Proposed Bradford Bypass Project

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, MP
Minister of Environment and Climate Change

RE:  Proposed Bradford Bypass Project

Dear Minister Guilbeault,

Congratulations (even if belated) on your appointment as Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

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. In May 2021, Minister Wilkinson made a determination that the Bradford Bypass Project did not warrant designation under the federal Impact Assessment Act. The reasons for the decision, are specified in the Minister’s Response on the Designation Request for the Bradford Bypass Project.

While these are undoubtably valid reasons, we feel strongly that this project deserves a similar calibre study as the Highway 413 project. 

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.

FUN requests that you review the decision made by your predecessor. 

Respectfully submitted,

Geoff Kettel

cc: Leah Taylor Roy, MP Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill

Response from Impact Assessment Agency of Canada

On March 1, 2022, FUN received a response to the above letter from the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

FUN is disappointed in the IAAC’s response, but FUN has made it known to the government its disappointment in the failure to designate the Bradford Bypass project, and we will continue efforts to oppose this project.

Photo credit: Adam Moss from East Amherst, New York, United States, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons