OTTAWA — Federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson has announced there will be a federal environmental review of Ontario’s proposed Highway 413 project.
Wilkinson today issued a response to a designation request for the GTA West Project and concluded the federal assessment was necessary, after considering the “potential for the project to cause adverse effects within federal jurisdiction, adverse direct or incidental effects, public concern related to these effects, as well as adverse impacts on the Aboriginal and treaty rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada,” according to a decision posted on the ministry’s website.
The GTA West Project, which will be called Highway 413 upon completion, includes 59 kilometres of highway that would pass through the municipalities of Vaughan, Caledon, Brampton and Halton Hills. It would connect Highway 400 to the Highway 401/407 interchange area, located near the northern end of Highway 403.
The project has been opposed by environmental groups and several municipal governments with jurisdiction over lands in its proposed path.
The posting said the ministry also considered the analysis of the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada.
“The minister has reached the decision that the designation of the project is warranted as the project may cause adverse direct or incidental effects on the critical habitat of federally listed species at risk that may not be mitigated through project design or the application of standard mitigation measures, or through existing legislative mechanisms.
“The minister also took into account the public concerns related to these potential effects.”