Headway made on mid-pen highway
reach accord to resolve unsettled issues.
Fragomeni -The Hamilton Spectator
- August 30, 2003
of Hamilton and Burlington say agreements reached at a meeting with
Transportation Minister Frank Klees should resolve outstanding issues
in the province's contentious Niagara mid-peninsula highway proposal.
held at the request of Niagara Regional Chairman Debbie Zimmerman, was
to deal with Burlington's concerns. Burlington wants the province to
conduct a full and proper environmental assessment of the proposal,
and to give assurances the highway will not cut through the Niagara
Escarpment in Burlington.
Mayor Rob MacIsaac said all parties -- the province, Hamilton, Burlington,
Halton Region and Niagara Region -- agreed to think about heightening
the level of protection accorded the Niagara Escarpment in the proposed
route. They also agreed to more public input and to give proper consideration
of alternatives to the highway, such as public transit and rail.
however, said Burlington is not dropping its court challenge until the
issues are resolved to its satisfaction. "We are intent on locking in
the things most important to Burlington prior to signing off on anything,"
he said. But he believes "significant movement" was made.
He is pleased
a new advisory committee is being formed on the highway proposal. He
said it is akin to the one which worked on the controversial plan to
allow housing developments in the Oak Ridges Moraine north of Toronto.
Mayor Bob Wade said he was "reasonably pleased on how we got along."
It appeared there was a resolution on the wording on the terms of reference,
regional chairman Debbie Zimmerman, a big proponent of the highway and
anxious to see the project move along, said, "The main issue is we're
a bigger issue is that important features like tender fruitlands and
the Escarpment need to be protected.