MPH consultation process flawed
published in the Flamborough Review on November 29, 2002.

Letter to The Editor, The Flamborough Review
Re: Competing visions for future of transportation in the Golden Horseshoe

As a participant in the Ministry of Transportation's Hamilton workshop, I commend you on providing a good overview of the day. I would like to add a few points which became apparent during the workshops and heighten the impression of a biased approach to this project by the MTO:

The Niagara Region was invited to attend all three workshops providing a pro-voice to the highway. Halton and Burlington representatives were only invited to participate in ONE workshop each.

At the Burlington workshop, the MTO admitted that the Needs Assessment was only now being updated to include the needs of the Burlington and Hamilton regions. This leads one to question what our citizens were being asked to comment on in the previously held Public Information Centres this past summer and fall.

The MTO's response to all the public input received to date - which clearly stated transit alternatives (i.e. rail) should be explored first - has resulted in the MTO simply adding more possible roadway routes. They did state at the Hamilton workshop that studies are COMMENCING on the other modes of transportation only now. However, they are moving forward with the road before these studies, which could point to a more agreeable resolution, have been completed. The intent to construct a toll road is clear - the reasoning is not.

This leads to Debbie Zimmerman's (Niagara Regional Chair) comment that we are discussing a "transportation corridor." Had she been present for the entire workshop, she would have know that the MTO had stated up front that we were only talking about the road that day. My comments above regarding the study of other transportation options clearly indicate what this corridor is intended for.

If anyone out there blindly trusts that our government and the MTO have done the appropriate research prior to recommending a new highway - you've misplaced your trust. You may want to find out for yourself by attending the next PIC meeting in Rockton on November 26th - Rockton Fair Grounds. This road will not solve our transportation problems and Hydro prices did go up.

Susan McMaster - COPE Steering committee

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