Ford credits Liberal and NDP opposition to Highway 413 for election sweep in Brampton

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Published December 1, 2023 at 3:04 pm

doug ford highway 413 brampton

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says his party’s blue wave washed over Brampton in the last provincial election because Liberal and NDP candidates were opposed to his stalled Highway 413 project.

“They all got swept because they didn’t agree with the 413,” Ford said while in Brampton having a chat with Brampton Board of Trade (BBOT) Chair Daniel Lewis.

All of Brampton’s five ridings went blue in a landslide in the 2022 provincial election, knocking out the NDP which previously held three seats.

Ford said NDP and Liberal candidates fared so poorly because of their stance on the controversial highway project, which he said has been “needlessly stalled” by the federal government for more than two years.

“As soon as you leave, call your MP,” Ford said while championing the project. “Call the minister of environment, call the minister of infrastructure, federally, and the deputy prime minister – whoever it takes to get this highway started.”

“Let them know that we need to get highways built, we need to build the infrastructure that supports Brampton’s growth and we need to build it now.”

The 59-kilometre highway is slated to connect the 400 and 407 but has seen opposition from politicians and residents in Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville, as well as environmental activists.

But the project was put on pause over two years ago under the federal Impact Assessment Act, which has since been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Canada.

The feds are expected to make changes to the act while the province has said it will make its case on how the highway can be built without disturbing protected species by the end of 2023.

A report from Canadian environmental advocates Environmental Defence last year found the highway would have a negative impact on some 29 species listed under the federal Species at Risk Act, as well as 122 species of birds protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act.

The highway would also result in the loss of around 1,000 hectares of significant natural areas and Greenbelt land, compromise the integrity of the Nashville Conservation Reserve, degrade many natural communities and at-risk species populations, according to the report.

Ford said getting the 413 completed “will get goods to market faster” and reduce the time commuters spend on Ontario highways.

During the chat with the board, Ford also highlighted several major tech investments in Brampton like the MDA headquarters and space robotics centre, the new Magna electric vehicle battery plant.

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