• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

Province rushing Bradford Bypass shows more concern for politics than Lake Simcoe, climate or affordable housing

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In Barrie
Apr 5th, 2022
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Bradford – This morning the province announced that it is awarding a contractor for the early works construction for the Bradford Bypass.  These early works are allowed to begin before studies are completed thanks to an exemption the province gave itself last October. Mulroney announced that construction of the bridge over Yonge Street could begin later this year.

Gord Miller, the former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, characterized this provincial exemption in a recent webinar “This is a violation of international standards.  It’s widely recognized that when you’re doing an assessment of an initiative you don’t start until you’ve at least measured all of the impacts to the best of your ability so you can make a rational decision.  They are clearly violating that.”

“Highways are the gateway drug for sprawl and the Bypass is a perfect example.  Developers own over 3000 acres of land around this highway waiting for the greenlight to destroy more farmland and wetlands. York Region is planning on destroying 24,589 acres of farmland for new development by 2051, and the Bypass would facilitate the worst of this sprawl in East Gwillimbury. Supporting the Bypass is contrary to building compact and affordable housing, a healthy Lake Simcoe, a productive agriculture sector and climate action,” says Claire Malcolmson, Executive Director of the Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition.

Although no one in the government has confirmed the price of the highway, estimates show that Ontarians will be paying anywhere from $800 million to $2.2 billion for this 16 km, 400 series highway.  It leads opponents to declare that this is a waste of funds that could be better spent elsewhere.

Bill Foster, founder of Forbid Roads Over Green Spaces says “We are in the sixth wave of the pandemic and our healthcare and education systems are in dire need of investment.  A destructive highway through the Greenbelt that will pollute Lake Simcoe, a regional economic driver,  is a wasteful and dangerous way to spend limited tax dollars.  We could save a very small portion of the province a few minutes in driving time or we could provide better healthcare, more nurses, better senior care and more childcare spaces.  The fact that two Greenbelt highways – the Holland Marsh Highway and Highway 413 – are Premier Ford’s major election planks,  speaks volumes about his priorities to me.”

Opponents are gravely concerned about how adding more fossil fuel infrastructure will exacerbate the climate crisis.

Margaret Prophet, Executive Director of the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition, “Yesterday, the International Panel on Climate Change outlined how important it is to reduce transportation emissions and how urban areas need to lessen their investment in car dependent infrastructure.  “Yet, today, we get a doubling down on a Greenbelt destroying highway that clearly contradicts the spirit of what climate scientists are telling us we need to do.  It’s clear there’s no intention here to tackle climate change seriously.  We’re still pulling from a 1950s playbook of economic development that created all of this mess to begin with.  This highway is destructive and costly and it will lock in a style of development that will negatively impact our collective health forever and decision makers don’t seem to care.”

Background

IPCC Report about Transportation (See 10.3):
https://report.ipcc.ch/ar6wg3/pdf/IPCC_AR6_WGIII_FAQ_Chapter_10.pdf

How Could We Invest This Money Differently?

  • Hire 12,000 Nurses – CCPA director says that $1B would hire 12,000 nurses which is a mid-range cost for the Bypass

 

OR

 

OR

  • Fix the backlog of school repairs over the next 10 years (IBID)

 

OR

 

For media inquiries please contact:
Margaret Prophet, Executive Director, SCGC
705-718-1383  margaret@simcoecountygreenbelt.ca

Claire Malcolmson, Executive Director, RLSC
647-267-7572  rescuelakesimcoecoalition@gmail.com 

Bill Foster, Founder – FROGS
bfost4@gmail.com

About F.R.O.G.S:  FROGS is an association of East Gwillimbury residents that came together in 1993 to fight the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s (MTO) proposed new Bradford Bypass controlled access highway. The government’s apparent zeal to resurrect this highway on an expedited basis, combined with the apparent lack of awareness of this highway amongst most of our neighbours, has caused us to reconstitute FROGS.  Our objective is to add our voice to the many environmental groups in southern Ontario who are fighting this unnecessary, obsolete highway in the hope that eventually reason will prevail and this highway will once again be stopped.    www.frogs.ca

About The Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition: The Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition is a lake-wide member-based organization that provides leadership and inspires people to take action to protect Lake Simcoe. www.rescuelakesimcoe.org


About the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition www.simcoecountygreenbelt.ca:  The Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition is a diverse coalition of 35 organizations from across Simcoe County and the province calling on local and provincial leaders to better protect our water resources, green spaces and farmland through smart growth and sustainable policies including expansion of the Greenbelt into Simcoe County.

One Response to “Province rushing Bradford Bypass shows more concern for politics than Lake Simcoe, climate or affordable housing”

  1. H Levinter says:

    The Bradford Highway cuts through far too valuable land to adulterate it with a highway. Stop the construction of this highway. Listen to the people who know the value of this farmland and water resources. Once it is gone, it is gone forever

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