wants to get from point A to point B faster.
critics fear that the province's proposed Bill 25 isn't the way
to do that.
Thorne, executive director of the Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment,
said that while there are good things in the proposed bill - including
provisions for high-occupancy lanes, a "smart" transit card allowing
travel with a variety of public transit systems seamlessly and bus
bypass shoulders - the bottom line needs to be put in park.
dissected the bill quite a bit," said Thorne. "It's a very dangerous
bill. The process for the mid-peninsula highway that everyone agrees
was flawed - they're basically codifying that."
say the policy runs over local planning jurisdiction and property
rights by allowing the Minister of Transportation to select transportation
corridors across the province.
is giving the minister huge power to draw these swaths across the
province," said Thorne. "It puts a freeze on the land."
to a City of Burlington background report, the bill would force
all municipal planning documents, including official plans and zoning
bylaws, to conform to the MTO transportation corridors. Under the
bill, conflicts will not go before the Ontario Municipal Board for
resolution, it said.
owners who feel their homes were damaged by or decreased in value
through these corridors will also lose their right to launch legal
action for the loss.
the MTO corridors will be exempt from the Environmental Assessment
Act, meaning alternatives will not need to be examined, possibly
leading to the fast-tracking of highways, it said.
Bob Nichols, a spokesperson for the MTO, denied all that.
heard some of these criticisms," he said. "In terms of the EA, the
EA Act will continue to apply to all projects. They'd still be subject
to the EA Act and all that will apply to it."
said the OMB process will also still be in place.
goal, said Nichols, is to protect future transportation corridors,
whether for transit or traffic, "for our future and the future of
the next generations."
for compensation to property owners, "Fair market value would be
provided for landowners," said Nichols.
though the MTO would trump city planning, "we intend to work very
closely with municipalities," said Nichols, as well as hold extensive
public consultation. "These plans will be developed in the open.
They'll be transparent."
an election in the offing, Thorne fears the act may go through soon.
hoping people react now instead of waiting for the Ministry to draw
the lines on the map," he said.
MPP Ted McMeekin has also reacted strongly to Bill 25, introducing
a petition against it yesterday (Thursday) at Queen's Park.
is without a doubt the most ill-conceived and community destroying
piece of legislation I've seen from this government," he said. "It's
an affront to any kind of process. This is a mid-peninsula corridor
attacked what he sees as the proposed bill's intent to strip power
from municipalities, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry
of Municipal Affairs and Housing in favour of the MTO and called
the legislation "a blatant attack on property rights."