The province of Ontario’s plans to build a highway that would connect the 407 and 410 will now fall under the scrutiny of the federal government.
Federal Environment Minister, Jonathan Wilkinson, released a statement Monday saying the GTA West Project, which would see the creation of Highway 413, will now be under “the federal impact assessment process.”
The new highway was first planned, and later scrapped, by the prior Liberal government. The Ford government revived it, saying it would ease traffic on the busy 401.
Critics say that it will cut through the Greenbelt and environmentally important wetlands
BREAKING: Federal Environment Minister is stepping in to put the GTA West project under the federal environmental assessment process. This is the @fordnation government’s Highway 413 project #cdnpoli #onpoli pic.twitter.com/bILzAaZT9x
— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) May 3, 2021
“The impact assessment agency of Canada and other federal departments have identified clear areas of federal concern related to this project,” Wilkinson wrote.
“My decision is based on their findings that this project may cause adverse direct or incidental effects on federally-listed species at risk, and the uncertainty that officials have brought to my attention around whether those effects can be mitigated through project design or existing mechanisms.”
Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca has already said that if elected as Premier next year he will cancel plans for Highway 413 and use the money, approximately $8 billion, to build and repair schools across Ontario.