the last year, we have been exposed to what can only be described
as an absolute charade of a Ministry of Transportation-led planning
process, known as the Mid-Peninsula Corridor Study.
with thousands of concerned citizens, I attended public meetings
this issue. In fact, I've participated in at least 10 of these meetings.
the exception of a special meeting organized by my office to plan
best to respond to the jaded MTO process, the meetings were generally
pretty frustrating experience.
the MTO process unfolded, it became tragically clear that there
little integration of the Mid-Pen study with the important work
government's own Smart Growth panels. In fact, the process became
distorted that the City of Burlington, with the support of Halton
were forced to commence legal action against the provincial government
its proposed, narrowly scoped and quite possibly, illegal environmental
the midst of a poor process, I can only salute the hardworking
volunteers of the Coalition For the Niagara Escarpment (CONE) and
Opposed to Paving the Escarpment (COPE) who are both dedicated to
protecting this natural treasure. They do not want a mid-peninsula
to cut through the escarpment.
what should and could have been a great dress rehearsal on how best
to undertake transportation planning quickly became a dressing-down
important aspects of our environmental planning process.
many citizens I represent were horrified to learn that
legislation proposed by the government -- namely Bill 25 -- the
Smart Growth Transportation Act was about to be rushed through the
legislature. It would have the impact of eliminating the important
oversight of the Environmental Assessment Act from highway and
is offensive in the extreme that the efforts of Smart Growth panel
members from across Ontario were sullied by Premier Ernie Eves'
Transportation Minister Frank Klees' twisted version of Smart Growth
evidenced by Bill 25.
massive and well-organized opposition from a broad range of
stakeholders including, thankfully, the prudent and principled Burlington
city council, the provincial government pulled the inadequate Environment
Assessment Terms of Reference and Bill 25.
there will be more consultation and discussion.
hope the province finally gets it right. They could begin by doing
the right thing and issuing an immediate apology to all of the volunteer
Smart Growth panel members across Ontario for the tragic insult
commitment and efforts.
McMeekin is the Liberal MPP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Aldershot.