Groups launch lawsuit over feds refusal to do Environmental Impact study of Bradford Bypass

On March 14, 2022, seven environmental and community organizations filed a lawsuit in Federal Court against the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault. The lawsuit challenges the Minister’s failure to designate the Bradford Bypass highway project for a federal impact assessment.

The organizations previously made two requests for a federal impact assessment on the proposed Bradford Bypass (or Holland Marsh Highway), which would cut through the Greenbelt, the Holland Marsh provincially significant wetland, and the headwater rivers at the south end of the Lake Simcoe watershed. The federal government turned down both requests. The lawsuit challenges the government’s decision to turn down the second request.

The purpose of the litigation is to hold the federal government accountable for the proper review of the impacts of the proposed highway, which is needed to understand the full impact of the proposed project on vital habitats, wildlife and watersheds in the area. The case for building a highway is thin at best and we must better understand the impacts of the project on natural heritage, migratory birds, fisheries, greenhouse gas emissions, air quality, and First Nations cultural heritage.

The seven parties involved in the litigation are: FROGS (Forbid Roads Over Green Spaces), Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition, Ontario Nature, Western Canada Wilderness Committee, Wildlands League, Earthroots, and Environmental Defence, represented by Ecojustice.

FUN has previously submitted letters to the federal government and to Barrie and local MPPS regarding opposition to the project and support for a Bradford Bypass EA.
See: Bradford Bypass Update and Proposed Bradford Bypass Project.

Image: Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons