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Ottawa has ‘clear areas of concern’ over Highway 413 construction: Minister


May 5, 2021
By Rock to Road Staff

Topics
The proposed route for Highway 413.

The federal government has stepped into the environmental debate over the GTA West Corridor, a proposed 400-series highway in Ontario.

Johnathan Wilkinson, the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, said Ottawa is designating the project under the federal impact assessment process.

“Canadians expect their governments to make decisions based on science and evidence that support environmental protection and economic growth,” said Wilkinson in a statement, adding there are “clear areas of federal concern related to this project.”

The highway, also known as Highway 413, would run about 59 kilometres in total, according to Aecon. It is currently in a planning and analysis stage, with a environmental impact assessment being conducted by Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation and the provincial government.

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“The corridor is expected to include a 4 to 6 lane, 59-kilometre 400-series highway with connections to Highways 400, 427, 410, 401, and 407 ETR,” reads the Aecon site on the project. “The highway would have 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.”

Wilkinson expressed concern after the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada and other federal departments identified what he called “clear” areas of concern with the proposed highway.

“My decision is based on their finding 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,” he said.