Statement from Tim Gray, Executive Director, Environmental Defence
Toronto | Traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Huron-Wendat – Yesterday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney criticized the federal government’s Impact Assessment Act review of the proposed Highway 413. This expensive and unnecessary mega-highway would parallel the underused Highway 407 and threaten a multitude of values. Review of its impacts and a decision on whether or not to permit its construction is fully within federal responsibility.
“The Ontario government is running roughshod over Ontario’s environmental and planning rules. These attacks are creating massive economic and environmental liabilities that residents will have to bear for decades to come. The federal government has a responsibility to ensure nation-wide laws are followed to protect Ontario’s future. It must act to stop projects like Highway 413 that threaten our wallets, communities and future,” said Tim Gray.
There are multiple ways that building Highway 413 would threaten people in Ontario and infringe on areas of federal government responsibility.
- Highway 413 would cause over 17 million tonnes of additional CO2 emissions by 2050 – the same date by which Canada is committed to reach net-zero emissions.
- The highway would enable and encourage expensive sprawl and make impossible the development of Brampton’s Heritage Heights, a transit-oriented, more affordable community.
- Highway 413 would pave over 400 acres of the Greenbelt, and over 2,000 acres of Class 1 and Class 2 farmland – Ontario’s most productive farmland.
- Highway 413 would cross over 85 rivers and streams, require a massive bridge over the Humber River and would pollute and destroy fish habitat.
- The highway would cause real and unavoidable harm to a range of at-risk and endangered species by destroying their rare habitats.
- Highway 413 would save drivers less than 1 minute on average across the region, and definitely not the 30 minutes that the Ontario government is claiming.
- Highway 413 would be built only 15 km north of the underused Highway 407, which is owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
- The highway would cost taxpayers billions. Although the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) has failed to release updated cost estimates, in 2018, the cost of building the highway was estimated to be over $6 billion dollars.
- Highway 413 could destroy important archaeological sites as the project passes through land that has long been inhabited by the Huron-Wendat. The highway would also bisect the sensitive headwaters of four watersheds within Mississauga of the Credit First Nation’s territory and impact their physical and cultural heritage, including ceremonial sites, burial sites and the cultural landscape.
ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.
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