The Hamilton Spectator
endorses it, while Burlington is planning court action against the province
and Burlington are taking different forks in the road over support for
a proposed $1.5 billion super highway between Fort Erie and Burlington.
council has officially endorsed the need for the mid-peninsula corridor,
while Burlington council is threatening legal action to halt the entire
an interesting twist, Burlington has hired environmental lawyer David
Estrin to advise it on the legal manoeuvres surrounding the highway's
approval process. Estrin worked for Hamilton and won the 2001 court
case exempting the Red Hill Creek Expressway from federal review.
has been concerned about the mid-peninsula corridor for over a year,
ever since it was first suggested it might run over the environmentally
sensitive Niagara Escarpment into Burlington and connect with Highway
407 at Walker's Line.
ministry has since said it will look at ending the highway at Highway
403, Highway 6 in Flamborough and running it up past Freelton to Highway
cities are staking out positions to meet an April 30 deadline for comment
to the ministry on draft terms of reference for an environmental assessment
(EA) of the project.
plans to draft final terms by mid-May. A route may be determined in
2006 and traffic could be on the highway by 2011. In a 10-3 vote, Hamilton
council recently endorsed the findings of the Niagara Peninsula Transportation
Needs Assessment Study, which concluded there is a legitimate need for
voted to tell the Ontario government that the city "strongly supports
the need for the proposed mid-peninsula highway" to spur economic growth
and reduce traffic congestion. Hamilton and Niagara helped fund the
Councillor Margaret McCarthy, worried about the highway's impact on
Flamborough, asked councillors to defer approval of the study until
it heard from her residents, but her request was rejected. The majority
of councillors believe the highway will help the city create valuable
nothing could be catastrophic," said Ward 7 Councillor Bill Kelly.
noted it has concerns about the terms for the EA. This included concerns
about gathering public input, ignoring First Nations' issues, not taking
into account federal environmental legislation and the impact on streams
and all wetlands.
to be allowed to try to resolve concerns with the ministry and, if that
fails, seek a third-party mediator.
has decided to appeal to Transportation Minister Frank Klees and Environment
Minister Chris Stockwell. That decision was made at community development
committee last Monday night. It will be further debated April 28 at
has concerns that the highway is not needed, the transportation ministry
didn't look at alternatives and the EA terms of reference are "deficient"
and allow development of the highway to bypass provincial and federal
laws. If its concerns are not met, the city promises to bring legal
action against the province.
the province needs to understand we are serious about this," Mayor Rob
to me that two levels of government are fighting each other in court,
but we're not going to be bullied on an issue of this magnitude."