Ontario has been conducting an Environmental Assessment on this $4B proposed new 6 lane expressway, running from Vaughan to Milton, since 2007. Transport Action Ontario (TAO) has been participating in the public discourse. Our position has been to emphasize that existing infrastructure (highways, rail) must be fully expanded first, and that an expressway only be considered after a broad range of other alternatives were studied. For further details, see the TAO website.
In December, 2015, the province suddenly announced the suspension of the EA process. The reasons cited were emerging technologies and the sharing economy, a commitment to public transit, the need for natural heritage protection (including Greenbelt) and the need to live up to climate change commitments. We viewed this announcement as promising. (see Ontario Report, November-December 2015, From the President, for more details).
This July, the province established a new advisory panel tasked with looking at alternatives to meeting the future transportation demand in this high-growth area. According to the Toronto Star, the panel includes experts in the fields of urban, regional and transportation planning, environment assessment and protection and resource management. The panel is expected to provide an update in the fall. To be continued……..