Ontario and Feds Ready to Move on Highway 413

The Ontario Government has signed a memo of understanding with the federal Liberals that will give the Province greater regulatory certainty to advance the Highway 413 project.

Highway 413 is a proposed 52-kilometre highway and transitway connecting the regions of York, Peel, and Halton.

The project is subject to Ontario’s Environmental Assessment Act and other provincial and federal protections, including those under the Fisheries Act, the Migratory Birds Convention Act, and the Species at Risk Act.

Through the deal announced Monday, both Ontario and Canada have agreed to a collaborative process to assess and manage the issues around federal species at risk throughout Ontario’s planning of the project. At Ontario and Canada’s request, the Federal Court has ordered that the Highway 413 Project’s designation under the Impact Assessment Act be set aside.

Last fall, the Supreme Court of Canada issued an opinion that the Impact Assessment Act in its current form is partially unconstitutional and must focus on areas of federal jurisdiction. The Court also confirmed that the environment is an area of shared jurisdiction under the Constitution and encouraged both levels of government to work together in the spirit of “cooperative federalism.”

The two levels of government have established a joint working group in which provincial and federal officials will recommend appropriate measures to minimize environmental impacts in areas of federal environmental jurisdiction. This builds upon the province’s environmental assessment process, which is also underway.

The Province says that as it advances the project, it is committed to building infrastructure in a responsible way that minimizes environmental impacts.

In a release, the government explains that the working group will leverage collective expertise to protect the environment and ensure impacts to species at risk, like the Western chorus frog and the red-headed woodpecker, and their critical habitats are considered before the project moves into the detailed design stage.

The highway and transitway will extend from Highway 400 (between Kirby Road and King-Vaughan Road) in the east to the Highway 401/407 ETR interchange area in the west, connecting the regions of York, Peel, and Halton. The project includes a 4 km extension to Highway 410 and a 3 km extension to Highway 427 for a total of 59 km for the corridor.

Planning includes 11 interchanges at municipal roads, and features such as electric charging stations, service centres, carpool lots and truck inspection stations will all be explored as part of the design.

The transitway would be a separate corridor running alongside the highway dedicated exclusively for public transit, such as buses or light rail transit.

 

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Ontario Ready to Roll on Highway 413

Highway 413 is a proposed 52-kilometre highway and transitway that will include extensions to Highways 410 and 427.

 

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