Hudakís Friday Morning Wake-Up Call

Niagara Escarpment, April 14, 2011

The Stop Escarpment Highway Coalition (SEHC) members will be serving Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak a reminder for breakfast at the Burlington Chamber of Commerceís morning meeting this Friday. The SEHC is protesting Hudakís promise to build the Niagara to GTA Highway (previously called the Mid-Peninsula Highway) from Fort Erie to North Burlington if elected Premier. Demonstrators will let him know that the highway is not wanted.

Hudak is attending a breakfast meeting for the Burlington Chamber of Commerce:

  • Friday, April 15, 2011
  • Protesters to attend from 7:15AM to 8:00AM
  • Breakfast to be served at 8:00AM
  • Waterfront Hotel
  • 2020 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, Ontario (at the foot of Brant St. at Lakeshore Rd.)

The Coalition is committed to ensuring there is no new highway ripped through the Niagara Escarpment, a national treasure and UNESCO reserve. They also want to highlight the importance of this issue for all Ontario taxpayers. "It may not be your backyard Ė but itís your back pocket," said Susan McMaster, Co-Chair of COPE. "Hudak is planning to spend billions of dollars for a highway that isnít needed. Thatís a cost weíll all bear."

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A cohesive cost benefit analysis that substantiates the investment has yet to be completed. "The group believes this is negligent given that building a highway necessitates destroying assets in the form of the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve and agricultural lands needed to feed us as well as maintaining life-sustaining eco-systems," said Geoff Brock, Coalition Spokesperson.

"The group remains committed to getting the word out. At an estimated $9 billion cost, this highway in any form will impact us all", said Brock. or
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Coalition Group Members working in Concert with Halton Regional and the City of Burlington

Citizens Opposed to Paving the Escarpment (COPE)
Oakvillegreen Conservation Association
Lowville Area Residents Association (LARA)
Coalition of the Niagara Escarpment (CONE)
Protecting Escarpment Rural Land (PERL)
Milton Green Citizens Group
Environment Hamilton
Protecting Escarpment Rural Land
Preservation of Agricultural Lands Society
Sidrabene Latvian Camp
Cedar Springs Community

The Coalition formed in February 2011 and has grown to 12 groups and 7000 members in a few months time.

In 2002, the Mike Harris government unveiled plans to build the Mid-Peninsula Highway, slicing the Niagara Escarpment from Fort Erie to the 407 in North Burlington; cutting through Flamborough along the way.

In June 2003, Burlington and Halton Region opposed the proposal of the Mid-Peninsula Highway and requested a Judicial Review. This opposition led to its withdrawal and the province committing to a full environmental assessment (EA). In June 2006, under the new name of the Niagara GTA (NGTA) corridor, an EA commenced.

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In March 2011 the Ministry of Transportation released the latest report on the status of the project. Public comment must be submitted by June 6, 2011. The report includes optimizing existing road networks, a new highway from Fort Erie to Welland and continued study on a highway commencing at the 403 in Ancaster and cutting through Flamborough on the way to toll highway 407 in North Burlington. The coalition maintains that this would irreparably damage Niagara Escarpment, agricultural land and eco-systems along the way. The Coalition is currently canvassing Federal election candidates on their position on a National Transport Policy and intends to publish the results. Members believe this is needed to ensure rail transport options are given due consideration in the Niagara GTA project as well as overall sustainable transport planning.

The Coalition will seek to understand, and publicize, the position of all local provincial candidates on the highway as part of the upcoming provincial election as well. The goal is assist voters in making an informed decision on this issue.

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The COPE website was updated October 30, 2012
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