Ottawa to conduct Highway 413 environmental review

by Today's Trucking

The federal government has stepped in and will conduct an environmental assessment of Ontario’s Highway 413 plan, according to news reports.

“Canadians expect their governments to make decisions based on science and evidence that support environmental protection and economic growth,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, federal minister of environment and climate change.

(Photo: Ontario Ministry of Transportation)

“The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada and other federal departments have identified clear areas of federal concern related to this project. My decision is based on their finding that this project may cause adverse direct or incidental effects on federally-listed species at risk, and the uncertainty that officials have brought to my attention around whether those effects can be mitigated through project design or existing mechanisms,” according to his written statement.

“I have decided to designate this project under the federal impact assessment process.”

Caroline Mulroney, Ontario’s transportation minister, said the province is uncertain what the federal intervention will mean for the mega-project that would loop around the northwest of Toronto.

“The GTA West project is already subject to a robust provincial Individual Environmental Assessment (EA), which is among the most stringent assessment processes on record. This project is intended to address congestion and forecasted population growth for the people of Ontario,” Mulroney said.

“At this point, it is unclear what the scope of ​a federal impact assessment would be, or whether a full impact assessment would be warranted, especially given the fact that the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada has concluded that concerns surrounding environmental impacts ‘are expected to be addressed through federal and provincial regulatory processes’ that already exist,” according to her written statement.

A joint statement  issued by Environmental Defence and Ecojustice called the federal decision “necessary,” accusing the Ontario government of “undermin[ing] the environmental reviews of this highway and race to its construction.”

“The federal environmental assessment will ensure a robust process for identifying and mitigating, where possible, any environmental impacts from Highway 413, and will ensure that climate change is adequately considered,” Laura Bowman, a lawyer with Ecojustice, said in the statement.

“We are confident that this added scrutiny will ultimately reveal that this highway is not in the public interest.”

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  • Aw come on. Let’s just build it. We can use taxpayer money then sell it for half what it cost to build it, preferably to some foreign consortium who can slap huge tolls on it’s use and then raise them two or three times a year. It will be great. Even better than the 407. Wilkinson pffff bring climate change Barbie back!

  • If this byway is to be built a plan for parking with electric plugs for trucks and buses. Multi story buildings instead of single family homes for all new construction within 5 km of the highway. Plus a dedicated lane for transit and emergency vehicles. The Ford gov should not be trusted as unless a plan for mixed use development including 10 percent of the housing square footage to be low income and another 30 percent of the square footage to be affordable apartments at 30 percent of income for essential workers and others with all New distribution centers to have plan for overnight parking with electric plugs the permit for the buildings should not be issued.

  • Tell the Feds to mind their own business
    Look how they have messed up the Covid vaccine procurement
    Does anyone think they can do a better job????