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LETTER: Bradford Bypass costly boondoogle, vanity project

Local environmental groups respond to the province's awarding of a contract to progress design of a portion of bypass
Joined by York-Simcoe MPP Caroline Mulroney on his left and Bradford Mayor James Leduc on his right, Minister of Transportation, Prabmeet Sarkaria announced the province has awarded a $16-million contract to AECOM for the detailed design of the western 6.5-kilometre portion of the Bradford Bypass route from Highway 400 to County Road 4 (Yonge Street), at a construction site on that street just north of Line 8 on Thursday morning, May 9.

NewmarketToday welcome letters to the editor at [email protected]. Please include your full name, daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). 

Re: Significant project: Bradford Bypass moves step closer to reality, May 9, 2024.

This highway is the poster child for Ontario’s lack of commitment to climate and environmental protection. Ontario has gutted environmental assessment and species protection laws and exempted this highway from key requirements.

The cumulative effects of this highway on the natural environment and human health from air and water contamination and habitat loss are potentially irreversible and serious. 

Ontario continues to proceed in a piecemeal fashion to build portions of this highway at great public expense to be seen to be making progress, while ignoring the major engineering and environmental challenges it faces on the eastern portion. The result will be a costly boondoggle that diverts key resources from efficient, expedient, climate-friendly and cost-effective solutions to our transportation problems.

Laura Bowman
Staff lawyer, Ecojustice

At a time when people are struggling to put food on the table, pay their increasing rents or mortgages and access healthcare, this government is choosing to spend $4 billion on a project that less than one per cent of Ontarians will use on a regular basis.

This project is almost a decade away from use. In that time, traffic congestion will worsen, costs for this project will skyrocket and the money that could have been invested into health care, education, social supports will be lost to a vanity project of mass proportion.

Margaret Prophet
Executive director, Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition

Studies without strong regulation and action do not protect the environment. Earlier this year, the Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition detailed concerns about this highway’s impacts to fish and fish habitats, the salt pollution’s effect on Lake Simcoe, cumulative water-taking and de-watering issues.

It is clear from the piece-mealing evidenced in this project that Ontario has no interest in taking care of any of these issues. They have not only failed to address these concerns but they have also watered down all regulations that protected these features. Our environment is simply not being protected by this government.

Claire Malcolmson
Executive director, Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition