TORONTO – As opposition continues to mount on controversial Highway 413, the Ontario Liberal Party campaign-style pledges to abandon the project and re-invest the funds in the education system.
The GTA West Corridor, a superhighway that would connect the 407 in Mississauga to the 410 in Vaughan, has been the subject of debate and setbacks from local communities that have warned of the project’s “catastrophic” environmental impact.
While all three opposition parties have vowed to demolish the project after the next election, Liberal leader Steven Del Duca has announced plans to divert the $ 6 billion to $ 10 billion cost of capital into the education sector, which is building schools and new childcare facilities.
“The Liberals in Ontario have stopped this ruthless project before and we will do it again,” said Del Duca, adding that the funds would be used to modernize existing schools while making classrooms “healthier, safer and more climate-resilient.”
Originally scrapped by the former Liberal government in 2018, Highway 413 was revived by the Ford government a year later. The 52 kilometer long motorway would improve the flow of goods through Peel Tegion while reducing the traffic load for the overcrowded 401.
However, the Greens argue that the superhighway would pave more than 2,000 acres of farmland, cut 400 acres of the green belt and save drivers only “30 seconds each way”.
A number of communities, including Mississauga, Vaughan, Orangeville, and Halton Hills, and the Peel and Halton regions, supported the project – a move that forced the Ford government onto shaky ground.
“Of course we have to work closely with our partners in the region. An environmental review has to be carried out, ”the chairman of the government house, Paul Calandra, told the legislature on March 10th.
“If it makes sense we will, if it doesn’t we won’t.”
In a political announcement today, Del Duca pledges to move money from the canceled freeway into the school system by investing $ 8 billion to build “hundreds of new schools” over five years while pledging to turn 16 -Fix billion dollar backlog in school repairs.
The party said the money would be spent on: improved heating, ventilation and air conditioning; Boiler and plumbing; High speed broadband.
While Del Duca said the funds would be used to build new schools and childcare facilities, the party failed to release projected numbers, citing the need to consult with school authorities before allocating.
However, the party said there was a “significant increase” in rooms in school day care centers as the party committed to creating a universal childcare program.
The party said the $ 1.6 billion per year capital investment commitment would stand regardless of Highway 413’s status.