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
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
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.