BarrieToday welcomes letters to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following letter is from York-Simcoe MPP Caroline Mulroney regarding the Bradford bypass project. Mulroney is also minister of transportation and francophone affairs.
For more than 30 years, people in York-Simcoe have asked for a connecting highway between Simcoe County and York Region.
Major congestion is already a reality for drivers in our community, and with significant population growth forecasted across the region, it’s only set to get worse if we don’t take strong action now.
During the 2018 campaign, I promised to bring the Bradford bypass across the finish line. A new east-west connection linking Highway 400 in Simcoe County with Highway 404 in York Region will reduce this congestion and strengthen product pathways.
For commuters, this strategic, new, 16-kilometre freeway will save people up to 35 minutes in each direction, leaving more time for the things that matter most.
Congestion has also taken its toll on the agri-food industry in York-Simcoe – our farmers and food processors – who are critical in supplying Ontario and other parts of Canada with a safe and consistent food source. The Bradford bypass will make it easier for farmers to get their goods to market, which will support our local economy in turn. We depend on these hard-working Ontarians and we want them to succeed.
Under Premier Doug Ford’s leadership, we are building and investing in infrastructure that will make a real difference in communities across Ontario. Building the Bradford bypass will set up local families and businesses for success, which is why Ontario’s commitment to this project was reaffirmed in Budget 2021.
The construction and maintenance of the highway alone will create thousands of jobs and boost the local economy, making York-Simcoe and the surrounding areas better, more convenient places to live.
The additional community benefits of the Bradford bypass are also exciting. Supporting the revitalization of Bradford’s Holland Street, for example, will make our downtown core more pedestrian-friendly by improving access to shopping, dining and many other local businesses.
Having strong, local support has only helped move the Bradford bypass project forward.
The Bradford Holland Marsh Growers Association, Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury, Town of East Gwillimbury, York Region and Simcoe County have each backed our government every step up the way.
As with any major transit infrastructure project, our responsibility to protect Ontario's environment is one our government take very seriously.
We have modernized Ontario’s rigorous environmental assessment process to allow us to start construction earlier without compromising any of the environmental mitigation work. On top of that, we are undertaking at least 15 new studies for the Bradford bypass, which will include an Agricultural Impact Assessment, Air Quality Impact Assessment, and many more.
Our environmental assessment will consider several engineering refinements to mitigate impacts to the natural environment.
We know that strong environmental oversight and meaningful consultation are integral to our success – this will never change.
The environmental assessment of the Bradford bypass is another crucial step forward in the delivery of the kind of transportation infrastructure that benefits all Ontarians today and for generations to come.
We have a lot of work to go, but I am proud of where we stand today. Signs are in the ground, construction plans are progressing, the environmental assessment is underway, and public consultation has begun. The Bradford bypass is happening because our government believes in putting people’s needs first.
You can learn more about the studies and the project's details by visiting www.bradfordbypass.ca.