proposed highway 413

People are protesting Ontario's proposed Highway 413 but Ford insists it will be built

As Ontario Premier Doug Ford insists the proposed Highway 413 will be built, people are taking action to stop it.

The province's preferred route of Highway 413 would run from the Highway 401/407 interchange in Halton to Highway 400 in Vaughan — a location that would pave over farms, forests, wetlands and 400 acres of the Greenbelt and cost Ontario taxpayers upwards of $6-10 billion, says Environmental Defence in a press release.

Ford hasn't put a price tag on the project yet, but confirmed that it won't necessarily be those who use the road that pay for its construction.

Highway 413 would also add over 17 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, according to Environmental Defence.

But the Ford government is insisting on proceeding with the project.

In a campaign-style stop in Caledon on Wednesday, Ford dismissed critics as downtown Toronto residents who don't understand the needs of rural people.

"I can assure you the people of Caledon don't worry about the people that live downtown, making their ideological comments about building a highway that they’re never going to use," Ford said. "It's very simple. We're going to build this highway."

Some rural residents disagree.

"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," said Caledon resident Dan O'Reilly.

Irene Ford, a Vaughan resident, says the highway will see the unnecessary destruction of some of the area’s most pristine and sensitive environmental lands.

"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," she says.

The Ford government also plans to proceed with the Bradford Bypass that would run between Highways 400 and 404 through the heart of the Greenbelt’s environmentally sensitive Holland Marsh lands, threatening some 39 hectares of wildlife habitat.

On Saturday, Nov. 13, concerned residents in communities near the proposed routes of two new highways are holding a Day of Action to demand Greenbelt NOT Asphalt.

People are invited to join in rallies at several different locations including downtown Bolton at King and Queen Streets at 1 p.m.; outside Minister Caroline Mulroney’s office at 45 Grist Mill Rd. in Holland Landing from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. or in Wellesley Park near MPP Stephen Lecce's office at 2330 King Road in King City at 3:30 p.m.; or in Celebration Square at 300 City Centre Drive in Mississauga from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Lead photo by

Clement Lo

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