The Halton Municipalities (City of Burlington, Town of Halton Hills, Town of Milton and Town of Oakville) will bring forward expert opinions and reports to a Federal Public Hearing on a 400-acre truck-rail hub proposed by the Canadian National Railway (CN) in the Town of Milton.
The project is currently being assessed by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency Joint Review Panel. The Panel will host a Public Hearing in Milton from June 19 - July 17 to hear community concerns related to CN’s proposal, including environmental effects and how it may affect local residents.
“We have been working closely with our Halton municipal partners to ensure residents’ concerns are heard. This project impacts more than rail lines – it will congest our roads, pose health risks and result in fewer jobs for the community,” said Halton Region Chair Gary Carr. “This is something that every resident and member of this community should be concerned about.”
The Halton Municipalities’ team of internal and external experts have identified significant non-rail aspects of the project that raise concerns for residents and the community. These concerns and expert opinions will be presented to the Panel during the Hearing:
- Traffic congestion: The hub will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and result in 1,600 truck trips to and from the site each day. These truck routes will lead to more traffic on our roads and traffic will continue to increase as the site’s capacity grows. This congestion poses a risk to the safety of motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and families in the area.
- Health and safety: The proposed site is immediately adjacent to existing and future residential areas. Approximately 34,000 current and future residents, twelve schools, two long-term care homes and one hospital are located within one kilometer of the site. The site will generate increased levels of noise, air pollution and lighting, and significantly impact the community’s health and safety.
- Environment: Our community effort to protect the environment will be impacted by the effect of emissions, storm water discharge, water takings and watercourse alterations.
- Employment: The project will result in less serviceable employment lands and potentially fewer jobs for the Halton community. The site and the surrounding area is currently planned for 1,500 jobs and this project will only result in 130 jobs.
Additionally, CN has only revealed its plans for 400 acres on the site; they have not disclosed its plans for the remaining 800 acres. Experts have determined that the operations at this site can be significantly expanded which will further increase the impacts on residents and the community.
“CN is not just asking us to support the current proposal, they’re asking us to have faith about what might come next. All while telling us it is none of our business,” said Milton Mayor Gordon Krantz.
“I have spent several years listening to local groups, stakeholders, and individuals on the topic of the proposed CN intermodal facility in Milton,” said Hon. Lisa Raitt, Member of Parliament for Milton. “I have weighed all the facts for and against this project and have come to the conclusion that this site is not appropriate for this type of operation.”
“I commend the many residents who have voiced their concerns about this project and thank Mayor Krantz and Chair Carr for taking the lead during the Join Review Panel presentations,” said MPP Parm Gill. “As the provincial representative for Milton, I am committed to doing everything I can to ensure those voices continue to be heard as the Joint Review Panel makes their recommendations, and the Federal Government makes their final decision on this project.”
The Halton Municipalities are encouraging residents and the community to get involved by attending the Public Hearing or watching it live, using social media to be part of the conversation or by contacting their MPP or MP to let them know their concerns about the proposed project. Residents can also provide comments on halton.ca/cn and these will be used to update the Panel.
To learn more about the project, potential impacts and what the has been done so far in the assessment process, please visit halton.ca/cn.
The Regional Municipality of Halton serves more than 580,000 residents in the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton, and the Town of Oakville. Halton Region is committed to meeting the needs of its residents through the delivery of cost-effective, quality programs and services, including water and wastewater; Regional roads and planning; paramedic services; waste management; public health; social assistance; children’s and seniors’ services; housing services; emergency management and economic development. For more information, call 311 or visit Halton Region’s website at halton.ca.