Ford’s way is the highway but Liberals say they wouldn’t build 413

“(Previous governments) cared more about ideology than about real people,” the premier said

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Ontario will plow ahead with Highway 413 despite objections from Toronto-based ideologists, Premier Doug Ford says.

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Hwy. 413 would stretch east from Hwy. 400 across Halton, Peel and York Regions to Hwy. 401/Hwy. 407.

“Just sitting there and telling people, ‘Hop on your bicycle,’ or ‘Get behind a horse-and-buggy and start driving’ — it doesn’t cut it,” Ford said Wednesday. “That’s the ideology of a lot of people that are from downtown Toronto making their comments about up here in Caledon.”

As with the Bradford Bypass announced earlier this week, environmentalists and political opponents have criticized the project as an unnecessary incursion on the Greenbelt.

Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca said the project will not provide families with the relief they need.

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“But it will pave over the Greenbelt and destroy farmland, while helping Ford’s rich friends get richer,” Del Duca said in a statement. “It’s the wrong project for the wrong reasons being pushed by the wrong premier. Ontario Liberals will cancel Highway 413 and reinvest the money saved into schools and public transit instead.”

The former Ontario Liberal government “stood by while people were stuck in traffic,” Ford said.

“(Previous governments) cared more about ideology than about real people,” he added. “They said ‘no’ to hardworking people who just want to get home quickly after a long day of work.”

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Construction of Hwy. 113 was confirmed in Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy’s Fall Economic Statement, although a dollar figure has not been identified for the project.

Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney said the new highway, like the Bradford Bypass, will not be tolled.

The Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) released a report Wednesday that says the new 400 series highway would generate nearly $1 billion in tax revenues for the government, support up to 8,000 jobs annually during construction, and create a corridor for public transit in an area where the majority of residents commute.

aartuso@postmedia.com

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