Hon. Doug Ford, MPP, Premier of Ontario, Re: Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass – August 15, 2022
August 15, 2022
The Hon. Doug Ford, MPP, Premier of Ontario
Queen’s Park, Legislative Building,
Toronto, ON M7A 1A1
Dear Mr. Ford
Re: Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass
As a Toronto based association focused on addressing the challenges posed by climate change, Just Earth urges you to reconsider your proposal to build Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass. We share the widespread view that it would be counterproductive both for the economy of the province and the environment.
It won’t solve traffic congestion. Building new highways usually does nothing to relieve congestion over time. An expert panel study found Highway 413 would only save drivers in the region 30 to 60 seconds per trip. It has been demonstrated over the years that new urban highways provide only temporary congestion relief, and that by inducing additional vehicle travel they exacerbate traffic problems and add more pollution which endangers health. In addition, it’s redundant given that Highway 407, just 15 km away, is underused.
There is also the worrying encroachment onto prime agricultural land which we are consistently cautioned will adversely affect environmental sustainability, biodiversity and increase carbon emissions. With respect to climate change, it is estimated to add over 17 million tonnes of GHG emissions by 2050—resulting in $1.4 billion in damages from pollution. In terms of farmland and biodiversity loss, at 59 km long, it would pave over 400 acres of the Greenbelt and over 2,000 acres of Class 1 and Class 2 farmland—among Ontario’s most productive farmland.
All sectors of society are now expected to view new projects through the lens of the carbon footprint involved. Furthermore, the financial burden will not be fairly shared by taxpayers in the province. The huge costs involved in building highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass would benefit only a small number of motorists. Transportation planners can now identify much better ways to spend provincial dollars that are more cost effective, more fair and consistent with goals to reduce carbon emissions.
We urge you to abandon this unsustainable approach to building prosperity in Ontario and instead realign your plans with sectors of society focused on transforming our economy to meet the challenges posed by climate change. We look forward to hearing your response: firstname.lastname@example.org
On behalf of JustEarth:
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