Ontario to Review Greater Toronto Area West Corridor Project
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Summer 2017 Update

In December 2015, the Ministry of Transportation suspended its work on the Environmental Assessment of the Greater Toronto Area West Highway Corridor (GTA West). An advisory panel was appointed to assist the ministry in reviewing the GTA West project. The panel was tasked with providing advice on the need for the GTA West corridor, in light of recent changes in government policy and transportation technology that could impact the demand for travel.

The panel has completed its advice and has submitted a report to the Minister of Transportation. The Minister is reviewing the panel’s advice and is committed to providing an update on the future of the GTA West Corridor shortly.

While the government is developing its response, lands in the GTA West focused analysis area will continue to be protected.

EA Process

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Environmental Assessment (EA) Process

This study will follow the approved planning process for an Individual Environmental Assessment (Individual EA) in accordance with the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. Individual EA's are typically carried out for large-scale, complex undertakings with the potential for significant environmental effects and major public interest.

Ontario Environmental Assessment Act (OEAA)

An Environmental Assessment, or EA, is a decision-making process used to promote good environmental planning by assessing the potential effects of certain activities on the environment. In Ontario, this process is defined and finds its authority in the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act (OEAA), RSO 1990. The purpose of the OEAA is to provide for the protection, conservation, and wise management of Ontario's environment.

To achieve this, the OEAA ensures that environmental problems or opportunities are considered and their effects are planned for, before development or building takes place.

The OEAA requires that MTO complete an Individual EA that complies with the requirements of the Act by:

  • accurately describing the undertaking;

  • considering 'alternatives to the undertaking';

  • considering alternative methods for the undertaking;

  • consulting with the public;

  • detailing impacts and mitigation; and

  • documenting all of the above for public review.

Individual EA Process

Below are the key steps involved in the Individual Environmental Assessment process:

Process flow-chart identifying the key steps in the Individual Environmental Assessment process for Stage 2 of the GTA West Transportation Corridor Planning and Environmental Assessment Study.

For more information click here:
Ontario Environmental Assessment Act

Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA)

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) requires that some projects undergo a federal EA process.

The new Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) and associated regulations came into effect on July 6, 2012. Under CEAA 2012, a Federal Environmental Assessment is required for "designated projects." A designated project is one that includes one or more physical activities that are set out in the regulations under CEAA 2012 or by order of the federal Minister of Environment.

For more information, please go to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency Web site at www.ceaa.gc.ca

The Canadian Environmental Assessment (CEA) Agency will be engaged to discuss the Federal Environmental Assessment requirements for this project and to determine whether it qualifies as a "designated project".

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