Events Opinion

October 1st – Harvest March And Stop The 413 Rally

Sun rising over farmland
Written by Dan O’Reilly

In the tail end of summer when most people are focused on snatching a few more days at the cottage, squeezing in that last camping trip, booking that last minute vacation, or getting their children ready for the return to school, it’s hard to get energized on the pressing societal issues facing our province.

In wake of the recent reelection of the Conservatives, there may be a temptation by some to throw up their hands and suggest nothing can be done to stop their agenda, especially as it regards to Highway 413. But there are number of actions that can and need to be taken by Ontario residents who care about this province.

Here are few suggestions:

Join the October 1 Harvest March: A community walk, the Harvest Ontario Walk, and Celebrate the Harvest Rally will occur on Saturday, Oct. 1. This event is to raise awareness of the threats Ontario’s wildlife, waterways, and the farmland that feeds our cities posed by Highway 413 and the unchecked sprawl development. There will be a fun family friendly festival held at the Brampton Fairgrounds during the day.

The event is being spearheaded by Mississauga Climate Action and GASP (Grandmothers Act to Save the Planet). Various environmental and volunteer groups would ‘adopt’ five-kilometre sections and be responsible for organizing a walk along their particular section and for getting participants back to their cars. Beginning at 10 am, the march will follow, as much as possible, the proposed highway corridor. The route will be divided into east and west halves, with the participating groups meeting midway at the fairgrounds (Old School Road and Heart Lake Road) between 12.30 and 1 pm for a rally. Plans for the rally are still unfolding, but it will include speeches, entertainment, and draw prizes. The non-profit environmental group ecoCaledon will be sponsoring a walk. For more information contact Co-Secretary Betty de Groot at: degroot@yahoo.ca or on Twitter @dg_betty or on Instagram @dg.betty

And if your environmental or social group wants a spot, please claim it on this spreadsheet: Harvest Ontario Walk Segments – Google Sheets

Stop Highway 413 Signs. One of the most effective methods of generating opposition to the highway is to erect a Stop Highway 413 sign on your property. To request one email: danoreilly@sympatico.ca

Coalition of Concerned Citizens of Caledon: Having successfully fought the Rockfort Quarry proposal more than 10 years ago, the CCC now needs to regroup and mobilize. If Highway 413 is eventually pushed through, then all the hard work to defeat the Rockfort Quarry will be for naught. It will take tons of gravel to build this highway and most of it will come from pits and quarries in Caledon. That means increased pressure—and perhaps weaken legislation—to extend the life of existing quarries, and approve new ones, plus dozens (maybe hundreds) of gravel trucks on Caledon roads.

Sign the Petition. Despite those misleading “site of the future Highway 413”, the highway will be subject to a federal environmental impact assessment before construction can commence. Environmental Defence has created an easy-to-use link email action petition to Federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault. It asks for a “full panel review” which the highest tier of the environmental assessment process. A copy of the petition will automatically be sent to Dufferin Peel MP Kyle Seeback. Here’s the link: https://act.environmentaldefence.ca/page/108196/action/1?ea.tracking.id=blog1

Highway 407/Dufferin Peel MP Kyle Seeback. Write or email the MP urging him to endorse a campaign intended to convince the provincial government to provide some form of incentive or subsidies to truckers to use the underutilized Highway 407. Diverting those commercial vehicles from Highway 401 and other east/west regional roads would provide immediate congestion relief and negate arguments Highway 413 is needed. This is a realistic initiative because Canada Pension Plan Investments, a crown corporation, is a 50.01-per-cent majority shareholder of Highway 407ETR and that’s why MP Seeback’s support is crucial. Hard copies to the MP can be mailed postage free to the House of Commons, Ottawa Ontario, K1A 0A6 or emailed to: Kyle.Seeback@parl.gc.ca

About the author

Dan O’Reilly

Dan O’Reilly is a freelance writer specializing in design and construction, the environment, and historical preservation. He is also a regular contributor to the Daily Commercial News and Ontario Home Builder, the official magazine of the Ontario Home Builders Association.

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1 Comment

  • Kudos to Dan O”Reilly for encouraging community participation to address this issue. What makes an intelligent response difficult is that not even the TRCA is able to evaluate the full impact on our Humber watershed lands and holdings because it has not received full information from the province and no final route has been approved or announced. Writing to federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault asking for a full panel review of the construction proposal is the best step. Writing to Caledon Conservative MPP Sylvia Jones for full disclosure is the next step. However, writing to MP Kyle Seeback would be next to useless. He is the “shadow environment minister” in an opposition Conservative party that can’t even agree that accelerating climate change is real.
    Now, if the Grandfathers United to Lessen Pollution (GULP) joined with GASP, the 413 wouldn’t stand a chance!