- Stephen Lecce, MPP
Ontario Expanding Truck Rest Areas Across the Province
The Ontario government is improving 14 existing truck rest areas, building 10 new rest areas and adding 178 additional truck parking spaces at four existing ONroute travel plazas. This is part of the province's five-year plan to keep Ontario's roads and highways among the safest in North America and maintain the safe movement of essential goods. "Truck drivers spend long hours moving goods of every type and description on our roadways and we need to ensure they have a modern, safe and welcoming place to stop and rest," said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. "During the pandemic our carriers and drivers have been going above and beyond to get essential goods to market and we truly appreciate their effort, especially during this busy holiday season." To support the province's trucking sector, Ontario has ensured that parking and washrooms remain available at all 23 ONroutes, and there are more portable washrooms at truck inspection stations. As part of its efforts to improve rest areas, the province is working with trucking industry partners to raise awareness about human trafficking, in step with Ontario's Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy. Traffickers are known to use the 400-series highways to move victims across jurisdictions and professionals who work in the trucking industry play a vital role in helping to combat human trafficking. The province is also proactively partnering with ONroute to educate the public about the signs of human trafficking and raise awareness about the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline. This information is available online and will be posted at ONroute locations, rest areas, carpool lots and truck inspection stations. "Raising awareness is a key part of our Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy and the first line of defence against stopping such a horrific crime," said Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women's Issues. "We appreciate the support of Ontario's trucking industry and other transportation sector partners in sharing information and helping to combat human trafficking in our province." This is part of the government's plan to connect communities, build safer and better highways, help combat human trafficking and keep the supply chain strong in every part of Ontario. "In September, the Women's Trucking Federation of Canada launched the #KnowHumanTrafficking campaign to help raise awareness about human trafficking and educate people about the actions they can take to help those at-risk," said Shelley Uvanile-Hesch, Chief Executive Officer of the Women's Trucking Federation of Canada. "We look forward to working with the Ontario government on this initiative and creating safer highways and rest areas across our province." "ONroute is proud to support our trucking community who work tirelessly every day to deliver the goods, products and services that Ontarians and Canadians need," said Melanie Teed-Murch, Chief Executive Officer of ONroute. "As an essential service and key stop along the 400-series highways, we are pleased to work with the Government of Ontario to expand our services and amenities, including adding much-needed parking, to better serve the drivers who keep our economy moving."
Through the 2020 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover, the province continues to make smart investments in highways, roads and bridges which improve road safety and commutes, support job creation and grow the economy.
The province recently released a draft transportation plan for Northern Ontario that involves more than 60 actions, including working in partnership with the private sector, Indigenous communities and organizations and other groups to raise awareness of human trafficking, and continuing to invest in new, improved and rehabilitated rest areas.
Ontario’s Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy 2020-2025 focuses on raising awareness of the issue, protecting victims and intervening early, supporting survivors and holding offenders accountable.
Ontario 511 is a traveller information service that helps people plan their routes and travel safely across the province. The Ontario 511 app is now available to all drivers with added winter driving features, including up-to-date information on rest areas across the province.
Read the list and see a map of the planned truck rest area projects.
Open rest areas can be found on at 511on.ca and the Ontario 511 app which is available for free on the App Store and Google Play.
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