your commute time will increase because these tolls will do nothing to alleviate traffic congestion. It will only make congestion worse.

It’s like they are saying, it doesn’t matter how much money you sink into R & D, there is no solution for congestion so we might as well let companies like Ferrovial make a buck. It makes the economy look like it opened a new viable sector. A win, win situation right?

407 ETR has the government of Ontario`s backing. To the public, the government of Ontario says that their hands are tied with respects to the company`s billing nightmare. They say there is nothing they can do to interfere with a private corporation`s business because of the deal made by the previous administration. But in the shadows, this current administration is doing back room deals with 407 ETR and silently supports the business model the company is pushing to open up on other road ways.

In the Supreme Court of Canada case that took place January 2015, the government of Ontario also supported the company`s position on how it treats bankrupt people. The government of Ontario supports using Plate Denial as a means for this private corporation to collect money from bankrupt people. This contradicts the Federal Laws on bankruptcy, but the government of Ontario doesn’t seem to care. They want bankrupt people to pay this private corporation, 407 ETR, whatever the company says it is owed. We all know the amounts the company says is owed changes from month to month because the company never stops adding interest or fees to the debt they claimed occurred, but never had to prove actually occurred to begin with. The government of Ontario doesn’t care about that and ignores their own Consumer Protection legislation in favor of the company`s behavior. The company must be doing exactly what the government wants or else it would intervene. They have given 407 ETR full power to treat consumer`s as they wish. Basically, not only does Ferrovial`s subsidiary, 407 ETR, get to play a game on our land, but they get to ignore the rules of the game and our leaders, change the rules of the game to allow them to play as they wish. How long will it take for people take to the streets and March?

Land put aside for public use, should remain land put aside for public use. Land is a very limited resource and should not be taken off the books to benefit a private corporation that will do absolutely nothing for the public but cause congestion and chaos.

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