Highways are the gateway drug for sprawl and the Bypass is a perfect example. 

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

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.

Previous
Next

Rendering of what a four-lane highway bridge could look like crossing the East Holland River. Credit Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition.

Gord Miller, the former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, characterized this provincial exemption in a recent webinar, saying:

“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. 

This 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)

How Could We Invest This Money Differently?

Related Content

Photo of a highway bridge. Credit Ajai Arif.

The Bradford Bypass – Clearing the Air

There are a lot of misconceptions, myths, and misunderstandings regarding the role that highways and cars play in our economy, and the impact they have on our environment and communities. Many of these are coming to the fore with the Bradford Bypass. Here we address some of them.

Read More »
Arial photo of the Holland Marsh, with Lake Simcoe in the distance. Credit Jeff Laidlaw.

Bradford Bypass

The provincial government is proposing a highway that would connect the 404 with the 400. The proposed route passes along the northern edge of Bradford, and through portions of the Holland Marsh.

Read More »

Community supported, advocacy for a safe and secure future.

Governments have failed to act to protect our communities and the futures of our children and grandchildren, and they continue to treat our environment as if it’s incidental to life, rather than a foundation for it.

We need strong community organizations to fight for our future, now more than ever.

Please consider donating to support our work. It’s people like you who make us possible.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

We send out a once-monthly newsletter full of information on what’s happening in Simcoe County and beyond, including information on how you can take action to protect the health of your community.

Email Margaret

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Email Adam

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Thank you for signing up!

Success!