There’s an economic reason behind Timmins mayor George Pirie wanting a higher speed limit on Highway 101 from Waferboard Road to Highway 144, and down 144 to the Watershed area.

He wants the limit increased to 90 kilometres an hour from the current 80 to make it a faster trip from the airport to Iamgold’s Coté Lake project.

Pirie told this week’s council meeting, “We are competing with Sudbury who, right now, Coté Lake or Iamgold is talking about marshalling 60% of the workforce out of the Sudbury airport and bringing them up into the Gogama area and 40% coming from Timmins.”

So Pirie asked council to support the higher speeds, possibly reversing those percentages.

“We’re talking about passing this resolution around the table and of course it has to go through the Ministry of Transportation and be considered there,” he said.  “We don’t make that decision, we just make the request.”

The resolution passed in a 5-2 vote.  Councillors Kristin Murray and Noella Rinaldo voted against it.