Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition is urging people to let Innisfil and Barrie councils know that the proposed Bradford Bypass will put Lake Simcoe at risk, Zaynab Kanji writes.
The highway is planned by the Ontario government to link highways 400 and 404 just north of Bradford. It is supported by many councillors in Innisfil and Barrie.
Environmental groups, however, warn that immense environmental damage will result from construction of the Bypass.
SCGC is calling on people to contact Innisfil and Barrie decision-makers and urge them to not approve the highway at council meetings this month.
UPDATE: Innisfil did not approve the Bradford Bypass at its meeting on May 26.
The issue comes before Barrie council on May 31.
“Our coalition and the Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition officially requested the Federal Impact Assessment Agency to designate the Bradford Bypass under its own Environmental Assessment process due to our concerns over climate, Lake Simcoe impacts, risk to endangered species, fisheries and the Greenbelt,” SCGC says. “This request was
also supported by many groups from across Simcoe County and York Region including areas where the highway will traverse.”
The request for a federal environmental assessment was turned down, but the concerns raised by Lake Simcoe environmental groups have not been addressed:
Some of the concerns include:
- The highway will traverse the headwaters of Lake Simcoe and the surface plus groundwater of the Holland Marsh area would be contaminated.
- The highway would cross 13 watercourses which lead to Lake Simcoe. This means that people in these areas are directly threatened and so is the water that they rely on.
- In regards to the long-term effects of the Bypass, there are major impacts on the climate and on carbon emissions which would skyrocket - that amount of carbon is equivalent to burning an additional 8.4 million litres of oil.
- The original environmental studies did not consider the impacts to Lake Simcoe, nor has there been any confirmation that any future studies will specifically address Lake Simcoe impacts.
- There are no proven benefits to the communities impacted by the Bypass, and no alternatives have been studied.
For more background information, go to: Bradford Bypass - Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition