Mid-peninsula plan 'needs' a full assessment

Margaret Cronin, Grimsby
The Hamilton Spectator - January 27, 2005

RE: 'New review slated for proposed highway,' (Jan. 25)

In this story about the mid-peninsula corridor being subject to a full environmental assessment, Erie-Lincoln MPP, Conservative, Tim Hudak objects on the basis that an original study done by the previous Conservative government, and Hamilton and Niagara, "said the highway was needed."

"Need" is a subjective term: what is needed by one group is spurned by another.

We, in Grimsby and Lincoln, suffer most from the environmental effects of the QEW, squeezed, as we are, tightly between the lake and the escarpment, and would benefit most from a new highway easing QEW traffic.

However, even we worry that the mid-peninsula corridor will simply lead to urban sprawl above the escarpment and a heightened assault by development on life-giving green space.

A full environmental assessment will do more than simply determine the needs of some groups.

It will determine the needs of all groups, and of overall environmental sustainability, perhaps restricting corridor use to trucks and buses, limiting local access, skirting wetlands and important wildlife habitats and generally leading to a holistic, visionary plan for the future of trans-peninsula transportation.

I, for one, applaud the provincial government's action.

And I think it's time that Tim Hudak looked to representing regular people, and not just those who stand to profit from the new highway.

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