Election delays mid-pen negotiations


The Burlington Post- Dennis Smith - Sept 19, 2003

The brakes have been applied on negotiations for the mid-peninsula project.

Burlington's mayor said talks on the proposed highway from Fort Erie to Hamilton or Halton are postponed until after the Oct. 2 provincial election.

Rob MacIsaac said he spoke with Transportation Minister Frank Klees last week and delaying negotiations was suggested.

"We'll just have to wait and see what the election brings us," he said.

City officials remain concerned about the ministry's proposed new Terms of Reference for an Environmental Assessment of the highway.

The previous one was withdrawn by the ministry after Burlington and Halton launched a lawsuit over mid-peninsula plans. Then progress was reported following a recent meeting held by Klees and municipal officials.

"We received a revised document from the province, but the city is concerned about the document and wording. In our view it does not reflect the verbal agreement," said MacIsaac. "We simply don't feel the revised wording satisfies our concerns and the need for consideration of all appropriate levels of Niagara Escarpment protection."

The mayor said he didn't want to discuss further details because negotiations are ongoing.

"Certainly we would have liked to have been able to tie this down and put the issue to bed," said MacIsaac.

At the recent meeting with Klees, there was agreement to establish an advisory group to allow for all stakeholders to have input as the process moved forward and to have rail and transit alternatives added into the Terms of Reference.

City officials fear the proposed highway will run through the escarpment in north Burlington. Four choices are being considered for the local connection with the mid-peninsula highway, including Hwy. 407 near Walker's Line, an expanded Hwy. 403 on Hamilton Mountain, Hwy. 401 west of Milton and Hwy. 6 in Flamborough.

 

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