Response to the Federal Minister of the Environment and Climate Change’s Announcement Regarding the GTA West Highway

May 3, 2021, Toronto, ON – Earlier today, the Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change announced that the GTA West Highway would be a designated project under the federal impact assessment process.

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) has reviewed the rationale for the Federal government’s designation, which builds upon and is consistent with our historical position and that of many of our municipal and conservation authority partners in the GTA West Study Area regarding the need for more detailed study and mitigation for sensitive habitats to help avoid and reduce potential negative impacts.

TRCA is hopeful that this Environmental Assessment (EA) process will define alternative route alignments as narrowly as possible to reduce impacts on watersheds and ecosystems.

TRCA’s Board of Directors has previously asked that this EA be coordinated with other projects, including a planned hydro transmission project in the same study area, to minimize negative impacts to natural and socio-economic environments. TRCA is requesting that the proponent (the provincial Ministry of Transportation) work more closely with TRCA as part of this provincial and newly announced federal EA process so that we can continue to provide technical and scientific advice so as to minimize negative environmental impacts where possible, and to ensure appropriate ecological compensation where negative impacts are unavoidable.

About Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)
With more than 60 years of experience, TRCA is the largest of 36 Conservation Authorities in Ontario, created to safeguard and enhance the health and well-being of watershed communities through the protection and restoration of the natural environment and the ecological services the environment provides. Well over ten percent of Canada’s population (five million residents) live within TRCA-managed watersheds, and many others work in and visit destinations across the jurisdiction. These nine watersheds, plus their collective Lake Ontario waterfront shorelines, span six upper-tier and 15 lower-tier municipalities. Some of Canada’s largest and fastest growing municipalities, including Toronto, Markham and Vaughan, are located entirely within TRCA’s jurisdiction.

Media Contact:
Michael Tolensky
Chief Financial and Operating Officer
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)
416-706-9093 |