Highway would ensure our future

By Ron Foxcroft
May 11, 2011 Edition

What a nostalgic stroll down memory lane Ron Foxcroft provided when voicing his support for the Mid Peninsula Highway.  His reference to life a century ago is a perfect introduction to a position on transportation that is just as outdated.

Long on sentiment and short on facts; here are some points avoided in the article:

  1. The Link and the Red Hill did not bring the jobs as promised. I believe the last count was about 240 – not the thousands promised.  Despite building these highways we’ve lost two major employers including US Steel and Lakeport Brewery.  Roads have no effect on creating long-term employment.
  2. The Mid-Pen would cost $9 billion.  That’s a lot of money for a province so in debt.
  3. To say it makes more sense to build a new road to save repair costs on the QEW is misguided at best.   All roads require maintenance.
  4. The Hamilton Airport has yet to achieve the predicted capacity. With continued rising fuel costs it is unlikely that it ever will. 
  5. To consider the Wilbur Smith report as proof a road is needed is misguided.  I read the report and saw the presentation to city council.  It was highly biased and designed to support building a road.  The economic forecasts were highly questionable.  Many costs were simply excluded.
  6. When this highway was first introduced gas was $ .40 / litre.  It’s now $1.40 / litre and rising.
  7. We need to protect our farmland – not pave it. If we keep pretending roads and development are the answer, our grandchildren will be reliant on foreign food imports to sustain themselves, if they are available.  With increased global warming, other countries are losing the ability to feed themselves.
  8. We need government planning that recognizes the economic value of our prime agricultural land and position Ontario as a reliable food source domestically and nationally as climate change takes it toll on the world.  Even now China, Switzerland and other Europeans countries have bought million of acres of California’s prime agricultural land and are looking elsewhere for more.  Our homegrown visionaries want to pave it.

We need to deal with the reality of today and tomorrow.
Sue McMaster
Citizens Opposed to Paving the Escarpment

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