RE: 'NEC wants assessment of new highway' (Sept. 19) Sep. 21, 01:14
It is with great concern that I read the comments from Marvin Caplan,
the representative from Hamilton to the Niagara Escarpment Commission.
He said, "The City of Hamilton is not opposed to the mid-peninsula
However, as Caplan is aware, the City of Hamilton, in conjunction
with the City of Burlington, recently requested that ITRANS Consulting
conduct a Peer Review of the Needs Assessment document prepared
for the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) as part of the
mid-peninsula highway planning process. Their interim report states
in part that the overall justification for the highway to run in
the corridor proposed has not been conclusively documented and that
there has been insufficient time for public comment and review of
As well, public sentiment as expressed in the media and at the
public meetings that have been held so far, has been overwhelmingly
against construction of the highway as currently proposed by the
MTO. The public has expressed many concerns, particularly about
the effects of the new highway on the environment and on air quality.
It is important to remember that the City of Hamilton now has new
borders. The citizens of Flamborough, Dundas and Ancaster deserve
to have their views considered just as much as those for whom Caplan
professes to speak.
All that being said, those concerned about the effects of the construction
of the highway should be very pleased to note that the NEC did send
a message to the provincial government and the MTO that alternatives
to the highway should be considered and that the government's own
Smart Growth policies regarding environmental protection and the
prevention of urban sprawl must be taken into account.
Economic development is obviously crucial for Hamilton. However,
until the need for the construction of this highway has been documented
and the public has had sufficient opportunities to make its views
known, it seems unreasonable to give the MTO a blanket "all-clear"
-- Margaret McCarthy, Ward 15 Councillor.