Whitby Town Council unanimously supported a resolution calling on provincial party leaders to remove the tolls on Highway 412.
This resolution was in follow-up to and support of the joint media statement issued on Friday, May 25, by Regional Chair Gerri Lynn O’Connor and Mayor Don Mitchell that included the following:
“In other communities, high-speed links from the 401 to the 407 are not tolled, namely Highways 404, 400, 410, 403 and 427,” stated Chair O’Connor. “Our request is that Durham residents be treated fairly and equitably compared to our neighbours in Toronto, York and Peel. Ontario residents helped to pay for those roads through provincial taxes. With highway development coming later to Durham, why should our residents now be asked to pay individually for similar access roads?”
Mayor Mitchell noted that Whitby Council has always opposed the location of the 412.
- Highway 412 is the only north-south 400 series highway in the entire Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area that is tolled.
- This highway Link was imposed over the wishes of Whitby Council in the 1990s. The issue of tolling was not part of those discussions. The decision by the Province to toll 412 was made in 2009.
- This Link has taken an enormous quantity of valuable land to create an underutilized highway which adds virtually no value to our Town and Region. At the same time, the province was imposing tolls on 412 in Whitby, they were adding new lane kilometres to Highway 427 which are not tolled.
- A toll-free 412 would reduce congestion across town by helping residents going west to access the 407 more efficiently. This would have an additional benefit of relieving traffic pressure from the 401 and in Downtown Whitby and support our goal of making it pedestrian friendly and comfortable.
- The Town is delivering services to the employment lands located along the 412. The economic value of those prestige industrial lands is related to their exposure. The low utilization of a tolled 412 degrades the value and marketability of those lands. The Province owns most of these lands and are losing substantial value on them in exchange for the minimal revenue being received through tolls.
“It is time to end the unfairness and allow 412 to generate real economic and social value to our Town and Region,” said Mayor Don Mitchell. “I ask all provincial party leaders and local candidates to confirm their support for a toll-free 412.”