March 2 and 24, 2011: York Region Council conditionally supports the 407 Transitway EPR

On March 2, 2011, the York Region Planning and Economic Development Committee (PEDC) adopted a Recommendation for York Region Council to “support the 407 Transitway Environmental Assessment […] subject to the satisfactory resolution of outstanding issues submitted by York Region, Town of Markham, and City of Vaughan, either through an amendment to the environmental assessment or during the project design phase.” This recommendation was an amendment of the one originally proposed, which called for “endorsement” rather than just “support”, and did not mention the need to resolve specific “outstanding issues”. During the deliberations, Dr. Paulo Correa delivered a deputation summarizing the Concord West Objection to the EPR, and urging the Committee not to endorse the EPR.

On March 24, 2011,  York Region Council discussed a resolution along the lines recommended by the PEDC.   Dr. Paulo Correa delivered a second deputation, stressing that the PEDC recommendation did not properly defend the interests of York Region in that it offered no support for the express objections of both Markham and Vaughan to the 407 Transitway plans. He emphasized that changes in alignment and locations of transit hubs were not the kind of decisions that can be relegated to the secondary planning stage, and urged Council to request of the Province a one-year delay on the planning of the 407 Transitway and to refer specifically to the resolutions of the Markham and Vaughan Municipal Councils.

The final resolution which was adopted by Council maintained the wording recommended by the PEDC, adding to it mention of Concord West, Richmond Hill/Langstaff and Markham Centre as the “three areas of ongoing concern”, reminding the Ministry of Transportation of its commitment to “modify the Transitway Environmental Project Report as required” “should significant changes to land use plans and planned transit alignments be agreed to in the future by all parties”, and requesting
that the MTO “include Concord West in the 407 Transitway EA Project Report”.

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