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Environmentalists urge province to reveal health impact of Bypass

'By shedding light on the real costs of this highway to human health and our environment, we hope to increase citizen concern and action at the local level,' Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition says
File photo

While construction on Yonge Street may have people thinking that the Bradford Bypass is "a done deal," local environmental and community groups are still sounding alarms and advocating for improvements to the plan.

Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition, Forbid Roads Over Green Spaces, Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition and volunteers have started an online petition, a new web page,, and have sent letters to all Lake Simcoe watershed municipal councils encouraging them to continue supporting the protection of Lake Simcoe, human health, and responsible use of tax dollars by passing a resolution requesting that the Ministry of Transportation:

  • Publicly release the traffic studies, clearly indicating the points of origin and time savings to justify this project;
  • Do a value-for-money audit of this project comparing it to regional road and public transit alternatives;
  • If traffic studies and the evaluation of alternatives justify it, pay for regional road improvements;
  • Plan for sustainable transportation. Prioritize getting Lake Simcoe watershed-area GO stations built: Innisfil Orbit, Barrie waterfront; and all day two way electrification of the GO line;
  • Complete studies that are not being done — impacts to Lake Simcoe, cumulative climate impacts, cumulative health assessments and cumulative water impacts;
  • Use a salt alternative on the Bradford Bypass, Highway 404 extension.

"At a series of three public town halls hosted by the in June, descriptions of impacts of the highway to human health, local waters and wells, and the staggering $4-billion potential price tag left audiences shocked at how little our governments are protecting human health, Ontario taxpayers, and our water," the groups stated in a news release.

"The Ministry of Transportation is certainly not telling people about the impacts highways have on human health, especially babies and children, nor the fact that they updated air quality requirements for highway projects in 2020 so that they have no air quality standards to meet," the release stated.

The groups will be distributing information this summer about potential impacts to well owners and property owners, daycare providers, schools, and retirement homes that are within the bypass’ study area, they added.

“We hope that they will stand up for themselves and for others by asking their municipal councillor and mayor to pass our model resolution. We hope to see some action on this in the fall when councils get back to their routine work schedules,” said Claire Malcolmson, executive director of Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition.

“By shedding light on the real costs of this highway to human health and our environment, we hope to increase citizen concern and action at the local level, because as much as we all want to believe that there is no impact to building highways, we know that’s a fantasy. Ontario should seriously consider alternatives to the bypass that have lower health and financial costs,” says Margaret Prophet, executive director, Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition.