Province push ahead with Highway 413 despite opposition from Mississauga and Regional Council

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Published November 10, 2021 at 11:43 am

The province is moving forward with the GTA West Highway despite opposition from local governments and conservationists concerned about the project’s impact.

Speaking from a construction site in Caledon on Wednesday, Premier Doug Ford said the proposed new 400-series transit corridor will help move commuters and good across Halton, Peel and York regions.

“It’s a win for commuters, it’s a win for workers, and it’s a win for Ontario,” Ford said, adding the project will create 3,500 jobs and pump $350 million into the economy.

The project has been met with opposition from municipal and regional councillors, including  a motion opposing the construction from Mississauga Council and another from Peel Regional Council.

Ford says the province is going full steam ahead on the highway, but Ontario Green Leader Mike Schreiner called the project a “financial and climate disaster.”

“It is fiscally irresponsible to spend $10 billion on a highway that threatens the farmland that feeds us and the wetlands that protect us,” Schreiner said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Ford claimed much of the opposition to the project is coming from people making “ideological comments about building a highway that they’re never going to use.”

“That’s the ideology of a lot of people that are from downtown Toronto making their comments about up here in Caledon,” Ford said.

The federal government has stepped in to conduct an environmental impact study of the project following environmental issues raised by the public.

And starting in December, the province will be holding consultations to hear feedback on the project from the public.

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Highway 413 is a proposed 50-km stretch of road which would connect Highway 400 with Highway 407 and cut through the western part of Brampton.

Also known as the GTA West Highway, the project was originally proposed and later scrapped by the previous Ontario Liberal government.

Ford and the PCs resurrected the project in 2018, and the province announced last week it had begun acquiring land for the GTA West Corridor.

At a Mississauga Council meeting on Wednesday, Councillor Carolyn Parrish said Caledon benefits from the highway more than anybody, “but the world benefits” from not having any more emissions created by another highway.

“Why on earth would we add another highway?” said asked.

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie also said she’s still very much opposed to Hwy. 413, and that “all that money could go into public transit instead.”

But Caledon Mayor Allan Thompson has thrown his support behind the highway.

Thompson stood alongside Ford during Wednesday’s announcement, and said the project is essential to maintain growth in Caledon and the Region of Peel.

“Caledon is going to more than triple in population over the net 30 years,” he said in an interview with insauga.com.

“(The farmland) is either going to be houses or places for people to work, but in there we somehow need to fit a corridor,” Thompson said, adding that he wants the project to be built “as carbon neutral as we possibly can.”

The province said overall traffic on the route is expected to exceed 300,000 vehicle trips per day said by 2031 and cut commute times by up to 30 minutes for someone travelling the full length of the route when compared to the time it would take via Highways 401 and 400.

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