More than 50,000 people urge Ottawa to intervene before Greenbelt irreversibly destroyed

TORONTO | Traditional territory of many nations – including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples – and now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples — More than 50,000 people throughout Canada have signed a petition asking the federal government to stop Highway 413, the Ontario government’s proposed highway through the Greenbelt.

The petition — organized by the David Suzuki Foundation — calls on the federal government to do everything in its power to stop the six-lane, 52-kilometre megaproject.

“We’re blown away but not at all surprised by the response to our petition,” said Gideon Forman, climate change and transportation policy analyst at the Foundation. “It just goes to show that people throughout the country are passionate about the Greenbelt and want to see it protected.”

If built, Highway 413 would add more than 17 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, pave over 400 acres of Greenbelt and 2,000 acres of prime farmland, and affect 29 species already at risk. It would do all this at a cost of at least $8 billion and save drivers just 30 to 60 seconds per trip, according to an expert panel.

“Our Greenbelt — which is the world’s largest — isn’t just beautiful; it serves so many important purposes,” Forman said. “It’s home to Indigenous Peoples, prime farmland and species at risk. If we destroy the Greenbelt, we destroy our own future, and people in Canada understand that. That’s why our petition is blowing up.”

The Foundation recently launched the first advertising campaign on public transit aimed at stopping the highway. The campaign asks what else the $8 billion cost of building the highway could be spent on.

“This petition shows that people in Ontario want better,” said Divya Arora, community engagement organizer with the Foundation. “To give them that, we need to modernize the movement of people in fast-growing areas, or else we will continue running into the same congestion problems again and again every decade. Highway 413 is not a sustainable solution.”

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For more information or a media interview, please contact:

Stefanie Carmichael:, 437-221-4692

The David Suzuki Foundation ( | @DavidSuzukiFdn) is a leading Canadian environmental non-profit organization, founded in 1990. We operate in English and French, with offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. We collaborate with all people in Canada, including First Nations leadership and communities, governments, businesses and individuals to find solutions to create a sustainable Canada through scientific research, traditional ecological knowledge, communications and public engagement, and innovative policy and legal solutions. Our mission is to protect nature’s diversity and the well-being of all life, now and for the future.