QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released the following statement in response to news of endangered species’ habitat along the Highway 413 route:
“Ontario Greens have been calling for the cancellation of Highway 413 since it was first reintroduced by Ford because it will pave over 400 acres of the Greenbelt, 2,000 acres of prime farmland, threaten or destroy 75 wetlands, and add 17.4M tonnes of emissions by 2050.
Now we know this unnecessary, supersprawler highway will cause even more destruction. Internal government documents show that a minimum of 11 species at risk live along the proposed highway 413 route, with a possibility of dozens more.
This government’s complete disregard for preserving species at risk and their habitat is not new. In 2019, they granted industry sweeping loopholes to evade the Endangered Species Act through a ‘pay to slay’ fund.
And just yesterday one of Ford’s newest cabinet members, Minister Graydon Smith, was charged with harming the threatened Blanding’s turtles and their habitat during his time as Bracebridge mayor.
These are reckless, short-sighted decisions by elected officials.
Bulldozing habitat and greenspace hurts the earth’s ability to provide millions of dollars worth of benefits, such as flood and erosion prevention, for free.
The Ford government’s reckless disregard for environmental protections is bad for our climate, economy, communities and quality of life.”