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Tolls taking a toll on commuters

(Cartoon by Lance Goosen)

For residents in Oshawa and Durham, using Highway 407 is a tough enough pill to swallow without obstacles in their way.

Local MPPs have all claimed they are looking into taking the tolls off of Highway 412 and the future Highway 418, the only connector roads to the 407 in Durham, but the tolls still remain a year after the most recent provincial election.

While Oshawa MPP Jennifer French has tabled a bill to remove the tolls from the 412 and the 418, other Durham MPPs have all said they are looking into the removal of the tolls. Yet, once again, they still remain.

After months of promises to have the tolls removed, residents of Durham remain frustrated with the lack of action taken by the provincial government.

Former Oshawa Mayor and current Regional Chair John Henry and French have both claimed the 412 is virtually deserted, with only a few vehicles using it.

Former Regional Chair the late-Roger Anderson, also criticized the tolls on the 412, noting it’s the only connector road to the 407 which is tolled in the province.

If what Henry and French have said is true, this means commuters are having to find other, less accessible ways to get to the 407, which means added time to their commute, more traffic in the city, and more gas used.

With the amount of financial pressure people living in the Greater Toronto Area often already face, adding extra money on their commute creates more uncertainty for them.

They already have bills to pay and mouths to feed. There’s nothing in this world for free, and that already includes driving.

However, Durham MPP Lindsey Park and Whitby MPP Lorne Coe recently told The Oshawa Express they are working on the issue.

Those who use the 407 feel they already pay enough and it’s time to remove the tolls from the 412, and to never have them on the 418 in the first place.

In the end, whether the tolls stay or go is in the hands of the provincial government.