An Ontario New Democratic Party politician complained this week about the state of the major road between Timmins and Sudbury, contending winter driving in the area has become high risk.
France Gelinas, the NDP member of provincial parliament for Nickel Belt, suggested in the legislature that Highway 144 has been repeatedly closed and when it’s open in the winter it tends to be covered in snow or ice.
“When these highways are ignored for 48 hours after the end of a snowfall, a drive can become a high-risk activity, even a life-threatening activity,” she said. “When my constituents call the Ministry of Transportation to complain, they are more or less told to ‘live with it.’”
The riding of Nickel Belt does not include the cities of Sudbury and Timmins but encompasses most the area between the two centres, extending south of the French River. Highway 144 goes about 300 kilometres north of Sudbury, ending at Highway 101 near Timmins.
“Nickel Belt is made out of 33 little communities all around and to the north and south of Sudbury,” she said in the legislature. “Further, Highway 144 is the only road between Sudbury and Timmins; it is very active with mining activities right now. When this highway is closed, workers can't get to work.”