Candidates Response to Question 4 of the 2014 Provincial Election

On June 12, 2014 Halton voters will cast their ballot for local Provincial candidates. On behalf of Halton residents, Regional Chair Gary Carr has sent a letter and questionnaire to Halton’s candidates asking for their positions on a number of issues of critical importance to Halton Region.

Question 4

4. Will your government move forward with Niagara to GTA transportation corridor? If so, will you commit to voting against any option that impacts the Niagara Escarpment?

Choose which candidates to display
Burlington

    Meredith Cross - Green



    Charles J. Zach - Libertarian
Halton

    Susan Farrant - Green
    Kal Ghory - Libertarian




Oakville
    Andrew Chlobowski - Green




    Silvio Ursomarzo - Freedom
Wellington - Halton Hills


    Jason Cousineau - Libertarian

    Mitch Sproule - Freedom


Andrew Brannan, Burlington - Freedom a.p.brannan@gmail.com

The Niagara Escarpment is is a world biosphere reserve that I enjoy, but I have no idea what “impacts the Niagara Escarpment” even means. What are the variables involved? Contained within your question is the implicit premise that any and all “impact” on nature due to development is wrong, bad, evil, and destructive, hence you are asking such a vague question. The folks at Conservation Halton have long over-stepped their bounds in their stampede to control and manipulate the region’s topography in accordance with their anti-development agenda, and my voice in the legislature will be there to represent the people of Ontario and to protect them and their property rights against government that bullies citizens to take their land to suit government ends, whether to build transportation corridors, or parks and parking lots on the beachway in Burlington.

View all of Andrew Brannan's responses

Jane McKenna, Burlington - Conservative website (external link)   jane.mckenna@pc.ola.org

In the run-up to the 2011 election, Ontario Liberals promised that they would not be moving forward with the NGTA highway. Less than a year later, local officials discovered that the Ministry of Transportation had simply relocated the escarpment-crossing segment of the highway, and continued to plan the highway in defiance of the clear and repeated opinion of the residents and leaders of Halton Region. That approach is disrespectful and deceptive and I have argued the Region’s case directly to the Minister of Transportation. Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak has proposed a new highway corridor running from Hamilton International Airport to the Peace Bridge at Fort Erie. I have consistently and repeatedly expressed my position against any new highway crossing through Halton – especially any option that would cut through the Niagara Escarpment – and I will continue to do so.

View all of Jane McKenna's responses

Eleanor McMahon, Burlington - Liberal  website (external link) emcmahon.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

I would vote against any option that has negative impacts for the Niagara Escarpment. In 2005, the Ontario Liberals strengthened the Niagara Escarpment Plan by introducing the Greenbelt Act to provide permanent protection of the agricultural land base and the ecological features and functions occurring within the Niagara Escarpment.

Unfortunately Tim Hudak and the PCs do not seem to share the concerns of the citizens of our region when it comes to protecting the Escarpment. The PCs have promised to thoughtlessly pave a mega-highway through sensitive environmental lands in the escarpment.

A new super highway would see millions of cars roar through our community every day, with little economic benefit to our local businesses. It could also see hundreds, if not thousands, of homes displaced.

View all of Eleanor McMahon's responses
NDP

Jan Mowbray, Burlington - NDP website (external link) jan@janmowbray.ca,

The Ontario NDP does not believe that plans for the GTA West superhighway should proceed until the Greenbelt and Oak Ridges Moraine reviews are conducted in 2015, and all possible alternatives to a new highway have been explored.

We are also committed to reducing congestion by providing people with affordable and convenient alternatives to driving. That’s why we will fund 50 percent of the operating cost of local public transit systems, and create a cycling infrastructure fund dedicated to municipal investments in bike lanes, bike storage and bike tourism.

View all of Jan Mowbray's responses

David Clement, Oakville - Libertarian  website (external link)  david@davidclement.ca

This is a very difficult question to answer considering the vast array of variables that are in play. In short, a Libertarian government would not seek to continue the proposed GTA transportation corridor. A Libertarian government would seek to promote the development of transit expansion in the private market, as opposed to taking on this expenditure as a role of government, with public funds. There are two reasons for this. The first is that the province in not in a place to be taking on significant public works projects when the province is already holding over $260 Billion in debt. To put this into perspective, nearly 10 cents of every tax dollar you give to the provincial government goes to paying the interest on that debt. Going ahead with this proposed expansion would further indebt the province and compound the dire situation the province is already in. The second reason why a Libertarian government would not continue this proposal is that more efficient means of solving our transportation needs can be found in the private market, which not only provides more dynamic solutions, but does do without risking public funds.

Voting against options that impact the Niagara Escarpment sounds like something that is simple in theory and difficult in practice. I say that it is difficult in practice because we haven’t identified what impact means, and to whom the decision would be impacting. What I can promise, in regards to the Niagara Escarpment, is that I will not vote for policies that infringe on the property rights of the Halton residents who reside in that area. Myself and the Ontario Libertarian Party are opposed to the use of government legislation that infringes on the property rights of landowners. Thus, any plan for development, expansion etc will have to be fully aligned with the interests of property owners and not infringe on their property rights.

View all of David Clement's responses
Kevin Flynn

Kevin Flynn, Oakville - Liberal  website External Link  kflynn@ontarioliberal.com

I would vote against any option that has negative impacts for the Niagara Escarpment. In 2005, the Ontario Liberals strengthened the Niagara Escarpment Plan by introducing the Greenbelt Act to provide permanent protection of the agricultural land base and the ecological features and functions occurring within the Niagara Escarpment.

Unfortunately Tim Hudak and the PCs do not seem to share the concerns of the citizens of our region when it comes to protecting the Escarpment. The PCs have promised to thoughtlessly pave a mega-highway through sensitive environmental lands in the escarpment.

A new super highway would see millions of cars roar through our community every day, with little economic benefit to our local businesses. It could also see hundreds, if not thousands, of homes displaced.

View all of Kevin Flynn's responses

Che Marville

Che Marville, Oakville - NDP  che@oakvillendp.ca

The escarpment is precious and essential to the collective health of the region. It is protected under Niagara Escarpment Planning and development Act. The transportation corridor would only be built with careful planning of the optimum route with maximum consultation with local/community groups.

View all of Che Marville's responses
Larry Scott

Larry Scott, Oakville - Conservative larryscottpc@gmail.com

There is no significant amount of money available from the provincial government to try and buy solutions to our problems here in Halton. In spite of that, you have my personal commitment to work with you, to examine solutions that you may have or will come up with, to better serve all the people in Halton

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Ted Chudleigh

Ted Chudleigh, Halton - Conservative ted@tedchudleigh.com

There is a significant need for a new highway from Fort Erie the Hamilton Airport, a route that is supported by local municipalities, and one which takes pressure off sensitive fruit lands near the existing QEW. We support this new highway, however we draw the line at any new impact on the Niagara Escarpment, as existing highways already connect this route with the GTA. Any extension of the highway should go north from Hamilton Airport to Highway 401 in the Hanlon Expressway area to alleviate the pressure on the very dangerous Highway 6 between Highway 403 and Highway 401.

View all of Ted Chudleigh's responses

Gerry Marsh - Family Coalition Party

Gerry Marsh, Halton - Family Coalition gerry.halton@fcpontario.ca

With growth there is a clear need for improved transportation. I understand the desire to preserve the unique characteristics of the Niagara Escarpment and would vote in favour of a workable and practical plan that would have the least (preferably no) impact on the Escarpment.

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Indira Naidoo-Harris

Indira Naidoo-Harris, Halton - Liberal  website (external link)  inaidoo-harrisliberal.ola.org

Ontario Liberals do not support the proposed “mid-pen highway”. This highway would pave over protected green space and farmer’s fields in prime agricultural land. In 2005, we strengthened the Niagara Escarpment Plan by introducing the Greenbelt Act to provide permanent protection of the agricultural land base and the ecological features and functions occurring within the Niagara Escarpment.

Unfortunately Tim Hudak and the PCs do not seem to share the concerns of the citizens of our region when it comes to protecting the Escarpment. The PCs have promised to thoughtlessly pave a mega-highway through sensitive environmental lands in the escarpment.

A new super highway would see millions of cars roar through our community every day, with little economic benefit to our local businesses. It could also see hundreds, if not thousands, of homes displaced.

View all of Indira Naidoo-Harris' responses
NDP

Nik Spohr, Halton - NDP nik@nikspohr.ca,

The Ontario NDP does not believe that plans for the GTA West superhighway should proceed until the Greenbelt and Oak Ridges Moraine reviews are conducted in 2015, and all possible alternatives to a new highway have been explored.

We are also committed to reducing congestion by providing people with affordable and convenient alternatives to driving. That’s why we will fund 50 percent of the operating cost of local public transit systems, and create a cycling infrastructure fund dedicated to municipal investments in bike lanes, bike storage and bike tourism.

View all of Nik Spohr's responses
Ted Arnott

Ted Arnott, Wellington Halton Hills - Conservative  website (external link)  ted.arnott@pc.ola.org

Our Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak is a Niagara-area MPP. In the past, he has supported the construction of a new mid-peninsula highway, as it is strongly supported in Niagara Region. This issue has been discussed for decades. I would hope to ensure that the Region of Halton has a fair hearing of its concerns, before any final decisions on the final route and possible construction of a new mid-peninsula highway are made.

View all of Ted Arnott's responses
NDP

Michael Carlucci, Wellington-Halton Hills   michaelcarlucci@ontariondp.ca

The Ontario NDP does not believe that plans for the GTA West superhighway should proceed until the Greenbelt and Oak Ridges Moraine reviews are conducted in 2015, and all possible alternatives to a new highway have been explored.

We are also committed to reducing congestion by providing people with affordable and convenient alternatives to driving. That’s why we will fund 50 percent of the operating cost of local public transit systems, and create a cycling infrastructure fund dedicated to municipal investments in bike lanes, bike storage and bike tourism.

View all of the Michael Carlucci's responses
Dan Zister

Dave Rodgers, Wellington Halton Hills - Green  daverodgers@gpo.ca,

Yes



View all of the Dave Rodgers' responses
Dan Zister

Dan Zister, Wellington - Halton Hills - Liberal  dan@danzister.ca

I promise to vote against any option that will negatively impact the Niagara Escarpment.

In 2005, the Ontario Liberals strengthened the Niagara Escarpment Plan by introducing the Greenbelt Act to provide permanent protection of the agricultural land base and the ecological features and functions occurring within the Niagara Escarpment.

Sadly, Tim Hudak and his PCs do not seem to share the concerns of the citizens of our region when it comes to protecting the Escarpment. The PCs have promised to thoughtlessly pave a mega-highway through sensitive environmental lands in the escarpment.

A new super highway would see millions of cars drive through our community every day, with little economic benefit to our local businesses. It could also make hundreds, possibly thousands, of homes and residents displaced.

View all of Dan Zister's responses