Spectator - Letters to the Editor Feb. 24, 2003
chair calls for 'smart' transit plan' (Feb. 20).
article, Niagara chair Debbie Zimmerman advocates a "visionary"
and "long view" of transportation planning that encompasses
several modes, including rail.
should not be confused however: The mid-peninsula highway planning
process officially moved past the point at which options other than
a highway can be considered on Feb. 1, when the Ontario Transportation
Ministry released the terms of reference for the environmental assessment:
It may consider only one highway route compared to a slightly different
route. In other words, construction of a new highway is now a given.
With respect to mid-peninsula transportation, talk of "visionary"
planning now amounts to empty rhetoric.
region has provided the main push behind this highway, starting when
it substantially funded the "impartial" study that not surprisingly
determined there was a need for the highway in the first place.
of tender fruit lands is the reason most often cited by Niagara in
its push to construct another major highway away from the QEW. While
this is a noble goal, one wonders why protection of the fruitlands
has been given a much higher priority than protection of the escarpment
in Hamilton and Burlington, and protection of the wetlands, woodlots,
wildlife, family farms and small communities along the 130-kilometre
shoe were on the other foot, the "logic" emanating from
Niagara would deem it acceptable for Burlington to develop and finance
a transportation strategy that protected the escarpment but had the
byproduct of paving the fruitlands in Niagara.
means, Niagara should protect its tenderfruit lands, but it shouldn't
allow its solution to do irreparable harm to our escarpment, our conservation
areas, and our Bruce Trail.