Burlington awaits word on mid-pen
6, 2003 - Carmela
Fragomeni The Hamilton Spectator
council is stymied by a lack of written response from the Ministry of
Transportation over agreements on the proposed mid-peninsula highway.
has put on hold its court action against the province after the ministry
appeared willing to meet Burlington's demands. Transportation Minister
Frank Klees agreed on Aug. 28 to some of them, but the city wants it
MacIsaac said the ministry promised to give the written agreements to
the city a week ago, just before the election was called.
been calling them every day and they always say 'tomorrow,'" MacIsaac
said. He doesn't believe the election call has caused the delay. Ministry
staff have offered no explanation for it. Councillor Mike Wallace said
he doesn't think the city will get the documents or see much action
on them during the election.
ministry spokesperson Bob Nichols said staff have been working on the
documents and the city should have it early in the week.
has been trying to live up to the minister's request to move expeditiously
on formally approving the proposed agreements. Council this week hastily
held public information sessions and a special council meeting to review
and approve the agreements in principle.
reached between Burlington, the minister, the City of Hamilton, and
Niagara and Halton regions centre on revising the province's study approach
to the highway.
residents have longstanding concerns it will bring more traffic, more
pollution, destroy treasured natural features like the Niagara Escarpment,
and force growth and development into the city's rural area.
demands from Burlington remain unresolved. They are: protect the escarpment
in Burlington from any highway route; and conduct a full environmental
assessment to determine if the highway is needed and if so, where it
agreement only that highway crossings of the escarpment will be a last
resort. There is still no full environment assessment, but the smaller
version has been expanded to include studies and alternatives to the
highway, such as public transit improvements and rail transportation.
a major sticking point is that the Tory election platform includes a
promise to build the mid-pen.