hard to know how to take the Ministry of Transportation's sudden
capitulation where the mid-peninsula highway is concerned.
more than a year of community leaders and environmental organizations
begging the province to reconsider its plan to have this proposed
highway from the Niagara Region cut a swath through the environmentally-sensitive
Niagara Escarpment in Burlington, suddenly the ministry is listening.
wonder what caused the government to suddenly change its position
on this issue.
the chorus of voices speaking out against the highway finally penetrated
the ears of transport minister Frank Klees and Premier Ernie Eves?
did a lawsuit filed jointly by the City of Burlington and Halton
Region force Klees and Eves to take more seriously the community
complaints about the process -- or lack thereof -- for this proposed
the provincial election looming in the not-so-distant horizon has
made the Tories realize now is not the time for a regional battle
with community leaders in an area that has been a Conservative stronghold.
the time being it really doesn't matter why the minister has suddenly
relented. What matters is that the government has acknowledged that
it has heard this community's message and the proposed highway will
now undergo a more thorough environmental assessment, including
a promise that "no interchanges or transit stations" will be located
on or near the escarpment.
hope that Klees' sudden reversal of position is not a pre-election
promise he has no intention of keeping.
are suspicious of the minister's timing and motivation -- waiting
until legal proceedings were initiated by the city and region before
suddenly becoming willing to re-consider a highway many see as a
short-sighted approach to future traffic needs.
Klees' actions reveal a Tory government eager to eliminate anything
that might distract voters from the party's pre-election advertising
the mid-peninsula highway isn't going away, if Klees can't deliver
on his promise he just might.