Reader says that proposed mid-peninsula
highway threatens the province's wildlife

Letters to the Editor - Milton Canadian Champion 02/18/03


(The following letter was addressed to Ontario Minister of Transportation Norm Sterling and a copy was filed with The Champion.)

Dear Editor: Ontarians wish to point out a distressing and looming "threatened species" situation.

Your unwillingness to right the clearly flawed mid-peninsula transportation corridor needs assessment process brings another dissenting note to the growing chant of "shame on you sir."
The threatened massasauga rattlesnake now joins the ever-loudening call for a moratorium.
One of two remaining populations away from Georgian Bay in Canada is in Wainfleet Bog in Niagara, almost in the path of "your" proposed route 'C' option.

This proposed highway will now have to deal with implications under the Federal Species at Risk Act and individuals linked with the Species Recovery Team.

Dr. John Middleton of the Centre for the Environment of Brock University, has enlightened the public to this potentially-devastating crunch on an already threatened species.

It's not only the proposed highway that could destroy habitat and lifecycle conditions for the threatened massasauga rattlesnake.

Damaging impacts from construction, greatly increased traffic, development pressures and likely expropriation of snake-sympathetic landowners could add expediency to the population's demise.

As reflected on the Citizens Opposed to Paving the Escarpment (COPE) Web site (www.cope-nomph.org), COPE has called for a moratorium on all further planning and assessment of the mid-peninsula highway until such time as the Smart Growth Panels have reported and the MTO has demonstrated that it will respect Smart Growth principles.

Ontarians call on you, Mr Sterling, to recognize that a forward-looking and responsible transportation strategy for the province will encompass rail, transit, marine, improvements to existing structures and other transport modes as well as new roadways.

Sir, silence on this situation is not an option.

We respectfully ask that required attention to this matter be immediate and visible.

Mr Sterling, I'm sure you're with us caring Ontarians as we offer our thanks to Dr. Middleton for truly trying to make a difference.

We will not let you down.

Robert (Bob) Beyette
Campbellville

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