Blackburn News
April 11, 2019

The Ontario budget promises more alcohol choices for adults but doesn’t mention any investment for Highway 3.

The Ford Conservatives said Highway 401 will be widened from London to Tilbury but there was no money in the budget to widen Highway 3 from Essex to Leamington.

Premier Doug Ford’s first budget also lets municipalities make their own rules about drinking alcohol in public places, such as parks, and allows fans to drink at tailgate parties at eligible sporting events.

MADD Windsor & Essex County Community Leader Chaouki Hamka said he will support whatever the city decides to do, but hopes safety precautions and enforcement are in place to protect the public.

“You could definitely see an increase in crime and impaired driving and an overall increase in bad judgement,” said Hamka.

The new alcohol rules also allow bars and restaurants to start serving alcohol at 9 a.m. and Caesars Windsor to advertise complimentary booze.

Hamka doesn’t expect tailgating to cause major problems because it’s more controlled.

“Alcohol has to be purchased on-site, it couldn’t be brought in. So, that provided certain safeguards because the server could refuse sale to someone who was already intoxicated,” he added.

Hamka said there could be problems arising from the looser alcohol rules but more details surrounding enforcement are needed.

“Anytime there’s loosening of rules in relation to alcohol, it’s definitely concerning. We do tend to see they’re starting to loosen it up a little too much,” Hamka said.

On the manufacturing side, Unifor Canada said Ford’s first budget threatens future growth and prosperity with a lack of leadership on manufacturing.

The union said more than 100,000 Ontarians work in the automotive industry, and tens of thousands of jobs are currently threatened by closure announcements and work reductions.

“Ford has made a serious misstep by refusing to anchor new investment in the next generation of manufacturing. His so-called plan for auto is an embarrassing retreat,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “License plate branding and tailgate parties won’t help manufacturing workers rebuild threatened industries.”

Dias added the Conservatives are leaving workers at GM and Chrysler, and in communities across Ontario out to dry by not presenting a competitive, clear strategy for manufacturing.