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Ontario hopes to get shovels in ground for Hwy. 413 in the next year


The Ontario government hopes to get shovels in the ground on Highway 413 in the next year.

Transportation Minister Prabmeet Sarkaria hinted at the timeline while speaking with reporters on Tuesday.

“I'm hoping to get shovels in the ground, within the next year,” he said. “But the market and our teams will dictate that. We'll continue to provide updates as we move forward on that.”

This is the first time the government has indicated a timeline for the project.

The comments come a day after the provincial and federal governments issued a joint statement agreeing to move forward with Highway 413 while establishing a working group to assess environmental impacts.

The “memorandum of understanding” released Monday comes after years of court battles between the two governments, with the federal government setting aside a designation that would have placed the highway under the Impact Assessment Act for environmental review.

Advocates have long said the six-lane, 52-kilometre highway that connects Halton and York regions would have long-term impacts on at least 29 federally-identified species at risk as well as multiple waterways.

Ontario farmers have also said the proposed highway “poses a major threat to farmland in the Greater Golden Horseshoe and thus the viability of the region’s agri-food sector.”

The joint working group pledged by both governments will “recommend appropriate measures to minimize environmental impacts in areas of federal environmental jurisdiction.”

“The joint working group will leverage collective expertise to protect the environment and ensure impacts to species at risk, like the Western chorus frog and the red-headed woodpecker, and their critical habitats are considered before the project moves into the detailed design stage,” officials said in the joint release.

Sarkaria sidestepped questions about how much Highway 413 will cost—a pricetag that has yet to be provided to the public.

In November 2022, an auditor general report suggested the cost could be more than $4 billion. However the Ontario Liberals have previously said it’s likely closer to $10 billion.

The government has pledged in their budget to spend $28 billion over 10 years for highways. Top Stories

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