Toronto | Traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Chippewas and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation – On Saturday, November 13, 2021, concerned residents in communities near the proposed routes of two new highways poised to destroy farmlands and sections of the protected Greenbelt are holding a Day of Action to demand “Greenbelt NOT Asphalt.”
If built, Highway 413 would run from the Highway 401/407 interchange in Halton to Highway 400 in Vaughan. The highway would pave over farms, forests, wetlands and 400 acres of the Greenbelt and cost Ontario taxpayers upwards of $6-10 billion. Highway 413 would also add over 17 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, at a time when cutting emissions is more urgent than ever.
The Bradford Bypass would cost $1.5-2.2 billion and run between Highways 400 and 404 through the heart of the Greenbelt’s Holland Marsh Wetland in the headwaters of Lake Simcoe. The highway would pave over the habitat of several endangered species, increase greenhouse gas emissions, add more salt pollution to Lake Simcoe and contaminate private wells of homes along the route.
WHAT: “Greenbelt NOT Asphalt” Day of Action, featuring demonstrations in four communities in the Greater Toronto Area
WHEN: Saturday, November 13, 2021 – times vary by location
Downtown Bolton, Caledon: Sign wave at King and Queen streets intersection 1 p.m. Join the event or contact Dan O’Reilly for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Holland Landing, Simcoe: Rally outside Minister Mulroney’s office Unit 8, 45 Grist Mill Road, Holland Landing ON L9N 1M7, 1-3 p.m. Contact: Margaret Prophet, Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition, email@example.com
King City: Wellesley Park near MPP Stephen Lecce’s office: 2330 King Road, King City L7B 1H8, meet at Keele St entrance at 3:30 p.m. Theme: Education 413. For more information contact Irene Ford: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mississauga: Rally at Celebration Square at 300 City Centre Drive from 1-3 p.m. followed by bike ride to MPP Kaleed Rasheed’s office: 1420 Burnhamthorpe Road East, Unit 315. Contact Rahul for more information: email@example.com
“Highway 413 will cut the Town of Caledon in two, facilitating sprawling warehouse and housing developments. It will be Caledon’s version of the Berlin Wall — only a whole lot longer. Unlike the Berlin Wall, it will never be torn down once built.” – Dan O’Reilly, Caledon resident
“The Bradford Bypass runs through one of the most sensitive and largest wetlands in the Greenbelt, near the shores of Lake Simcoe. There are alternatives to solving the gridlock, but putting our water, climate and the legacy of the Greenbelt at risk aren’t among them. Ontarians will be paying upwards of $49M per kilometre for this destructive highway. Our communities deserve better.” – Margaret Prophet, Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition
“Highway 413 is an ill-conceived solution for traffic congestion that is based on old and biased information, aimed to use desperately scarce taxpayer dollars to financially benefit a select group of landowners and special interest groups. Proceeding with Highway 413 will see the unnecessary destruction of some of the GTA’s most pristine and sensitive environmental lands when various experts have provided more cost-effective and environmentally friendly solutions for addressing current and future transportation needs. In a world of increasing climate and financial crisis we need our political leaders to have the courage to think and act differently.” – Irene Ford, Vaughan resident
“Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass will perpetuate the mistakes of the past – Mississauga knows. Building highways as a “solution to congestion” has and always will be a reassuring lie, at best. The inconvenient truth is that highways are a heavy burden of cost, pollution, sprawl and more time spent in cars, not less. Our city is grappling with mistakes of the past, as highways and the sprawl that followed continue to take a toll. As we face our reality and work towards a more sustainable way to live, move, work and play, residents of Mississauga stand in solidarity with communities threatened directly and downstream from these highway proposals.” – Rahul Mehta, Mississauga resident, founder of Sustainable Mississauga
“Communities along the proposed route for the 413 and Bradford Bypass are saying “no” to paving over their natural environments, Greenbelt, and productive farmland. Ontarians are saying no to creating more car-dependent communities and spending billions on these highways that will enrich a few wealthy developers at the expense of the rest of the province. These highways will not help with congestion, but they will cause irreversible damage to our environment and climate. We will stand with the local communities opposing these destructive projects to the end.” – Keith Brooks, Programs Director, Environmental Defence
For more information about the Day of Action, please visit: https://environmentaldefence.ca/highways-day-of-action-nov-13/
For background information about Highway 413, please visit: stopthe413.ca
ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.
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For more information or to request an interview, please contact:
Allen Braude, Environmental Defence, firstname.lastname@example.org
Irene Ford, Stop The 413 Community Groups Member, email@example.com
Rahul Mehta, Sustainable Mississauga, firstname.lastname@example.org