Niagara-GTA Highway: Considering the Options

February 8, 2013

We are very fortunate to live in Burlington for a number of reasons including access to major highways. The QEW, 403 and 407 all dissect Burlington.

Each day, $480 million of goods are transported over the Burlington Skyway and $476 million of goods travel on the QEW through Burlington and Oakville. Each year over $58 billion of goods cross the Niagara Border.

We all know that the congestion on these roads continues to be an issue for the movement of people and goods.

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Update: Niagara GTA Highway

December 20, 2012

In a letter I received yesterday, Bob Chiarelli (Minister of Transportation) has advised that the Ontario Government has responded to public feedback by undertaking additional analyis of existing highway options rather than considering new highway corridors.

The Minister’s letter states that:

“At this time, the preferred highway expansion options include:

  •  Widening existing highways in the Hamilton to Halton area
  • Widening the QEW in the Hamilton to St. Catharines area to eight lanes
  •  A new highway corridor south of Welland, connecting Highway 406 to the QEW near Fort Erie.”

These options will be explained in detail at public meetings in February.

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November 2012 Progress Report

November 14, 2012

One of the challenges residents have is sorting through the reports generated for Committee and Council to understand what the issues being addressed by Council are and the results of Committee and Council deliberation.

A pilot was started in October to report in a better way the activities of Council. This can be found in the Agenda and Minutes web page on the City Web site. This is an excellent way for residents to view the issues being addressed and the resulting decisions.

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Why We Don’t Want the Niagara Escarpment Highway

Updated October 10, 2012

Media Release: “Say no to a new provincial highway cutting through Burlington Escarpment”

The City of Burlington and the Region of Halton have been adamant in opposition to any plans to build a new highway across the Niagara escarpment. The community has been equally active through the STOP Escarpment Highway Coalition.

Despite political promises made, the provincial Environmental Assessment for this plan still includes a possible route across the escarpment to the dismay and disappointment of all.

The Stop the Escarpment Highway Coalition has put together a video on why we need to prevent the development of a major highway across the Niagara Escarpment in North Burlington.

The Stop the Escarpment Highway Coalition will be hosting a show on TVCOGECO on channel 700 on October 4, from 7-9 p.m. I will be participating in this program, along with other local representatives including Regional Chair Gary Carr and Ward 3 Councillor John Taylor.

The City and Region will be hosting a public meeting about the proposed Niagara to GTA corridor highway  on October 23 from 7-9 p.m. at Mainway Arena. I encourage all members of the community who have concerns about a potential highway in North Burlington to attend.

For more information about the NGTA corridor highway I have tagged several updates and news under “Niagara-GTA Highway” on my blog including news, updates and background.

Please leave a comment, and share your thoughts with me on this important issue for our city.

Your vote matters to Burlington

This column appeared in the Burlington Post on September 21, 2011 and is available online at–your-vote-matters-to-burlington

September 21, 2011

Voting is both a democratic right and a responsibility.

The Thursday, Oct. 6 provincial election again presents an opportunity for all of us to have our say.

As we saw in the recent federal election, the public can speak and create change.

In the coming provincial election there are some very important issues that affect us directly here in Burlington.

The first important issue surrounds the redevelopment of Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital.

Council feels strongly enough about the need to re-develop our hospital that we have committed $60 million to this project on behalf of the residents of our community.

We heard loud and clear that this was very important to the community. I will continue to work with council and with Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital officials to make this a reality.

The other important aspect of the election is the protection of our rural land. Burlington has an urban boundary line, the Dundas/407 corridor, which separates the urban centre from the rural areas.

The decision to expand within the urban area is a positive decision. Burlington will have increased urban areas, which offer lifestyle alternatives, we will have protected suburban neighbourhoods to preserve the traditional Burlington, and we will have rural and agricultural areas, which will become more and more important over time.

I recognize that traffic is a problem. I recognize that moving commercial goods through the GTA is also becoming more and more challenging. I also recognize that the continuing development of Toronto as a world economic centre is paramount to the success of Burlington, the GTA, Ontario and Canada.

We need to have both the provincial and federal governments recognize the GTA’s importance and get on board developing the public transportation infrastructure that we need for this prosperity. Another highway is an alternative, a very expensive and potentially destructive one.

The Liberal and Conservative leadership have taken opposing views on both of these decisions.

Over the next few weeks I encourage everyone to review election information, talk to the candidates and make an informed decision on Oct. 6. Please vote — it’s your right and your responsibility.