Prime Minister Doug Ford Shows Strong Support for Controversial Highway 413

My way is the highway.

That’s Prime Minister Doug Ford’s message when it comes to controversial developments like Highway 413 and the Bradford Beltway.

Ford, who is on a campaign turn to Windsor on Monday, is signaling that the progressive conservatives’ path to re-election will be paved with asphalt.

In the wake of a multi-million dollar publicity blitz this month touting Conservatives’ support for the massive Toronto metropolitan area projects, the prime minister was asked about his support for the construction.

“It’s going to save an enormous amount of time,” he insisted on the proposed 413 highway on Friday.

It discussed a study by the previous Liberal government, which canceled the scheme, claiming it would only save drivers 30 to 60 seconds on their journey.

The Transportation Ministry responds that the 60 km highway connecting Milton from Highway 401 to Highway 400 in Vaughan could save motorists 30 minutes.

Highway 413, which is opposed by affected local municipalities, would bulldoze 2,000 acres of farmland, traverse 85 waterways and pave more than 400 acres of Greenbelt protected land in Vaughan.

“Friends, we are a growing province. We are one of the fastest growing jurisdictions in North America, ”said Ford.

“We see the influx of people coming here, which I welcome. We need more people to fill the jobs, “said the prime minister.

“The roads are congested everywhere. It doesn’t matter which 400-series highway you take, it doesn’t matter if it’s the 401, which is like a parking lot, or the 403 and so on, ”he said.

“We need more people to get from point A to point B much faster so that they can spend time with their families and we can transport goods from point A to point B.”

Ford is also a reinforcement of the proposed Bradford Bypass, a 10-mile highway connecting Highway 400 and Highway 404, crossing 27 waterways and traversing environmentally sensitive Holland Marsh lands.

“Build infrastructure, that’s what we do. That’s what I do as a premier. I build infrastructure, I build traffic, I build bridges, hospitals, schools and we are going to continue building, ”he said.

“As we grow and we are going to see a lot of people come to this province. Again, we are at 15 million. I guess in 15 years we will be closer to 19 million. We cannot afford any further delays on the roads. “

In the run-up to the June 2 provincial elections, Ford’s Tories last week unveiled three clever TV spots touting the prime minister as an optimistic builder and his main rivals as pessimistic pessimists.

“I hear it all the time, politicians are famous for finding reasons to say ‘no’. That is not me. I am Doug Ford, leader of the Ontario PCs, and we are the party that says ‘yes’, ”says a fiery prime minister of images of him happily meeting with voters.

“Yes, to the construction of roads that can be driven, so that it does not become stagnant,” continues the prime minister.

“Yes, to build houses that more families can afford. We are the only party that looks to the future and we are ready to build ”.

A separate 30-second commercial, which aired at Sunday’s NFL primetime game, criticizes NDP leader Andrea Horwath as a politician who “says one thing and does another.”

“He talks about tackling the housing crisis, but is opposed to building more houses. He says he’s against the traffic jam but he’s opposed to road construction, ”says the narrator as the message,“ No, to Highway 413, ”flashes on the screen.

Horwath has said that it is “no secret” that he opposes Highway 413.

“I am proud to be an environmental protector,” she said last week. “I’m proud to say that I don’t think we should build new roads, plow the green belt, plow farmland.”

“It is shocking that this government wants to go ahead with these types of plans.”

A third conservative commercial, which does not mention road construction, points to liberal leader Steven Del Duca.

Do you remember life under Kathleen Wynne? Steven Del Duca wants to take us back. He was Kathleen Wynne’s right hand man, ”the narrator warns about a montage of the two liberals and a video of Del Duca on her Facebook page.

“Together they sent their hydro bills through the roof, they sold Hydro One, all while the Liberals got rich,” he says, referring to the former Liberal prime minister’s sale of the province’s majority stake in the electricity transmission company.

Ontario collapsed under Kathleen Wynne and Steven Del Duca. Let’s not go back. “

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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