A poll by Ekos conducted in December 2021 found that almost half of respondents (49 per cent) are opposed to Highway 413, with less than a third of respondents (29 per cent) in support of it. This contrasts sharply with the poll LiUNA released yesterday.
Environmental Defence had commissioned Ekos to conduct a poll of Greater Toronto Area residents about Highway 413 to better understand public opinion on the controversial project. In light of the new poll with a vastly different result, we are releasing our poll to help paint a more complete picture of public attitudes towards the highway.
The Ekos poll found that support for the highway was highest at 37 per cent if respondents were told that time savings would be 30 minutes, a figure being used by the provincial government with no evidence to support it. However, when told that the time savings would only be 30 seconds, a figure determined by an expert panel, support for Highway 413 plummeted to just seven per cent.
“The Ekos poll also found that only a very small portion of GTA residents, between one and seven per cent, would actually use the highway several times per week. That’s because few people would be served by the specific highway route, which is actually meant to enable a plan to build sprawling subdivisions and warehouses on some of Ontario’s best farmland,” said Lana Goldberg, Ontario Climate Program Manager, Environmental Defence. “Indeed, 62 per cent of respondents understood that the only people who really benefit from Highway 413 are developers who own the farmland.”
The full poll responses are here.