Bradford Bypass Update

On May 31, 2021, the Barrie council approved a motion asking the provincial government to conduct a comprehensive impact assessment as it relates to Lake Simcoe and the surrounding watersheds. They would also like to see other potential routes for the bypass identified. Some residents and environmental groups don’t believe an environmental assessment completed in 2002 should be used for the project, and they have been asking for a new federally conducted EA.

FUN has written to the Barrie Council asking them to oppose the bypass, but it unfortunately appears that they were not willing to take that step.

May 29, 2021

Mayor and Council
City of Barrie

RE:  Motion 21-G-136, Proposed Bradford Bypass

Dear Mayor Jeff Lehman and Councillors,

The Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods Inc. is an umbrella organization of community and neighbourhood associations from across Ontario. 

We wish to advise you of our strong opposition to this project, a four lane 400 series highway, misnamed as the Bradford Bypass. We note that the federal government has recently agreed to conduct an environmental assessment on the Highway 413 project, and this project deserves a similar calibre study. 

The Highway will connect highways 400 and 404, on the Greenbelt passing through provincially significant wetlands south of Lake Simcoe. The Environmental Assessment (EA) for this project is over twenty years old. As such, it pre-dates the Greenbelt Plan and Lake Simcoe Protection Plan, and does not provide a climate change impact assessment. Lake Simcoe is under more stress and is more vulnerable than any other lake in the GTA. We should not be adding to this stress. Additionally, the Bradford Bypass would transect some of the best agricultural land in Ontario, and destroy sensitive wildlife habitat in Greenbelt lands.

As you are aware, highways do not solve traffic congestion issues, but rather encourage more vehicular travel. More vehicles on the road result in more greenhouse gas emissions, and more pollution.

We would request that you join communities in expressing your opposition to this highway.

Respectfully submitted,

Geoff Kettel

c.c. Doug Downey, MPP Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte
Jim Wilson, MPP Simcoe-Grey