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Roads: GTA West Corridor—Highway 413—Guelph to 400

Woodbridge_Heights

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Can you not just make land use policies around the highway that prevent sprawl? This is the greenbelt... should just remain farmland and wooded areas just now with a highway.

Of course Douggie would never allow it, his developer buddies want this highway as an excuse to build around it and elsewhere in the greenbelt.

I see the 413 becoming a significant election issue.

The trouble with trying to set up land use policies is that the common complaint is that this infringes on the land owners rights to use their land as they please and/or kills the value of their lands. Often these lands are farmland and so there is little opposition to letting independent farmers have control over their lands. However when the lands are sold to developers and the developers propose to build a subdivision municipal politicians have little power to direct how the lands are developed.

Side comment: I'd love to see a study on how many lane/km's of highway has been constructed/expanded in S Ontario since say 1980 compared to how many km's of public transit has been built/expanded. Convert those to the person/passenger carrying capacity of each and I'd like to see if there has been more highway construction or more public transit construction over the past 40 yrs.
 

Admiral Beez

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This is nuts. We don’t need more highways.


Mods, please move this if it’s already a relevant thread elsewhere.
 

ericmacm

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Any way we can take the 407 back?

Not without scaring foreign business investment away from Canada forever. Technically, "we" do control it again, with the CPPIB owning the majority stake (50.1%), so a good chunk of the profits will eventually be returned to Canadians, just not directly.

However, if the province forcibly "took back" the remainder of the shares from Ferrovial and SNC Lavalin, it would scare all sorts of private sector investment away from Ontario for a long time. The action would be illegal, and the consequences would be far-reaching and would do irreparable damage to Ontario's image. Ontario could, in theory, offer to buy out the remainder of the shares from Ferrovial and SNC, but this would cost an incredible amount of money that the province won't want to spend. They really can't touch it unless they want to buy it outright.

What Ontario has done with the 407 in recent years is really the best they can do for a bad situation. Building a provincially-owned tolled 407 extension along with the tolled 412 and 418, while encouraging development east of Toronto, actually was a decent path forward for adapting to the privatized section, because they can still capitalize on the 407 route itself even if they own only part of it.
 

Admiral Beez

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However, if the province forcibly "took back" the remainder of the shares from Ferrovial and SNC Lavalin, it would scare all sorts of private sector investment away from Ontario for a long time. The action would be illegal,
It would not be illegal. It’s a contract written under Ontario law. Queen’s Park need only write another law canceling it. If DoFo was willing to tear up the Beer Store contract with three foreign breweries, and wind turbine contracts where Ford announced that a “previous government made outrageous deals”, why is the 407 untouchable? I’d suggest the reason the 407 is untouchable is the same reason for-profit LTC is untouchable, the long shadow of Mike Harris. No government of today should be able to oblige citizens not yet born to accept a nine decade long business contract.
 
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rbt

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It would not be illegal. It’s a contract written under Ontario law. Queen’s Park need only write another law canceling it. If DoFo was willing to tear up the Beer Store contract with three foreign breweries, and wind turbine contracts where Ford announced that a “previous government made outrageous deals”, why is the 407 untouchable?

Maybe. The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that there is a duty of good faith, even when one party is government. So any normal case of breach would be upheld.

For the province to make that contract null & void it would require very aggressive and specific legislation to inform the courts (including Supreme Court of Canada) that their previous decisions on related matters do not apply. Overriding common law in that manner hasn't been done (in Canada or in any developed British colony that I'm aware of) so any attempt to do so is quite likely to go a little sideways.

As a bonus, since it's a department of the Federal government on the other end, they'd likely simply withhold a portion of some transfer payment until they felt they were made whole.

Just for fun, the White Pines wind contract which Ford attempted to cancel without paying for services provided (arguing approval was not legal), was found by courts to require remuneration for services provided. We paid $231M to not build 9 wind turbines because White Pines acted in good faith but the province didn't (tried to escape through a technicality of their own creation).
 
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Undead

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The trouble with trying to set up land use policies is that the common complaint is that this infringes on the land owners rights to use their land as they please and/or kills the value of their lands. Often these lands are farmland and so there is little opposition to letting independent farmers have control over their lands. However when the lands are sold to developers and the developers propose to build a subdivision municipal politicians have little power to direct how the lands are developed.

Can the province/munis enact minimum density requirements?
 

Northern Light

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The 407 is not a challenging conundrum to solve.

Its owners want to retain their current and prospective profit; and if being asked to make changes, might even like a modest increase in same.

I have an easy answer.

Lets toll all the 400-series highways, and award the contract for construction, maintenance and operation to the 407 consortium.

That's worth countless billions.

That leverage in hand; the government then sets its price; be that reduced tolls, targeted tolls, space in the ROW for transit or HOV or w/e......

It can also return some of the profit directly the government; ie. the consortium can have (to pick a number) 30% of all the net profit from the 400-series highways, but Ontario gets 70% including the #407.

Another option is to reduce the term of the lease (407 is leased to the consortium, but still gov't owned).

The current lease expires in 2098; in exchange for a much wider rights play; maybe that lease can expire 2049 instead?
 

Northern Light

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Why are people furious about this new highway all of a sudden? The plans have been drawn years ago

Because many people here know its a bad idea; worked hard to kill it; the previous government said it was dead; and this one appears intent on reviving it.
 

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