Moving trucks to Hwy 407 would tackle 401 congestion faster – and $6 billion cheaper – than the Highway 413 Scheme

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat – This morning Ontario’s Official Opposition introduced a motion, that if passed by the legislative assembly and adopted, would demolish the Ontario government’s only real public pretext for pushing ahead with the $10 billion dollar “Highway 413” scheme that paves swathes of the Greenbelt.

The Opposition bill is proposing to reduce tolls on the 407 ETR for commercial truckers which would help to reduce congestion on the slower-moving Highway 401. According to an expert report by global transportation analysts Euonomia, the transportation benefits would be enormous: despite costing $6 billion dollars less than the 413 scheme, this plan would shift 12,000 to 21,000 trucks a day off Highway 401, and slash journey times for truck traffic passing through the GTA by approximately 80 minutes.

After a decade of legal wrangling and disruptive construction, the benefits of this policy would be felt almost immediately.

The Official Opposition plan would also avoid the massive environmental harms associated with carving a multi-lane mega-highway through the Greenbelt and the most pristine remaining parts of Peel Region’s contested countryside.  Highway 413 would also pave 2400 acres of Greenbelt farmland while inducing more car-dependent warehouse and residential sprawl – particularly in some of Ontario’s best farmland north of Brampton.

“If the government votes for the motion, as everyone from Ontario’s truckers to environmental organizations agree on, then it demolishes the business case for the 413 scheme that this government continues to spend a great deal of political capital on. On the other hand, if the government votes against the opposition motion that would deliver all the benefits it says it wants from 413 at a fraction of the cost, this will prove that Highway 413 was never about transportation. And confirms that 413 is instead a $10 billion project for funding sprawl.”- Phil Pothen, Land Use and Land Development Program Manager, Environmental Defence

The full report on the impact of lowering tolls on Highway 407 is available here.

ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE ( 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.

– 30 –

For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Alex Ross, Environmental Defence,, 647-546-3239