The Hamilton Spectator - February 11, 2003
RE: 'Mid-peninsula road study splits cities, regions' (Feb. 10).
Burlington Mayor Rob MacIsaac appears to be the only reasonable politician
It is hard to believe that any thoughtful individual would have a problem
with ensuring all factors are properly considered before billions in
taxpayer money are spent on a 30-year project. Hamilton Mayor Bob Wade
and Niagara Regional Chair Debbie Zimmerman seem to have taken the position
of high-pressures sales people.
forceful approach to this highway is most disturbing. A closer look
at Niagara's involvement in the entire process provides some clues to
her approach. As admitted by the Ministry of Transportation at the public
information centres (PICs), the Niagara region financially contributed
to the needs assessment which is the root of this highway. That same
assessment failed to include the needs of Burlington/Flamborough and
had to be hurriedly revised to correct this omission. The sincerity
of the revisions is highly questionable, based on the timing and the
of the big reasons for laying this highway as planned is to protect
the Niagara fruitlands, something the Niagara region did not take seriously
in the past as proven by its destruction along the QEW. Niagara's solution
to its mismanagement in planning is to now force a highway on Hamilton
and Burlington. It will happily pave over the Carolinian Forest, contaminate
water and wells, increase air pollution, pave over excellent farm lands
in Flamborough and deface the escarpment in Burlington in the name of
the fruitlands it has allowed to perish.
It is ironic
that the Ministry of Transportation has so heavily bought into the fruitland
argument when that is a municipal responsibility.
At the same time, the ministry has ignored a responsibility that is
truly provincial -- the Niagara Escarpment Plan.
that there is little to no support for this highway in Burlington, Hamilton
and Flamborough. And support is not as extensive in the Niagara region
as its politicians would have us believe. Many members of Citizens Opposed
to Paving the Escarpment (COPE) are from the Niagara region. When the
crowd at the Welland PIC was asked how many believe this highway is
needed, four of about 120 raised their hands.
was ever a time for sober second thought, this is it.