under the radar

Newmarket Mayor Tony Van Bynen believes speeding is a big problem in York region, saying it’s “a #1 concern for residents and our community.”

That’s a curious perspective to arrive at considering York Region Police report speeding offences have gone down from 63,773 in 2011 to 39,059 in 2014.

What is also curious is Mayor Van Bynen’s steadfast belief that photo radar is the only way to tackle such a problem.

Several News outlets have started to report on what looks to be a rather hush-hush effort to lobby the province for approval to reinstate the failed photo radar that was implemented in the 1990s.

Here are a few:

Global News http://globalnews.ca/news/1871647/york-region-wants-province-to-reinstate-photo-radar/

680 News http://www.680news.com/2015/03/09/york-region-wants-to-bring-back-photo-radar-report/

and the Toronto Star. http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/03/08/york-region-seeks-return-of-photo-radar.html

It is Noor Javed’s piece from March 8th I wish to explore here. Aurora Mayor Geoff Dawe weighed in on facebook with respect to their reporting, here are his comments:

This prompted me to contact Javed for clarification, here was her response:

I’m not sure either.

There’s certainly more to this issue than some “off-the-cuff remark”. This isn’t some left-wing spin, CHCH also reports that van Bynen tabled a motion last month asking regional staff to prepare a proposal to sent to Queens park: http://www.chch.com/return-photo-radar/

Also of interest is the report that should this motion not pass the Mayor will unrelentingly try and bring it forward a 3rd time.

Yes, a 3rd time.

That’s because it has been tried and failed before.

Here’s a 2012 piece that shows Markham mayor and police board chairperson Frank Scarpitti already backs the idea: http://www.yorkregion.com/news-story/1453591-york-petitions-province-for-photo-radar/

Here’s another that shows East Gwillimbury Mayor Virgina Hackson does too: http://issuu.com/eastgwill/docs/nmk_e_jun28

The article also touched on Newmarket Mayor Van Bynen’s commitment to introduce a motion.

Still seeking what was reported to be an official motion I contacted the clerk at the region and was informed:

So there is no “official motion” at York Region council.

But even without a smoking radar gun staff is preparing a report with the intent for council to approve and lobby Queen’s Park.

Unlike our Mayor I would hardly consider this to be “Nothing at York Region about Photo Radar”.

Notice how he fails to indicate his position on the issue that will be returning to the table for a vote.

Regardless of all of York Region’s covert positioning there seems to be no radar love from the Province as reported in this March 9th Sun piece: http://www.torontosun.com/2015/03/09/photo-radar-not-coming-back-transportation-minister

There seems to be an inordinate amount of effort by members of York Regional council spent on resurrecting a program that was disposed of by the province well over 20 years ago to tackle a problem that is already dropping off the radar itself.

Resources that would be better spent addressing it’s $2.7 Billion debt by say focusing on municipalities that are incapable of producing more that 100 jobs in 5 years.

If members of York Regional council were honestly interested in understanding the “#1 concern for residents and our community” they need to put down it’s radar gun and plug in its public radar.


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