Mississauga: The City Council has approved a motion that strongly opposes the construction of the proposed GTA West Highway (413).
“I’m so proud of Council for passing this motion. The proposed GTA West Highway will have a disastrous impact on the environment, encourage residential sprawl and increase our dependence on cars,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie.
“As a Council, we’ve been so dedicated to trying to combat these issues, so we could not longer simply stand idle.
“Too many experts and organizations have come out against this planned highway, and today we stand with them.”
Organizations include: Environmental Defence, the David Suzuki Foundation, the Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods, Gravel Watch Ontario, Halton Environmental Network, National Farmers’ Union-Ontario, Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition, Sustainable Vaughan, Transport Action Ontario, the Wilderness Committee and Sustainable Mississauga; as well as formal votes from the municipalities of Halton Hills and Orangeville.
The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, the regulatory authority for developments in flood plains, wetlands and valley lands has also objected to the potential impact of the proposed highway as well as the streamlined Environmental Assessment process.
The motion will be shared with: the Premier of Ontario, Minister of Transportation of Ontario, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, Brampton, Caledon and Peel Councils, Mississauga Members of Parliament and Members of Provincial Parliament and Councils of the Regions through which the proposed GTA West Highway will travel.
The motion was raised by Ward 5 Councillor Carolyn Parrish. Brampton has also opposed building of the highway. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is undertaking Stage 2 of the Environmental Assessment (EA) Study for the GTA West multimodal transportation corridor.
Building on the recommendations from Stage 1, the EA Study will identify the route, determine interchange locations and complete the preliminary design for a new multimodal transportation corridor within the Route Planning Study Area.
The new multimodal transportation corridor will include: a 400-series highway, transitway and potential goods movement priority features. The study continues to follow the GTA West Corridor Environmental Assessment Terms of Reference, which was approved by the Ontario Minister of the Environment on March 4, 2008.
The GTA West multimodal transportation corridor is vital transportation infrastructure that will help meet the projected growth in both population and employment identified in the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, and will deliver multiple benefits including:
Greater connectivity between urban growth centres;
• Enhanced people and goods movement;
• Improved commuting; and,
• Greater economic vitality.
The Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) is an economic driver for the province and addressing transportation needs in the GGH is essential to the competitiveness of our economy.
The need for the GTA West Study remains and is reinforced by the Greater Golden Horseshoe population and employment growth forecasts, which identifies more people and jobs by 2041. Building more transportation infrastructure would help alleviate traffic congestion and improve goods movement in the Greater Toronto Area.
Protecting a multimodal transportation corridor supports growing communities – it is good practice to do long-range planning for areas under development pressure. Study findings indicated that while there were opportunities to optimize the existing transportation network, improve non-roadway modes of transportation and expand the existing highway network, a new highway corridor extending from Highway 400 in the Regional Municipality of York to the vicinity of Highway 401/407 ETR interchange in the Regional Municipality
of Halton was still required to address the future transportation demands.
The need for the GTA West Study remains and is reinforced by the Greater Golden Horseshoe population and employment growth forecasts, reflecting more people and jobs by 2041.
The GTA West Transportation Corridor is identified in the Growth Plan as a “Future Transportation Corridor”, and represents a strategic link between Urban Growth Centres in the west of the Greater Toronto Area. This study was initiated to further develop this transportation corridor.