Media Release

Niagara highway to rip a hole through Province’s new Greenbelt Plan

( Toronto) Environmental group Earthroots is concerned that the Province’s plan to proceed with the controversial mid peninsula highway will rip a large hole through the proposed Greenbelt protected area. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) unveiled its “ Niagara to GTA Corridor” Environmental Assessment Terms of Reference to the public in a presentation at Burlington City Hall on February 9 th.

The MTO report states that the new infrastructure will go through the proposed greenbelt area. “Highways are the infrastructure for urban sprawl”, says Josh Matlow, Earthroots’ Director of Campaigns. “You can’t talk about curbing sprawl while building new highways at the same time”. Earthroots contends that, while not houses, highways are another form of development that has no place in a protected area. Highways disrupt wildlife corridors, add to air pollution in the GTA, and further facilitate urban sprawl.

Matlow says that the highway’s Environmental Assessment process is faulty as the report identifies the region as being deficient in transportation infrastructure because only two major highways (403, QEW) go through Hamilton. “The MTO is unfairly framing what should be an unbiased look at the transportation options between Niagara and the GTA”, says Matlow, “ Hamilton is not even connected to the GO rail network, that’s the real transportation deficiency in the region and its not even mentioned in the report.”

For more information, please contact:

Josh Matlow, Earthroots’ Campaign director at 416 599-0152 x14, 416 8095674 (cell.)