Premier Doug Ford signals strong support for controversial Highway 413

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My way is the highway.

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That’s the message from Premier Doug Ford when it comes to controversial developments like Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass.

Ford, who is on a campaign-style swing to Windsor on Monday, is indicating the Progressive Conservatives’ re-election path will be paved with asphalt.

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In the wake of a million-dollar advertising blitz this month touted Tory support for large-scale Toronto area projects, Premier was asked about his support for the construction.

“It’s a lot of time-saver,” he stressed Friday of proposed Highway 413.

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He disputed a study by the previous Liberal government, which scrapped the plan, claiming it would only save drivers between 30 and 60 seconds on their commute.

The Ministry of Transport says a 60-kilometer highway connecting Milton to Highway 401 to Highway 400 in Vaughan could save motorists 30 minutes.

Highway 413, which is opposed by the affected local municipalities, will destroy 2,000 acres of farmland, cut 85 waterways, and pave about 400 acres of protected greenbelt land in Vaughan.

“Guys, we are a growing province. We are one of the fastest growing jurisdictions in North America,” Ford said.

“We see an influx of people coming here, which I welcome. We need more people to fill the jobs,” Premier said.

“Highways are congested everywhere. It doesn’t matter which 400 series highway you take, whether it’s a 401, which is like a parking lot or going into a 403, and so on,” he said.

“We need more people to get from point A to point B more quickly so they can spend time with their families and we can transport goods from point A to point B.”

Ford is also a booster of the proposed Bradford Bypass, a 16.2-kilometre highway connecting Highway 400 and Highway 404, crossing 27 waterways, and intersecting environmentally sensitive Holland Marsh land.

“Build infrastructure, that’s what we do. That’s what I do as a premier. I build infrastructure, I build transit, I build bridges, hospitals, schools and we continue to build.” Will keep,” he said.

“As we grow and we see a huge number of people coming to this province. Again, we’re at 15 million. I’m guessing that in 15 years we’ll be closer to 19 million. We’re going to be on highways. But can’t afford more backlog.

For the June 2 provincial election, Ford’s Tories unveiled three clever TV commercials last week that promoted the premiere as an optimistic producer and its main rivals as blatantly pessimists.

“I hear it all the time, politicians are famous for finding reasons to say ‘no.’ They’re not me. I’m Doug Ford, the leader of the Ontario PC, and we’re the party that says ‘yes,'” an enthusiastic premier told his Says on the footage of happily meeting voters.

“Yeah, you can drive to build highways so you don’t end up in a stalemate,” the premiere continues.

“Yes, more families can afford to build a house. We are the only party looking to the future and we are ready to build.

A separate 30-second ad, which was airing Sunday’s prime-time NFL game, blasts NDP leader Andrea Horvath as a politician who “says one thing and does another.”

“She talks about tackling the housing crisis but opposes building more houses. She says she is against gridlock, but opposes the construction of highways,” the female narrator says as the message, “No, for the 413 highway,” flashes across the screen.

Horvath has said that “it’s no secret” that she opposes Highway 413.

“I am proud to be a defender of the environment,” she said last week. “I’m proud to say that I don’t believe we need to build new highways, plow through greenbelts, plow farmland.”

“It is shocking that this government wants to go ahead with such schemes.”

A third Tory commercial, not to mention highway construction, targets Liberal leader Steven Del Duca.

“Remember life under Kathleen Wynne? Steven Del Duca wants to take us back. He was Kathleen Wynne’s right hand,” the female narrator warned from her Facebook page on a montage of videos featuring two liberals and Del Duca.

“Together they sent your Hydro bills skyrocketing, selling Hydro One while Liberal insiders got richer,” she says, in reference to the sale of the province’s majority stake in the former Liberal premier’s electricity transmission utility.

“Ontario fell under Kathleen Wynne and Steven Del Duca. Let’s not go back.”

Robert Benji Starr is Queens Park’s bureau chief and a reporter covering Ontario politics. Follow him on Twitter: @robertbenzie
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