If road signs are any indication, Ontario has a bright future. The province recently unveiled their brand-new, made-in-Ontario LED road signs, which aim to remind drivers of the common sense laws they know they’re breaking. They will also relay traffic updates to drivers who, stuck in traffic, will have plenty of time to read them. Above all, the signs’ most impressive feature is their price tag: $650,000 per sign.
The old signs cost a mere $450,000. That’s peanuts for a politician. The old signs were also less bright and less colourful, although they made up for it by being boring. It’s safe to say it was time for an upgrade.
Of course, the new signs’ high price offers high returns, notably the use of images and symbols to reduce the number of words on display and facilitate driver comprehension. They also feature bilingual messaging so French people can understand them. That alone has to be worth an extra $100,000!
Despite these clear benefits, at least one opposition MPP wasn’t happy about the upgrade. PC Transportation Critic Michael Harris said it was inappropriate for the Liberal government to spend so much money on “shiny new TVs for our roadways.” Harris’ criticism raises several questions, notably about his understanding of televisiom. Does this guy wait all week for another rerun episode of “Do not text and drive/ N’utilisez pas le cell phone”? Does he recline on the couch for scintillating back-to-back half hour specials of “Don’t drink and drive/Ne buvez pas de l’alcool” and “DVP moving very slowly beyond next transfer/Vive le Quebec libre”?
We aren’t going to listen to Harris’ criticism if we can’t relate to him. Currently, he sounds like Michael Ignatieff describing a swell night out with the guys. We all know how that election ended.
There are now 21 new signs up around the province, and the government has promised to add more as old signs fall into disrepair. It’s a good thing Ontario has so much money, otherwise this sort of expenditure might seem a bit irresponsible. And it’s a good thing Michael Harris is so easy to entertain. Forget the satellite/cable debate—he can pull up a lawn chair beside his local interchange and enjoy hours of free entertainment. You know what politicians are like: always feeding from the public trough.