Chamber's findings look less than concrete

Mid-Peninsula Highway
RE: 'Mid-peninsula road has big support, study says' (June 18)

Susan Mcmaster, Co-Chair, Cope, Flamborough
The Hamilton Spectator

Based on a report commissioned by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, president Rebecca Wissenz says 80 per cent of Hamilton residents support the mid-peninsula highway (MPH).

Based on my own history with the MPH and Citizens Opposed to Paving the Escarpment, I find this highly suspect. It simply raises concerns over how the questions were phrased and who was asked.

It is a fair assumption that business interests lie at the heart of a chamber exercise. When I consider what I know about this highway from a business perspective, questions come to mind:

Would I locate my business on a toll road causing my customers, suppliers and employees to incur additional expenses to go to my place of business?

Considering that new highways simply move economic activity from one area to another, will this really help my business? Should I consider moving my business to Niagara? How will the trend of developing and servicing outlying areas, while also replacing decaying city core infrastructure, affect my municipal taxes?

Will increasing fuel prices and questionable oil supply impact my transportation choice in the future? The highway is designed to whisk people from Fort Erie to Burlington, bypassing Hamilton. Will this bring me more business?

Regardless of the angle from which one considers the MPH, it is a poorly thought out, ill-conceived idea. I hope Burlington Mayor Rob MacIsaac and the Greenbelt Taskforce are successful in providing a comprehensive and environmentally respectful vision for all of Southern Ontario.

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