Niagara wants to reach compromise and speed construction of
Minister of Transportation Frank Klees has agreed to convene a meeting
of municipal officials to discuss the controversial mid-peninsula corridor
in a statement late last week that ministry staff will arrange meetings
with the political officials mentioned in a request by Niagara Region
Chair Debbie Zimmerman to meet "in the near future."
July 11 letter, Zimmerman offered to host the meeting, which would include
herself, Klees, Hamilton Mayor Bob Wade, Burlington Mayor Rob MacIsaac
and Halton Region Chair Joyce Savoline.
we meet with each other to discuss issues relating to the corridor.
This meeting will allow us the opportunity to voice our concerns and
consider options available so that we can move forward with this important
transportation and trade corridor so that the momentum of the project
is not lost," Zimmerman said.
approval process for the approximately 130-kilometre highway/transportation
corridor through Halton, Hamilton and Niagara came to a screeching halt
of Burlington threatened to take the ministry to court over concerns
that the route threatens areas of the Niagara Escarpment.
his bid to limit the environmental studies and later said he would consult
further with the municipalities.
In an interview,
Zimmerman said she's frustrated that there hasn't been more consultation
between the interested municipalities and the ministry.
been going through a lot of to -and-fro from one municipality to the
other and I'm concerned because the minister has been changed so often
that maybe Mr. Klees hasn't heard from all the people who took part
in the original process more than two years ago," she said.
and Niagara strongly support the project because they believe it will
spur economic growth, speed cross-border traffic and ease congestion
on the Queen Elizabeth Way, by deflecting traffic and growth to the
top of the escarpment.
is particularly concerned that any move to expand the current QEW route
would be disastrous to its beleaguered and extremely sensitive tender
said she wants to get this issue back in its rightful place and to identify
the issues and find out why they aren't being properly addressed --"rather
than using the courts, which is an inappropriate venue, because in the
end there will just be a winner and a loser."