- Debbie Zimmerman is losing patience with delays to the
mid-peninsula highway project and she wants a meeting with Transportation
Minister Frank Klees to discuss the holdups.
a letter dated July 11, Niagara Region's chair has requested a meeting
with Klees, Hamilton Mayor Bob Wade, Burlington Mayor Rob MacIsaac
Halton Region Chair Joyce Savoline to discuss the issues delaying
environmental assessment for the highway.
want to sit down with the minister and all the parties to find out
the problems are," Zimmerman said Tuesday.
the threat of legal action from Burlington and Halton, the ministry
withdrew the terms of reference for the highway's environmental
and intends to address concerns raised by the municipalities.
is the latest in a series of delays faced by the highway, which
announced by then-premier Mike Harris in June 2001.
said Niagara's position on the highway, as well as that of
Hamilton, has been lost in the shuffle as the ministry has focused
efforts on the Burlington area.
has been a protracted process to say the least," she said. "We have
accepted the delays hoping they would clear up some of the concerns.
"We've been more than patient."
questions are still floating around the conceptual highway,
including where exactly it will run and if it will be a toll road.
those are questions that will be answered during the assessment.
impossible to answer them before that process is under way.
been precluded from having an EA process because of the diatribe
Burlington," Zimmerman said. "If we don't get to that EA, none of
things will ever be discussed."
a meeting of Niagara's transportation strategy steering committee
Tuesday, St. Catharines Regional Councillor Mike Collins said he
noticing increased highway gridlock around Niagara and it is a sight
does not like, suggesting it will damage the local tourist industry.
"It's spoiling the quality of the experience for the visitor," he
adding he would be in favour of tolls on the road if that's what
to get it built.
point in moving the highway forward has been the question
surrounding whether or not there is a need for a second highway
had wanted to revisit that, but Niagara feels it was addressed
in the Niagara Peninsula Transportation Needs Assessment released
province in June 2001.
issue is transit," said Port Colborne Mayor Vance Badawey. "Our
issue is trade."
transportation director Joe Cousins said the highway is a classic
case of NIMBY -- Not In My Backyard.
in north Burlington just don't want that highway there in any way,
shape or form," he said, adding he thinks the ministry did the right
to withdraw the terms of reference and avoid litigation.
the people there are going to run out of excuses. The
unfortunate part is it is delaying the process unnecessarily."