John Ottenheimer to focus on moose collisions, Come Home Year

One of the candidates for the leadership of the Newfoundland and Labrador Progressive Conservatives announced Tuesday two new strategy pillars if he was elected as the next party leader.
John Ottenheimer announced two new issues he would take on if he won the PC leadership race and became the next premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. (CBC)

One of the candidates for the leadership of the Newfoundland and Labrador Progressive Conservatives announced Tuesday two new promises if he is chosen.

Former cabinet minister John Ottenheimer said he would focus on reducing moose-vehicle collisions, and co-ordinating a province-wide Come Home Year in 2016 if he became leader.

Ottenheimer said the province would be marking a number of anniversaries in 2016, and it would make a suitable year to entice expats to make the trip home for celebrations.

"It's a great opportunity for businesses, large and small, to prosper, and again it will allow us to showcase the beauty and the people of our great province," he said.

He said the other key focus of his government would be developing a system to reduce the number of moose-vehicle collisions across the province.

"As we celebrate the beauty of our province, we must think about the safety of our citizens and the safety of those individuals who wish to visit us. That is why, as premier, I will work with all levels of government on what I'm referring to as a moose-vehicle collision prevention strategy," said Ottenheimer.

"My government will focus on five key areas that I believe are essential to preventing moose-vehicle collisions. These are education and awareness, improved signage, enhanced fencing, brush cutting, and a reduced nighttime speed in areas that are known for high populated and high moose traffic."

Ottenheimer added he didn't know how much it would cost the province to execute the strategy, but public safety is the most important issue.

"Public safety trumps all other issues, as I see it, and we have had so much discussion in recent years about moose collisions and the risks that are afforded to Newfoundlanders as we travel on our highways. We have to deal with this in a serious way, and I plan to embark upon that particular direction," he said.

The PCs will vote in a new leader of the party on Sept. 13. Ottenheimer is running against MHAs Paul Davis and Steven Kent.


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