Another chance to gouge?

Sep. 14, 01:32 EDT

Another chance to gouge?
RE: 'Burlington to province: rework highway plans' (Sept. 11), 'MPP opposes mid-peninsula route,' and 'New highway should be last resort on congestion' (Sept. 12).

The rationale for the proposed mid-peninsula highway is questionable.

One wonders whether the road-building industry, having completed the lucrative 407 contract, has successfully lobbied the Ontario government to provide more work. One further wonders whether this may be yet another opportunity to gouge Ontario residents through an expensive toll route.

If there is a demonstrated need for an improved route across the peninsula, then linking and widening existing routes is surely the least intrusive and least costly alternative. Continuing to pave Ontario, instead of looking at better planning to reduce sprawl and investing in public transit, is pure folly.

Halton region and its conservation authority have taken many steps over the years to preserve the unique and sensitive escarpment environment. Burlington has continued to protect the escarpment north of Highway 5 by limiting development there. The province should not be slicing through it with a highway and once again overriding municipal priorities.

The escarpment through Niagara contains pockets of the little remaining Carolinian forest in Canada. We should not be putting these at risk.

West Lincoln residents struggled throughout the 1980s and early '90s to preserve the environment and their family farms when the provincial government, through the Ontario Waste Management Corporation, proposed building a toxic waste facility there. Having a major highway route through this area would once again make it tempting to use the region as a dumping ground -- perhaps this time to solve the garbage crises of some of our major cities in the GTA.

This ill-conceived plan should be totally rethought or shelved.

Lest I be accused of "NIMBY" (not in my backyard), I will point out that I do not live in the area proposed for the highway.

-- Marie Jacobs, Burlington.

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