highway 413

Another Ontario city rejects controversial Highway 413 in big win for the environment

Yet another major stakeholder in the Highway 413 project has expressed their opposition to the new 400-series highway, which would cut through a 50 km-long stretch of rivers, forests and farm lands in Ontario — some of them part of the "protected" Greenbelt — stretching from Halton and Peel regions to York.

The City Council of Vaughan, which the thoroughfare is supposed to pass through before linking up with Highway 400 in King, formally changed its stance this week after long supporting the four-to-six lane road, which has also been called "the GTA West Highway."

Council met on Tuesday to discuss details about the environmental assessment of the massive undertaking, and instead ended up actually voting against it altogether 5-4.

Members determined there are "too many unanswered questions for the public" at this time, and that the environmental consequences would not be worth the purported benefits.

The unanticipated move comes just days after Mississauga Council unanimously voted to likewise "strongly oppose" the development, with Mayor Bonnie Crombie saying that it would have "a disastrous impact on the environment, encourage residential sprawl and increase our dependence on cars."

Brampton and Caledon, two other municipalities along the route, have also put in their formal requests for a deeper federal assessment of the plans for the Highway, rather than leaving it in the hands of Premier Doug Ford, who is notorious for supporting such new infrastructure and for bypassing proper municipal processes.

While the fate of the 413 is now very much in the air, the numerous groups and residents resisting it are awaiting Ottawa's decision about whether it will move forward with its own environmental assessment, which will come in May.

There is also the fact that King Township has yet to follow its neighbours in rejecting the project.

Lead photo by

Danielle Scott

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