province wants the right to build highways without considering environmental
impacts or the objections of municipalities, critics say.
a group opposed to the Conservative government's smart growth transportation
legislation is demanding it be withdrawn.
municipal politicians and opposition critics say the bill is the
"antithesis" of the principles of smart growth.
is an appalling piece of legislation that is highly disrespectful
of town's and cities' authority and the public's interest," Burlington
Mayor Rob MacIssac said yesterday.
group included environmentalist Debbe Crandall, who sat on the government's
Central Ontario smart growth panel. She said if the transportation
bill is not withdrawn she will wash her hands of any further involvement.
"When you put land use planning and transportation together side
by side that's smart growth. Bill 25 is not smart," said Crandall
of Save the Oak Ridges Moraine.
Transportation Minister Frank Klees introduced May 7 the proposed
legislation, An Act to Enhance Transit and Provide for a Smart Transportation
System in Ontario, he highlighted only the positive aspects of the
bill, but critics say on closer inspection it rides roughshod over
municipal planning and environmental assessment.
Winfield, director of Pembina Institute, a not-for-profit environmental
and energy research organization, was one of several people to ask
that the bill be withdrawn and replaced with a transportation bill
that reflects smart growth, with an emphasis on transit.
accused critics of "perpetuating facts that are simply untrue,"
and said the bill "subjects itself fully to the environmental assessment
process ..." But a section of the proposed transportation legislation
clearly states that preliminary work on establishing highway corridors
would not be subject to the Environmental Assessment Act.
Muldoon, executive director of the Canadian Environmental Law Association,
said Bill 25 "leads not to smart growth but to dumb growth ..."