Mid-Peninsula Highway meeting included many
thought-provoking suggestions: reader

Letters to the Editor Milton Canadian Champion

03/21/03

Dear Editor: The Mid-Peninsula Highway public meeting held in Burlington on February 25 was a huge success in my view.

It was totally open with questions and answers. Many innovative and thought-provoking suggestions came from the audience. E-mails back and forth the next day between the participants indicated a building on of ideas presented the evening before.

As many of you are probably aware, I've shared many comments and suggestions with our provincial government and newspapers on what I see as a flawed Mid-Peninsula Highway Project needs assessment process. With other organized groups like COPE (Citizens Opposed to Paving the Escarpment) and CONE (Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment), we have made a difference, small that it may be.

It appears the City of Burlington, taking neither side, is in essence bringing increased logic, not just passion, to the equation of transportation vision and smartness for Ontario. I suggest we offer accolades to the City of Burlington. Burlington has made a big difference.

The City of Burlington has, knowingly or not, built a common Ontarian platform for all to speak and listen on the Mid-Peninsuala Highway Project, and on Ontario transportation issues in general.

Besides residents from Burlington attending, there were individuals from Milton, Flamborough, Oakville, Hamilton, the Niagara Peninsula and even one lady from the other side of Toronto, who's concerned about an extension of Highway 407 moving east.

The entire speaker's group provided honest insight and accurate information.

Burlington Mayor Rob MacIsaac presented a summary level draft of the Smart Growth Panel's findings and recommendations developed to date.

Much applause ensued, indicating total support by those present. Hopefully the Ministry of Transportation will be listening to the Smart Growth Principles and not doing their own 1950s build a highway thing.

I live in Milton and am proud of it. I also live in the region of Halton, the province of Ontario and the country of Canada, and I'm really proud of that too.

Can't we make a bigger and better difference together than as stand alones?

When Mr. MacIsaac spoke, the word "we" was taken as Ontarians and Canadians, not only those from Burlington. Thank you Mr. MacIsaac.

I've lived in Burlington, as Councillor John Taylor can attest to, and I've worked in Burlington, Oakville and Hamilton. Regardless of how I may come across, I care like all of you do about common issues that impact fellow Halton residents and Ontarians at large.

Together we can make a difference, yet private agenda and or special interest objectives sometimes divide us. We (those in Halton) need to stand together and be united in our resolve.

I'm a proud humanitarian, Ontarian and Canadian first and foremost, and a caring resident of Milton and Halton by choice. I love it here.

I'm sure that what I don't see is possibly happening. The Region of Halton, together with the municipalities of Halton, are going to speak on behalf of the citizens of the municipalities of Halton, who are citizens of Ontario and Canada, about their beliefs on what is required for a more proactive, people and environmental-friendly transportation future.

From what I saw of the Smart Growth Panels' results to date, they really do speak "for the people and by the people".

Private agenda players might not like it, but as an Ontarian and Canadian, I say tough on them.

I'd like to see an enhanced united stand of "by the people and for the people" when it comes to issues of commonality such as transportation, environmental and natural resources such as water and air enhancements within our region.

The people should speak, the municipalities should capture input and funnel, and the Region should yell on behalf of us all.

Robert (Bob) A. Beyette

Campbellville

 

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