'Tories make mockery of mid-pen process' (May 26), and 'Mid-pen
heads to court' (May 29).
articles in The Spectator have questioned the environmental assessment
(EA) process for the mid-peninsula transportation corridor and Bill
25, the proposed Smart Transportation Act, 2003. As Minister of
Transportation, I am writing to set the record straight on both.
Eves government's Smart Growth principles are simple: Provide the
infrastructure that people need while protecting and promoting the
environment and our quality of life.
Ministry of the Environment is now conducting a formal review of
the mid-pen terms of reference and welcomes public comment. My ministry
can commence the EA study only if the Minister of the Environment
approves the terms. I encourage Spectator readers to share their
thoughts with us as part of this process.
legislation, if passed, would not affect the EA process for the
mid-peninsula corridor or any other future highway; it is designed
to bring better planning to Ontario by letting the government designate
potential highways and transit corridors, 10 or 20 years before
they would be developed. Before specific routes are developed further,
these projects would still be subject to the EA process to consider
alternatives, identify specific routes and minimize potential environmental
impact. Bill 25 would make the current process more open and inclusive,
Bill 25 would not change land expropriation in Ontario. As is the
case today, expropriation would be governed by the Expropriations
Act, and would not occur without environmental approval. Expropriation
would continue to be a rare, and expensive, option for the government.
we move through the EA process for the mid-peninsula corridor, we
will continue to work closely with municipalities, and consult the
public in order to identify and minimize environmental impact. The
mid-pen is essential for the economic growth of Ontario and it furthers
our Smart Growth plan in encouraging continued growth, healthy communities
and the efficient movement of people and goods.
Frank Klees, Toronto,