Andrea Horwath wants judicial review of buried Red Hill Valley Parkway report

Andrea Horwath and her fellow Hamilton MPPs are calling for a judicial inquiry into a buried Red Hill Valley Parkway (RHVP) report.
Andrea Horwath, leader of the official opposition, says there should be a judicial review of the Red Hill Valley Parkway friction testing report. (Patrick Doyle/Canadian Press)

Andrea Horwath and her fellow Hamilton MPPs are calling for a judicial inquiry into a buried Red Hill Valley Parkway (RHVP) report.

Ontario's official opposition leader, who's also a Hamilton Centre NDP MPP, says the Ministry of Transportation should release all reports about the highway.

She also wants Ontario's superior court to review how safety concerns about the road were handled.

"Tragedy after tragedy, families were assured that this road was safe despite serious concerns that the asphalt was slippery and a major safety concern," Horwath said in a media release Monday.

NDP MPPs Monique Taylor (Hamilton Mountain), Paul Miller (Hamilton East-Stoney Creek) and Sandy Shaw (Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas) agree with her, she said.

"We can't turn back time, but answers might help families devastated by parkway crashes to get the peace and closure they deserve."

Horwath's call comes after the city apologized last week for not telling city council the results of a 2013 report about the slipperiness of the road.

The report from Tradewind Scientific showed that friction tests were mixed, but in some spots fell well below UK safety standards. City staff said on Feb. 5 that it was kept from city council for six years.

A 2015 video shows a senior city staffer telling councillors about friction testing, but saying the RHVP friction was on par with 400-series highways.

In the meantime, families of people who have died on the road have pleaded with the city for safety upgrades.

Horwath isn't the only one who wants someone else to investigate how all this happened.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger and Donna Skelly, PC MPP for Flamborough-Glanbrook, have also called for an independent review.

The city's auditor is already investigating, and that report will likely come in the spring. 

The Tradewind report showed friction levels along Red Hill were well below expected standards in some places. Friction levels on the Lincoln Alexander Parkway were up to standard.

The city is already doing millions in upgrades to the RHVP, including asphalt resurfacing, which has been expedited in light of the report.

At a Wednesday meeting, council will debate a new protocol that would see consultants' reports come to council if they raise concerns about "human health and safety."

They'll also go behind closed doors to discuss potential litigation. 

About the Author

Samantha Craggs is a CBC News reporter based in Hamilton, Ont. She has a particular interest in politics and social justice stories, and tweets live from Hamilton city hall. Follow her on Twitter at @SamCraggsCBC, or email her at samantha.craggs@cbc.ca


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