POLITICS

Deal reached to speed up Manitoba law slowing drivers down in construction zones

12/02/2013 05:17 EST | Updated 02/01/2014 05:59 EST
WINNIPEG - Manitoba politicians have reached a deal that will see a construction-zone law passed quickly in the legislature.

Bill 2 increases fines for speeding in highway construction zones and removes a loophole that required drivers to only slow down when workers are present.

The bill was introduced last month and would not normally be passed until the spring.

The NDP government wanted to speed things up and have a final vote by this Thursday, when the legislature will break for the holidays.

The Progressive Conservative Opposition has agreed to include the bill with dozens of others that were delayed last session and are to come to a vote Thursday.

In exchange, the government has agreed to delay a minor bill that governs purchasing managers.

The government initially accused the Tories of trying to delay passage of the construction-zone bill, because the Tories refused to have it debated for four days.

But Tory house leader Kelvin Goertzen said Monday the Tories had questions about the bill's potential impact on municipalities.

"It took more than a week, but we finally got the answers," Goertzen said. "I think we have a gentleman's agreement and I think ... we'll live up to it."

The legislature is expected to break Thursday evening until March 6.