Doug Ford Says Ontario Taxpayers Will Fund Free Bradford Bypass

Ontario taxpayers will fully fund the new Bradford Bypass linking Highways 400 and 404, promises Prime Minister Doug Ford.

Ford was on a campaign-style turn through Bradford on Monday, where it announced that the proposed 10-mile highway would not be charged when it is scheduled to open in 2024.

“Our government is fully funding the construction of the Bradford Bypass; this project is a fundamental part of our plan that Ontario is building, ”said the prime minister in a farmers field several kilometers from the planned route.

“With both Simcoe County and the York region expected to grow at an incredible rate, the construction of the Bradford Bypass is a no-brainer,” he said, lashing out at “ideological activists who oppose each and every one of the roads above working families. “

The highway would cross 27 waterways and traverse environmentally sensitive Holland Marsh lands, impacting about 39 hectares of wildlife habitat and 11 hectares of wetlands.

Stating that the new highway would save commuters 35 minutes of travel from the 400-40 freeways, Ford said it would “reduce highway congestion” and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions because commuters would not be idle in a bottling.

But environmental leader Mike Schreiner responded that the diversion “would pump nearly 87 million kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions into the air each year.”

“Urban planning research has long shown that more roads create more congestion, traffic and emissions through induced demand. We need to squash climate pollution, not create more, ”said Schreiner.

In Thursday’s mini-budget, Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy pledged $ 1.6 billion over six years “to support major bridge rehabilitation projects and promote key highway expansion projects, including the Bradford Bypass and Highway 413.”

With the June 2 provincial elections looming, progressive conservatives are confident the roads will be popular with voters in the greater Toronto area.

That’s why there’s a renewed emphasis on Bradford Bypass and Highway 413, which didn’t even deserve a mention in the March 24 budget.

Bethlenfalvy said Monday that the beltway would be a “game changer” for the region.

Transport Minister Caroline Mulroney, who represents York-Simcoe, said the environmental assessment conducted a quarter century ago would be “updated” before shovels are expected on the ground next year.

A recent Torstar / National Observer investigation raised questions about the ownership of the land adjacent to the project.

Associate Transportation Minister Stan Cho’s father is a co-owner of East Gwillimbury’s Silver Lakes Golf and Country Club, which would be spared from development due to a recently proposed rerouting.

Cho has declared a conflict of interest and no information about the bypass is shared or discussed with him.

Robert Benzie is the bureau chief for Star’s Queen’s Park and a reporter covering Ontario politics. Follow him on Twitter: @robertbenzie


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