MPP Arnott continues to push Government on Morriston bypass
Ted Arnott, MPP
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 3, 2014
MPP Arnott continues to push Government on Morriston
(Queen’s Park) – Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott is continuing to push the Ontario
Government to place the Highway 6 Morriston bypass on the Ministry of Transportation’s 5 year plan
for new highway construction.
Mr. Arnott raised the need for the Morriston bypass directly with Transportation Minister Steven Del
Duca in Estimates Committee on October 29, and followed up again with the Deputy Premier in
Question Period the next day.
“In Question Period on July 8, the Premier acknowledged the need to construct the Highway 6
Morriston bypass. She said, and I quote from Hansard, ‘There are investments needed. I would just
call attention to a statement that the member for Wellington-Halton Hills made yesterday,’” Mr.
Arnott pointed out in Question Period.
“That statement of mine, the one she was talking about, had highlighted the need for the Morriston
bypass. If the Premier, who is herself a former Minister of Transportation, thinks that the Highway 6
Morriston bypass is needed, why is it not yet on the ministry’s five-year plan for new highway
construction?” he asked.
Mr. Arnott noted that the project has strong support throughout the area. He pointed out that the
Morriston Bypass Coalition includes the Township of Puslinch, the County of Wellington, the City of
Guelph, the City of Hamilton, both the Guelph and Hamilton Chambers of Commerce, as well as
businesses such as Tim Hortons, Maple Leaf Foods, Nestlé Waters, Canada Bread, and Cargill.
“Given the Premier’s comments, the clear need for this project and the broad community support, I
submit that the Government has no choice but to finally include the Highway 6 Morriston bypass in
their 5 year plan,” Mr. Arnott concluded afterwards.
During the Committee hearings and in Question Period, the Minister of Transportation confirmed
that the new 5 year plan for new highway construction is being finalized and will be released in the
Working with the Township of Puslinch, Mr. Arnott has been raising the need for the Highway 6
Morriston bypass with successive Ministers of Transportation for years.
(Attached: Committee Transcripts, Standing Committee on Estimates, October 29, 2014 and
Hansard record of Mr. Arnott’s questions to the Deputy Premier in Question Period, October 30,
– 30 –
Ted Arnott, MPP
Committee Transcripts: Standing Committee on Estimates – October 29, 2014 – Ministry of
Mr. Ted Arnott: Thank you, Madam Chair. One of the projects that is “aspirational in nature” to the
constituents of Wellington–Halton Hills is the Highway 6 Morriston bypass. The very day after the
provincial election, on June 13, I went into my constituency office and I wrote a letter to the Premier. I
said this to her:
“As you know from your tenure as Minister of Transportation, Highway 6 serves as a vital link between
the 401 and the Hamilton/Niagara region and the US border. However, drivers travelling this route
encounter a severe bottleneck in the community of Morriston, in Puslinch township, just south of the 401.
Oftentimes traffic is backed up for kilometres in both directions.
“By constructing the Highway 6 Morriston bypass, this bottleneck would be eliminated, and traffic and
goods could flow back and forth from Hamilton to the 401 more” easily and “quickly and safely. There
would also be a” huge “positive economic benefit for a large region of the province. There is a huge
economic cost related to the current congestion at Morriston.
“As you know, I’ve been raising this issue in the Legislature for years.
“Working with the township of Puslinch and the county of Wellington, I have repeatedly written and
spoken to successive Ministers of Transportation urging that the Highway 6 Morriston bypass project be
placed on the Ministry of Transportation’s southern highways program, MTO’s five-year plan for new
highway construction. I have also raised the issue many times in speeches in the Legislature.
“During the most recent provincial Parliament, after you became Premier,” I said to the Premier, “I
introduced a private member’s resolution again calling on the Minister of Transportation to put the
Highway 6 Morriston bypass on the ministry’s five-year plan for highway construction. My resolution
was the very first item on the order paper, as I tabled it the same day as your government’s throne speech
on February 19, 2013.
“This project has been talked about for a generation. It is time for this project to proceed.
“Once more, I urge you to prioritize this project and ensure that it is placed on the Ministry of
Transportation’s five-year plan for highway construction.”
Of course, we were called back into session in July, shortly after the election, and I again tabled my
private member’s resolution. And I believe—yes, it is the very first item on the Legislature’s order paper
On October 6, a group that has formed, called the Morriston Bypass Coalition, met with many ministry
staff, including staff of the Premier. Here are some of the key messages that they wanted to leave with the
“Intersected by Highway 6, the village of Morriston” in the township of Puslinch “has become a
bottleneck at the centre of a main transportation and trade corridor. The two-lane stretch of road on an
otherwise four-lane highway is impeding the movement of people and goods between Wellington county,
the GTHA and the US. “The Morriston bypass project would alleviate ever-worsening traffic issues in the area, saving local
businesses and commuters more than $15 million a year today, and more than $30 million per year by
“Despite the long-acknowledged need for this essential infrastructure by the government, construction of
the Morriston bypass project is now decades overdue.
“Businesses have made significant investments in the region on the understanding that the government
was moving forward with the Morriston bypass. With every passing year of inaction, the success of those
investments, and the jobs they generated, are put in jeopardy.”
They talked about the Tim Hortons Guelph facility employing 500 employees; Maple Leaf’s new
282,000-square-foot distribution centre in Puslinch township; Canada Bread investing in a $100-million
plant in Hamilton; Nestle Waters Canada, Canada’s largest bottled-water manufacturer and distributor,
300 employees, with $10-million to $15-million worth of goods annually shipped through Morriston.
And they concluded with: “With their local main street serving double duty as a major transportation
artery, local residents in Morriston have legitimate concerns about the safety and well-being of their
Now, I know you’re aware of the need for this project, and I’ve raised it, as you know, many, many times
in the Legislature. We have an outstanding group that’s been put together, in response to the request from
one of your predecessors, Bob Chiarelli, that the township council go back and put together a group of
advocates for this project. They have an outstanding group, representing industry, municipalities,
chambers of commerce, and—
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Mr. Arnott you have one minute.
Mr. Ted Arnott: And my question is—
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): That’s quite a statement. Question and answer, one minute.
Mr. Ted Arnott: —when will you place this project on the southern highways program, your five-year
plan for new construction?
Hon. Steven Del Duca: I don’t have much time. I know how passionate you are and how consistent you
have been on this issue. You’ve come to talk to me about it; I know you have raised it with others; you’ve
sent correspondence. I get all that. I would like to see that document, for whatever it’s worth, after we’re
done, because I haven’t personally had a chance to review that one.
Mr. Ted Arnott: Your chief of staff has it.
Hon. Steven Del Duca: That’s fantastic. That’s good. I know how important this is to you and to your
As you’re probably aware, the next version of the southern Ontario highways plan has not been released
yet. That’ll be forthcoming in the near future. From what I understand, the environmental assessment
work is completed. I’m not in a position today to make any formal announcements, but I do understand
where you’re coming from. We should keep talking about this. I appreciate your patience on this item.
Mr. Ted Arnott: Point of order, Madam Chair: Very briefly, I want to thank the minister. I’d be
delighted to welcome him to my riding. Together, we could cut the ribbon on the Morriston bypass
project. I’d be absolutely delighted.
Hon. Steven Del Duca: Good to know. Thank you.
Mr. Ted Arnott: You asked for documents relating to the proposal. I’m pleased to walk them over to you
Hon. Steven Del Duca: Thank you very much. I appreciate that.
Ontario Hansard – Question Period – October 30, 2014
Mr. Ted Arnott: My question is for the Acting Premier. In question period on July 8, the Premier
acknowledged the need to construct the Highway 6 Morriston bypass. She said, and I quote from Hansard,
“There are investments needed. I would just call attention to a statement that the member for Wellington-
Halton Hills made yesterday.” That statement of mine, the one she was talking about, had highlighted the
need for the Morriston bypass.
If the Premier, who is herself a former Minister of Transportation, thinks that the Highway 6 Morriston
bypass is needed, why is it not yet on the ministry’s five-year plan for new highway construction?
Hon. Deborah Matthews: Minister of Transportation.
Hon. Steven Del Duca: I want to begin by thanking the member opposite for the question today and also
for raising it on a number of occasions since June 24, when I was first sworn in as Minister of
Transportation-and also for raising this issue at the estimates committee yesterday.
Just to be clear, our government does understand the need to move forward with the realignment of
Highway 6 between Freelton and Guelph, which will of course bypass the community of Morriston and
provide improved connection to Highway 401 and the Hanlon Expressway. We continue to move the
project along with respect to the design and environmental phases, to eventually prepare for construction.
But what I also said at estimates yesterday I think bears repeating in this House: This is one of the reasons
that I’m encouraged to hear these kinds of questions from members on the other side of the House,
because it’s a clear recognition from them that it’s very important for our government to make the kinds of
crucial investments in public infrastructure like highways, bypasses and transit. I look forward to seeing
ongoing support from these members for our very ambitious $29-billion plan for public infrastructure.
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Supplementary.
Mr. Ted Arnott: That’s all well and good, but I think I need to point out that, on October 6,
representatives of the Morriston Bypass Coalition were here at Queen’s Park. The coalition includes the
city of Guelph, the city of Hamilton, their chambers of commerce, businesses like Tim Hortons, Maple
Leaf Foods, Nestlé Waters, Canada Bread and Cargill, as well as the county of Wellington and the
township of Puslinch.
The minister knows that I’ve been calling for the construction of the Morriston bypass for many, many
years, predating his appointment as minister. When will he finally put it on the five-year plan?
Hon. Steven Del Duca: I thank the member for the follow-up. As I said at committee yesterday, the
Ministry of Transportation is in the process right now of finalizing the next rollout of the five-year plan
that he referenced in the question. I do look forward to continuing to work with him, members from his
community and members from communities right across the province of Ontario as we do move forward
with our plan to build Ontario up. Again, this is why it is so crucial for us to have comprehensive and full support in this Legislature for the
$29 billion that we’ll be investing, $14 billion of which will be for crucial infrastructure outside the
greater Toronto and Hamilton area, and up to $15 billion for public transit projects in the GTHA.
It’s why it’s so important for us to see-in communities like that member’s, and in all other communities
that we all represent as 107 members of this Legislature-that we need to invest. You can’t slash and burn
your way to growth. This is the way to build up Ontario and move the province forward.