News Articles

The Flamborough Post, Sept. 25, 2002

By Irene Gentle o The Post

The Ministry of Transportation Ontario (MTO) will be headed into the city for a meeting with council today.
Starting at 9:30 a.m., the government will be on hand to answer questions and come up with its conclusions on the proposed Mid-peninsula highway.
The controversial highway is meant to link the Niagara region with the 407 ETR is Burlington has been assailed by many in this area for being both unwanted and unneeded. Critics, such as area MPP Ted McMeekin, charge that not enough thought has been given to alternatives, such as rail or improved public transit. members of the group Citizens Opposed to Paving the Escarpment (COPE) have been pushing for the MTO to consult with Smart Growth panels before making further plans.
And Ward 15 Councillor Margaret McCarthy said she will have some tough questions for the provincial representatives when they appear at the city today.
"I have a bias. I think some of their assumptions are flawed," she said. "There'll be hard questions from me on what their financial assumptions are based on.'
She is worried that an appeal for private investors into the road could lead to plans for it to become a toll road in the future. if that happens, she feels use could plummet.
She has asked that community representatives be allowed to speak before the MTO as delegates.
Those opposed to the highway had some good news recently when the Niagara escarpment Commission voted to tie an environmental assessment of the proposed route to an investigation into alternatives and a partnership with Smart growth panels.
Though the NEC does not make that decision, they are a commenting body.
Jason Thorne, executive director for the Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment (CONE), said he was fairly pleased with that decision.
"It's everything we have been asking for," he said. "they just want to deal with it as part of the EA."
Other groups, like CONE, had been asking for the EA to be delayed until those investigations were complete.
But he feels that even including the search for other options in the EA will be effective, saying "then we'll actually get a good process. We're pretty pleased."
Burlington residents have also expressed dissatisfaction with the idea of a highway carving through its lands. To get a better grasp of the issue, both Burlington and Hamilton have agreed to spend $45,000 each for a consultant's report on the proposed road.

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