Tuesday, August 5, 2003

The Sun on Red Hill

Rally rips new Hamilton Road

Expressway through greenbelt

Toronto Sun, Page 19, Tuesday, August 5, 2003

Several hundred people rallied in east Hamilton yesterday to stop the construction of a four-lane highway through one of the city's largest greenbelts.
Work is set to start today on the first ramp of the Red Hill Creek Expressway, and eight-km freeway linking Hwy 403 to the QEW.
"We need to stop the destruction of over 40,000 trees in the Red Hill Valley," protest organizer David Cohen said from the Greenhill Ave. construction site.
Some participants were planning to stay overnight at the site so they could be there when work crews arrive. They plan to use "every peaceful means at their disposal" to convince Hamilton to halt the four-year, $220-million project, Cohen said.
Even though half the cost of the epressway will be covered by the province, Cohen said critics are opposed to the "tremendous tax burden" it will put on city residents.
City staff were not available for comment yesterday, but in a statement Friday, Hamilton's city manager Bob Robertson urged protesters not to interfere with a "democratic decision that was taken years ago, after years of study on this much-needed transportation route."
Robertson said the city will take legal action against anyone who causes costly delays to the project.
"If they decide to take illegal actions that drive up costs, the city will have no choice but to seek to recover those costs from the persons who are responsible," Robertson said.

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