On November 22, 2021, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) released its decision to approve CN’s application for railway line approval as part of CN’s proposed Milton intermodal facility.
“We are extremely disappointed with the CTA’s decision,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “The Federal Government has once again ignored its obligation to protect the health and safety of our residents, and at a time when health is our collective focus.”
While this Federal decision is essential for CN to move forward with the Project in Milton, it fails to address the serious concerns of the Halton Municipalities, Conservation Halton and 34,000 residents living near the CN lands in Milton regarding the Project’s significant adverse environmental effects – impacts confirmed by the Federal Government’s own environmental assessment review panel. There is no urgency to this Project. CN has an existing facility in Brampton that is not at capacity and is not adjacent to tens of thousands of residential homes, one hospital, two long-term care homes and 12 schools.
The Halton Municipalities and Conservation Halton are reviewing their legal options to challenge the CTA’s decision under federal and provincial laws. “I want to assure the residents of Milton that we are pursuing every avenue available us to continue the fight,” said Mayor Gordon Krantz. “We have said since day one that Milton is not the right location for CN’s truck-rail hub, and we will continue to advocate to protect our community and environment."
The Canadian Transportation Agency decision follows the January 21, 2021 decision of the Federal Government to approve CN’s proposal, despite findings from the environmental assessment review panel that the Project will cause significant adverse environmental effects that cannot be mitigated, including on air quality and human health. The panel also found that the Project required extensive mitigation to avoid causing an additional 25 significant effects, including effects on noise, ground and surface water, wetlands, endangered species, cultural heritage, and archaeology.
CN has continually claimed that it is exempt from all municipal and provincial laws, including those dealing with the significant adverse environmental effects requiring extensive mitigation. On April 15, 2021, the Halton Municipalities and Conservation Halton resumed its 2018 Ontario court case to challenge this claim, demanding that CN comply with all laws that protect the health of residents and the environment.
The Ontario court case is the second court action taken this year by the Halton Municipalities. On February 21, the Halton Municipalities and Conservation Halton filed an application with the Federal Court of Canada to review the decisions made by Federal Cabinet and the Minister of Environment and Climate change to approve CN’s project without addressing the serious issues raised by the federal panel.
To learn more about the Halton Municipalities’ position on the project, please visit halton.ca/CN.
The Regional Municipality of Halton serves more than 595,000 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; heritage programs; emergency management and economic development. For more information, call 311 or visit Halton Region’s website at halton.ca.