Lincoln News - Wednesday, February 19, 2003
new alternative starting points for the proposed mid-peninsula corridor
were released by the Ministry of Transportation Feb.1.The highway
will be going through Niagara West probably in the West Lincoln area.
of environmental groups are at loggerheads with the Ministry of Transpor-
tation (MTO)over the latest documents released for the $1.2 billion
Peninsula Corridor highway.
terms of reference for the Mid- Peninsula Corridor s environmental
ment (EA)were presented at public information centres (PICs)earlier
stirring further criticism from several groups.
PIC in Burlington on February 4, members of Citizens Opposed to Paving
the Escarpment (COPE)donned gas masks to symbolically demonstrate
distaste for what Mid-peninsula highway subject of new protests they
call the smell arising from the highway planning process .
the concerns COPE has,is the fact the MTO are continuing with a scoped
EA for the 130-- kilometer highway,which is proposed to run
from Burlington to Fort Erie.
scoped EA will not examine the need for the highway or any other trans-
portation alternatives,but will only suggest small vari- ations in
the route the high- way will take between Burlington and Fort Erie,
COPE representatives said in a press release.
resident Pat Morris is among the local residents who says she is concerned
with the govern- mental process that is cur- rently underway .
attended the two lat- est PICs. Supposedly the terms of reference
is the process for setting the study guidelines but it has already
limited the scope of the study area to be a preconceived highway and
transit path between Welland and the Hamilton airport, said
Ms.Morris, adding she feels other transit options that should be explored.
highway should be considered the last resort and
not the preferred option, she said.
of the Peninsula Field Naturalists, Ms. Morris said she is concerned
about the impact on the environment. I believe there is more
to environmental protection than moving the highway a couple hundred
feet here or there to avoid damaging watercourses, she said.
the water features that could be affected according to the terms of
reference are Twenty Mile and Forty Mile creeks. Ms.Morris also touched
on the potential for significant growth along the pro- posed highway.
the highway to alleviate the anticipated growth or facilitate it?
One has only to look at Mississauga today to see the long-range future
of the Niagara Peninsula if Toronto is allowed unre- strained expansion,
MPP Tim Hudak recently said if it was up to him,he would have built
s no doubt that we must carefully consider what environmental
impact the highway would have,but there s no question in my
mind that a southern route makes the most sense, Mr.
Hudak said, adding putting the highway north of Welland would lessen
the benefits to southern and western
for the MTO said they are confident the need is there
for a new highway. You ve got to remember we re
looking many years ahead.The last time a process like this was done
a route was being chosen for the 407. That was 30 something years
ago and it wasn t built until five years ago, said Will
MacKenzie, infor mation officer for the Central Region, who spoke
to the media on behalf of the MTO at a PIC in Welland on February
s a fine balance between protecting the needs of the environment
and economic needs.That s what this environmental assessment
is all about, he said.
on the terms of reference will be accepted by the MTO up until March
They can be submitted at www.midpeninsulahighway.on.ca
on the Internet.
comments will be reviewed and the EA terms of reference will be finalized
and submitted to the Ministry of the Environment for approval.
will be holding a joint-sponsored meeting with the City of Burlington
on Tuesday,Feb.25 at the Holiday Inn in Burlington, at 7 p.m.
informa- tion about the highway will be discussed.