23, 2003 Irene Gentle The Flamborough Post
of the proposed Mid-peninsula Hwy. have found a friend in the Niagara
body forged to protect the Niagara Escarpment ruled recently that it
is strongly in favour of a full environmental assessment for the road
that could link the Niagara area to the GTA through one of four proposed
the province is attempting to set approve a terms of reference for an
period on what should be in those terms of reference expired Wednesday.
of transportation Ontario is now meant to look at the comments and come
up with a plan, which would go to the Ministry of Environment for approval.
such as Jason Thorne of the Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment, maintain
that a full EA is vital to ensure the environment is best served.
accept a scoped EA," said Thorne, who is the executive director of CONE,
a coalition of environmental groups that acts as an unofficial watchdog
over escarpment lands. "We want them to withdraw their terms of reference
and start over."
group was thrilled that the NEC came to basically the same conclusion.
really happy. This is the first provincial agency that has commented
and I think that's significant," he said of the verdict. "The more who
are singing the same chorus, the harder it is to ignore that."
are members of the grassroots organization Citizen's opposed to paving
the Escarpment (COPE).
forged to oppose the proposed road that they feel is likely unnecessary
and will put both the environment and people's health at risk.
a Troy resident and vice-chair of COPE, travelled to the NEC meeting
held in Georgetown recently to plead with them to put the escarpment
first in their message to the province.
to think that those wise words helped," she joked afterwards, adding
"There is definitely a pro-development slant on the NEC right now. We
asked them to remember their status as protector's of the escarpment."
reminded the group also of an earlier desire it had expressed to match
the progress of the road with Ontario's Smart Growth planning.
the NEC has a generally respected voice, it is only one of the agencies
commenting on the proposed EA terms of reference for the road. The City
of Burlington also expressed grave misgivings about the process and
has stated it could launch legal proceedings to ensure an appropriate
EA takes place.
council, on the recommendation of staff, recently endorsed the mid-peninsula.
surprising," said McMaster of that decision. "It's a little disappointing.
It isn't really thought out."
information on COPE, log on to www.stophighway.com.