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CN Milton Logistics Hub Project

Breadcrumbs
 
The Halton Municipalities continue to take action to ensure the health and safety of residents is a key consideration of the proposed CN truck-rail facility in the Town of Milton.

Court proceedings

The Halton Municipalities continue to take action and protect human health.

Application for a Federal Judicial Review in the Federal Court

Intent

Seek to overturn the decision by the Federal Government to approve CN’s project on the grounds that Cabinet was not given key information about the impacts of CN’s proposed project on human health.

Decision released

The concerns of Halton have been heard: the Federal Court has decided the federal government’s approval of CN’s truck-rail hub in Milton was flawed & unreasonable (external link). The project cannot now proceed without going back to the federal government for reconsideration. The Court found that the decisions of the federal Minister and Cabinet failed to fulfill their duty to protect human health.

CN and the Federal Government have appealed this decision

This hearing is scheduled for July 25, 2024. The hearing will be streamed and any member of the public can watch. Register now – select hearing A-121-24 and follow the instructions(external link).

Federal Court of Appeal permits CN to proceed with construction pending appeal

On the Federal Court of Appeal granted CN’s stay request allowing them to continue construction as they await the outcome of their appeal of the Federal Court’s decision regarding Federal government approval of the project. As construction resumes on the site, the Halton Municipalities will continue to take action to ensure health is a priority.

Appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal (appeal of the Superior Court of Justice in the constitutional matter)

Intent

This appeal will provide a determination about the applicability of provincial and municipal rules to CN’s project.

Decision released

The Ontario Court of Appeal decided on the constitutional matter between the Halton Municipalities and CN (external link).

While the Ontario Court of Appeal did not allow Halton’s appeal, questions remain about the scope and applicability of provincial and municipal laws and by-laws. The Court reinforced that CN is not exempt from provincial and municipal laws and by-laws, but that Halton’s laws should not interfere with their exclusive jurisdiction, like location, construction and operation of the proposed CN truck-rail facility.

Application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada

On July 11, the Supreme Court of Canada decided not to grant the Halton Municipalities leave to appeal the Ontario Court of Appeal's decision (external link). This is an issue of national importance. An appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada intended to seek clarity on the issue of exclusive jurisdiction and the role of all municipalities in protecting the health of Canadians.

Appeal to Federal Court of Appeal (appeal of the Canadian Transportation Agency approval)

Intent

Successful appeal would require the Canadian Transportation Agency to review the application again.

Status

Hearing held . Waiting for decision.


Health Matters More - Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

In 2020, a Federal Review Panel released its report (external link) on the proposed project. It determined that CN’s project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects on air quality and human health. The Panel found that the changes to air quality will include increase in three “no threshold” pollutants – these pollutants are unsafe at any level. The project will release particulate matter (PM2.5) that is dangerous and unsafe at any level of exposure.

Construction and operation will cause levels of pollutants like benzene, benzo(a)pyrene, particulate matter of 10 microns or less (PM10) and particulate matter of 2.5 microns or less (PM2.5) to exceed significantly applicable air quality standards.

  • Benzene will exceed air quality standards by 178%
  • Benzo(a)pyrene will exceed standards by 2,600% and
  • PM10 will exceed by 112%.

What’s most alarming? There are no measures that can be taken to prevent these effects on air quality and human health from occurring. About 34,000 people living within 1km of the proposed site are at risk. This includes children today and in the future. This just doesn’t make sense.

The Panel concluded that the health effects associated with these pollutants include premature mortality, as well as acute and long-term respiratory and cardiovascular illness and disease. They also determined that the damage to human health and safety caused by the emissions from the truck-rail hub is “likely to be permanent and irreversible”.

This is the first project in Canadian history that has been approved despite the confirmed significant health risks it poses to the people, families and businesses located right next to it. It just doesn’t make sense. The choice is clear. Health matters more.

A truck-rail hub is an intermodal site to transfer containers between trucks and railcars and the movement of goods. CN is proposing to build a new truck-rail hub in Milton. It will be a huge train station with constant activity from diesel-powered trains, tractor-trailers, massive cranes and other loading equipment that is used to transfer shipping containers directly to trucks for local transport to customers in and around the Greater Toronto Area. More than 60 diesel-powered tractor trailers will enter and exit the planned facility each hour, 24 hours per day to service container volume. There is no safe level, or thresholds for diesel emissions into the air. These emissions are hazardous to human health at any level.

CN is proposing to develop 400 acres of a 1200-acre land parcel with undisclosed plans for the remaining 800 acres. The proposed project includes a new mainline rail, which will double the existing track line and add over 20 km of new rail yard track, and amount to over 1,600 truck trips per day.

CN plans to operate the facility 24 hours a day, seven days a week only 1 KM away from approximately 34,000 people, 12 schools, two long-term care homes, and a hospital.

No. This is about human health risks that are being ignored. Putting a truck-rail hub that is highly pollutant next to 34,000 people just doesn’t make sense.

This should be no different for a site located in Halton region or other future planned sites across Canada. This type of project should not be approved next to a resident area, in the Halton community, or in any other community. This fight is for all municipalities and all Canadians.

We want to grow the economy, support a strong supply chain, and keep people healthy. There are other options. The proper location for CN’s proposed truck-rail hub is in an area separated from where people live, work, and play.

The Halton Municipalities are not opposed to truck-rail hubs or the proposed hub in Milton. The Halton Municipalities support economic growth, the movement of goods, and a strong supply chain.

We are opposed to the specific proposed location in Milton due to the significant adverse effects it will have on the 34,000 people living within 1km of the site. The proposed location is right next to current and planned neighbourhoods, schools, long-term care homes, and a hospital, putting the health of thousands of people at risk. It just doesn’t make sense.

We are asking the Federal Government, including Members of Parliament and Cabinet Ministers to make health the priority.

We are asking them to say no to harming human health, say no to putting the community at risk, and say no to the proposed unsafe intermodal location.

You can still make their voice heard. Contact your local MP, MPP, the Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change (external link), the Federal Minister of Transport (external link) and the Provincial Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks (external link) to share your concerns about the proposed CN truck-rail hub in Milton and tell them what matters more.

Let them know that no project is worth risking the health of tens of thousands of Canadian citizens.


The concerns of the Halton Municipalities

The Federal Review Panel reached the unprecedented conclusion that the project is likely to cause significant effects on human health that cannot be mitigated.

There are impacts to all Halton Municipalities (City of Burlington, Town of Halton Hills, Town of Milton, and Town of Oakville). Since the project was proposed in , we have been working together to ensure community interests and the planned visions for the community are heard. Our concerns are summarized below:

Health and safety

Noise, air pollution and lighting could impact community health and safety.

  • CN truck-rail hub proposed to operate 24/7
  • Significant harm to air quality and human health for the 34,000 + who will ultimately live within 1km of this site
  • Health effects caused by this project are unavoidable
  • Project will release particulate matter (PM2.5) that is inherently dangerous and unsafe at any level of exposure

Traffic congestion

Outdoor 24/7 operations will increase traffic congestion and noise.

  • Potential 1,600 truck trips every day to and from the facility by heavy-duty container trucks
  • Threatens safety of motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and families in surrounding communities
  • Increases Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Growth and community vision

Impacts planned vision for quality of life, growth, employment, and economic prosperity.

  • Incompatible with the Halton-Milton vision for the future of southwest Milton
  • CN owns over 1,200 acres at the proposed site and the facility will accommodate 400 acres. CN has not disclosed plans for the remaining 800 acres.
  • Incompatible with the protection of the Regional Natural Heritage System
  • These lands are subject to Regional servicing impacts and Regional phasing that schedules new development to begin between
  • Regional servicing is not presently available to the site. The extension of servicing is not scheduled until some time after (in accordance with Sustainable Halton Water and Wastewater Master Plans).

Employment

CN’s project will cause permanent harm to anticipated employment, investment, and municipal finances.

  • 1500 jobs planned for these lands – CN proposal falls very short of the target with only 130 jobs
  • Rail hubs highly automated resulting in few jobs compared to the land they take up
  • Lands west of the rail lines are designated for future employment

Environment

Community effort to protect the environment will be impacted by the effect of emissions, storm water discharge, water takings and watercourse alterations.

  • Significant negative impact on local air quality
  • Harm to natural wildlife and habitat
  • Will permanently remove 147 acres of agricultural land
  • Threatens environmentally sensitive lands in provincially designated Greenbelt lands

Municipal finances

CN’s project will cause permanent harm to anticipated employment, investment, and municipal finances.

  • CN’s position - it is exempt from all municipal taxes to pay for infrastructure and emergency services
  • Milton and the Region disagree
  • Annual tax shortfall of approximately $7 million

Key information

The Halton Municipalities recognize that the rail aspects of the truck-rail hub are matters of federal jurisdiction. Yet, this project is about more than rail lines – it includes significant non-rail aspects, and the potential effects of these on multiple areas of provincial and municipal government jurisdiction. Most of these areas of provincial and municipal government interest are not covered in any way by federal government oversight.

If CN’s position were accepted, it would lead to a regulatory gap. The consequence of this gap is that CN, a for-profit company, would be self-regulating in areas that should be regulated by the Province and the Municipalities.

CN rail’s position:

The truck-rail hub is a matter of exclusive federal jurisdiction, and neither the Province nor the Halton Municipalities have any regulatory role with respect to the project, whatsoever.

Halton Municipalities believe:

The significant non-rail aspects of this project are of provincial and municipal government interest. We reject CN’s view that Halton Municipalities have no regulatory role with respect to this project.

  • March 1, 2024 – Federal Court rules against Federal Cabinet approval of CN truck-rail hub
  • September 9, 2022 – Halton Municipalities Appeal Ontario Court Decision on CN intermodal
  • August 12, 2022 – Ontario Court Decision on CN Intermodal
  • April 15, 2021 – Halton Municipalities are going to court in Ontario to demand CN compliance with laws
  • February 19, 2021 - Halton Regional Council to fight federal approval of the CN truck-rail hub in Milton
  • January 21, 2021 - Federal Cabinet’s Approval of CN Truck-Rail Hub Puts Halton Residents at Risk
  • December 21, 2020 - Federal Cabinet decision on CN Truck-Rail Hub delayed a second time
  • March 10, 2020 - Halton Municipalities in Ottawa to voice concerns and request the Federal Government refuse approval of CN’s proposed truck-rail hub in Milton
  • February 13, 2020 - Regional Council unanimously endorses resolution demanding that the Federal Government refuse approval of proposed CN Milton Logistics Hub
  • On May 2, 2024 the Federal Court of Appeal granted CN’s stay request allowing them to continue construction as they await the outcome of their appeal of the Federal Court’s decision from March 1.
    • With respect to the recent decision to allow CN to resume construction, we are disappointed that the health of Milton and Halton residents was not made a priority.
    • The significant and unmitigated effects the proposed site will have on human health cannot be ignored. The court hearing on the appeal is June 18, 2024.
  • In July 2023 CN began constructing a grade separation (road under rail) in July 2023. To construct the new crossing, CN posted signage on June 26, 2023 that it intends to close Lower Base Line for approximately two years (PDF file).
  • CN has no approvals from the Town of Milton to alter a Town road allowance or close this local road. CN is proceeding without complying with any Town laws or approvals that would apply to all corporations developing in the Town.
  • The Halton Municipalities remain very concerned with CN’s project.
  • Halton Region, the Town of Milton and Halton Municipalities continue with legal proceedings that challenge CN’s authority to proceed with this project and seek clarity on Milton’s rights to apply its by-laws to CN.
  • The law is very complicated. It involves many levels of government.
  • CN takes the view that it is totally exempt from any local government or provincial approvals for undertaking this work.
  • The Halton Municipalities disagree. The court is where this will be decided.

This information last updated May 2024.



How to share your concerns and get involved!

You are encouraged to contact your MP, MPP, and the Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change as well as the Provincial Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks to let them know your concerns about the proposed CN truck-rail hub in Milton.

Voice your concerns to:

Adam van Koverden, MP Milton
The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Federal Minister of Environment & Climate Change
The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Transport
The Honourable Andrea Khanjin, Provincial Minister of Environment, Conservation & Parks

Taking action – Timeline

2024

The Halton Municipalities continued with three legal proceedings in 2023 related to the proposed CN Intermodal Hub

2023

  • The Ontario Court of Appeal (external link) approved the application for Intervener status by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (external link) in the above noted constitutional matter scheduled to be heard by the Court on November 20 and 21, 2023. FCM brings a broad municipal perspective and will provide the Court with a national lens on the interpretation of and the application of municipal by-laws to CNs projects (and projects of other similar entities).

    The Court also granted Intervener status to the Railway Association of Canada and both the Attorney General for Canada and for Ontario have exercised their rights to intervene in this matter as well.

  • We filed an appeal to the Canadian Transportation Agency’s (CTA) on their decision to approve CN’s application for railway lines as part of its proposed project. The hearing was held on June 7, 2023 and we await the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision. A successful appeal would likely require the CTA to review the application again.

  • We filed an appeal of a decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which, if successful, would result in an order confirming CN will have to follow all applicable provincial and municipal rules. The appeal was scheduled to be heard in the Ontario Court of Appeal on November 20 and 21, 2023.

  • We filed an application for a Federal Judicial Review that seeks to overturn the decision by the Federal Minister and Cabinet to approve CN’s project on the grounds that Cabinet was not given key information about the impacts of CN’s proposed project on human health. The application was scheduled to be heard December 11-13, 2023.

2022

  • The Ontario Superior Court of Justice released its decision in a case between the Halton Municipalities and Conservation Halton (the “Halton Municipalities”) and CN related to CN’s proposed Intermodal facility in Milton.

  • The Halton Municipalities and Conservation Halton (the “Halton Municipalities”) filed an appeal of the August 10, 2022, decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in a case between the Halton Municipalities and CN related to CN’s proposed truck-rail hub in Milton.

2021

  • The Canadian Transportation Agency released its decision to approve CN’s application for railway line approval.

  • On April 15, 2021, the Halton Municipalities and Conservation Halton resumed their 2018 Ontario court case against the proposed Milton CN truck-rail hub to ensure CN complies with laws that protect the health of residents and the environment.

  • On February 19, 2021, Halton Region commenced litigation in the Federal Court of Canada to review the decisions by the Federal Minister and Cabinet to approve the CN Project. Halton is taking this step to protect the health and well-being of its residents.

  • On January 21, 2020, the federal government approved CN’s proposed truck-rail hub in Milton, putting the health and safety of Halton residents at risk. The Halton Municipalities will review the decision and will continue to be the community’s voice on this important issue. For more information the decision, please read the latest media release from Halton Region.

  • On January 13, 2021, the Halton Municipalities sent a letter (PDF file) to the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change urging Federal Cabinet to include a recent ruling in the UK in their assessment of CN’s proposed truck-rail hub and not approve this project.

2020

  • On December 21, the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (external link) (IAAC) posted a notice on its website, indicating that the Governor in Council has extended the time limit for a decision on CN’s proposal for a truck-rail hub in Milton by 30 days. For more information, please read the latest media release from Halton Region.

  • Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr sent a letter to The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change regarding the delay in the decision to late December.

  • On September 21, 2020, the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (external link) posted a notice on its website indicating that the Governor in Council, under subsection 54 (4) of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, has extended the time limit for the issuance of the Decision Statement for the proposed Milton Logistics Hub Project by 90 days to late December.

  • The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada’s public comment period on the potential environmental assessment conditions for the proposed Milton Logistics Hub Project closed on August 21, 2020.

  • Halton Region CAO Jane MacCaskill forwards correspondence and appendices) to David McGovern, President, Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC) responding to the July 2, 2020 request for public comments on the potential conditions released by the IAAC in relation to the Proposed CN Milton Logistics Hub. It reiterates the position of the Halton Municipalities that this project should not be approved.

  • The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (the Agency) is holding a public comment period as part of the environmental assessment process for the proposed Milton Logistics Hub Project, located in Milton, Ontario. Written comments in either official language will be accepted until August 21, 2020. To learn more, see the Current Project Status.

  • Extension of Time Limit for Issuance of Decision Statement: The Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, under subsection 54(3) of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, has extended the time limit for the issuance of the Decision Statement for the proposed Milton Logistics Hub project by 90 days to recognize the extenuating circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts to communities, businesses, and stakeholders.

  • Halton Municipalities met with Federal Government officials in Ottawa including Minister Garneau to ask Federal Cabinet to refuse approval of CN’s proposal. The Mayors spoke at a media conference in Ottawa alongside Milton MP Adam van Koeverden, to show a collective and strong voice on this issue.

  • On February 12, Regional Council endorsed a resolution that calls on the Federal government to refuse CN's proposal based on the report findings from the Federal Review Panel.

  • On January 27, 2020, the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada released the report by the federal Review Panel on CN’s proposed truck-rail hub in Milton.

2019

  • Public Hearing ended.

  • Public Hearing began.

  • The updated schedule of presentations for the Public Hearing for the proposed Milton Logistics Hub Project (the Project) is now available. The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 19, 2019, in Milton, Ontario.

    The schedule is posted to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry.

    The hearing will take place over a one-month period with all sessions taking place at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites at 2750 High Point Drive in Milton. If during the hearing there are changes made to the schedule, participants will be notified of the updated schedule.

    The Review Panel established for the joint process for the review of the proposed Milton Logistics Hub Project will be present at each of the hearing sessions to listen to presentations and to ask questions. The public hearing is designed to gather additional information on all topics related to the proposed construction and operation of a logistics hub, designed to transfer containers between trucks and railcars. The proposed project would be located in Milton, Ontario on 400-acres of land owned by Canadian National Railway, and would include a railway yard with more than 20 km of track.

    The public hearing is open to anyone wishing to observe in person or via live Webcast. Media are also invited to observe and do not need to register in advance.

    For more information on the joint process for the review of the project, visit the public registry, reference number 80100. Questions about the public hearing or the joint process for the Project can be directed to the Milton Logistics Hub Secretariat. To receive project updates and be added to the email distribution list (or removed), please contact the Secretariat at 613-699-6778.

  • The Halton Municipalities’ submission for the Public Hearing for the proposed Milton Logistics Hub Project is now available on the Canada Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) website.

  • The schedule of presentations for the Public Hearing for the proposed Milton Logistics Hub Project (the Project) is now available.

    The public hearing will take place over approximately a one-month period, and will begin on June 19, 2019 at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites at 2750 High Point Drive in Milton. Please see the following link for the full notice of the hearing.

    For more information on the joint process for the review of the project, visit the public registry, reference number 80100.

  • The Review Panel for the proposed Milton Logistics Hub Project has announced that the public hearing will begin with a general session in Milton, Ontario on June 19, 2019. Members of the public, Indigenous groups, governments, and other organisations are invited to participate in this next stage of the joint process for the review of the project.

    The public hearing will take place over approximately a one-month period, and will begin on June 19, 2019 at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites at 2750 High Point Drive in Milton.

    The Panel will conduct the hearing in accordance with its Public Hearing Procedures. For all hearing sessions, the Panel requires persons who wish to make a presentation or ask questions at the hearing to register by May 10, 2019 using the registration form. Pre-registration is necessary so that the Panel can plan the hearing effectively.

    For more information on the joint process for the review of the project, visit the public registry, reference number 80100.

  • As required in its Terms of Reference (CEAR #391), the Review Panel established for the joint process for the review of the proposed Milton Logistics Hub Project (the Review Panel), having read and considered the information on its record, has concluded that the environmental impact statement (EIS) and additional supplemental information provided by the Canadian National Railway Company (CN) contain sufficient information to proceed to the public hearing stage of its review. The Review Panel encourages all interested parties to participate in the public hearing.

    For more information on the joint process for the review of the project, visit the public registry, reference number 80100.

  • The Review Panel established for the joint process for the review of the Milton Logistics Hub Project has received additional information from the Canadian National Railway Company (CN) in response to the final portion of its Information Request package 8 (Group 4). Responses to all information requests for the second round have now been provided.

    The Review Panel announced today that the comments on the responses prepared by the proponent to information request packages 6 to 8 are due on April 9, 2019.

    For more information on the joint process for the review of the project, visit the public registry, reference number 80100.

  • The Review Panel established for the joint process for the review of the Milton Logistics Hub Project has received additional information from the Canadian National Railway Company (CN) in response to information request package 8 (group 3). The additional information can be accessed on the public registry at document #722.

    The Review Panel continues to seek comments on CN’s responses to the Review Panel's information requests. The public, Indigenous groups, governments and other participants are invited to submit comments in writing on whether the information submitted by the proponent is sufficient to proceed to the public hearing, or whether the proponent should provide additional information.

    For more information on the joint process for the review of the project, visit the public registry, reference number 80100.

  • The Review Panel established for the joint process for the review of the Milton Logistics Hub Project has received additional information from the Canadian National Railway Company (CN) in response to package 6 and a portion of its information request package 8 (group 2). The additional information can be accessed on the public registry at document #714.

    The Review Panel continues to seek comments on CN’s responses to the Review Panel's information requests. The public, Indigenous groups, governments and other participants are invited to submit comments in writing on whether the information submitted by the proponent is sufficient to proceed to the public hearing, or whether the proponent should provide additional information.

    For more information on the joint process for the review of the project, visit the public registry, reference number 80100.

2018

  • The Review Panel established for the joint process for the review of the Milton Logistics Hub Project has received additional information from the Canadian National Railway Company (CN) in response to a portion of its information request package 8. The additional information can be accessed on the public registry at document #705.

    The Review Panel continues to seek comments on CN’s responses to the Review Panel's information requests. The public, Indigenous groups, governments and other participants are invited to submit comments in writing on whether the information submitted by the proponent is sufficient to proceed to the public hearing, or whether the proponent should provide additional information.

  • The Review Panel established for the joint process for the review of the Milton Logistics Hub Project has requested additional information from CN. Package 8 requests referenced documents and information on air quality, human health, truck traffic, light, noise and vibration, socio-economic matters and wildlife. It can be accessed on the public registry, document #685.

    The Review Panel continues to seek comments on CN’s responses to the Review Panel's information requests. The public, Indigenous groups, governments and other participants are invited to submit comments in writing on whether the information submitted by the proponent is sufficient to proceed to the public hearing, or whether the proponent should provide additional information. Participants are encouraged to review additional information as it becomes available and provide their comments to the Review Panel as soon as possible. Upon receipt of CN's final response to the second round of information requests, the Review Panel will provide at least 14 days' notice for participants to submit any final comments.

  • The Review Panel established for the joint process for the review of the Milton Logistics Hub Project has received additional information from the Canadian National Railway Company (CN) in response to the final portion of its Information Request package 4.1 (Group 3). Responses to all information requests for the first round have now been provided.

    The Review Panel announced today that the comments on the responses prepared by the proponent to Information Request packages 1 to 5 are due on July 16, 2018.

    The Review Panel has also issued a process update to describe the current status and next steps in the joint process for the review of the Project.

  • The Review Panel established for the joint process for the review of the Milton Logistics Hub Project has received additional information from the Canadian National Railway Company (CN) in response to a portion of its information request package 4.2. CN provided responses to information requests on noise and vibration. The additional information can be accessed on the public registry, document #652. Responses to the remaining information requests will be submitted at a later date.

    The Review Panel continues to seek comments on CN’s responses to the Review Panel's information requests. The public, Indigenous groups, governments and other participants are invited to submit comments in writing on whether the information submitted by the proponent is sufficient to proceed to the public hearing, or whether the proponent should provide additional information.

  • On May 23, 2018 an update was provided to Regional Council indicating that CN has filed a preliminary motion to dismiss or stay the Ontario court application by the Halton Municipalities and Conservation Halton (`Halton`) on the basis that it is premature unless and until there is a federal decision on CN`s proposed intermodal development. The CN preliminary motion must be heard before the Halton application can move forward. The CN motion is scheduled for September 12, 2018. The Provincial Government, through the Ministry of the Attorney General’s office, is intervening in support of the Halton application.

  • The Review Panel established for the joint process for the review of the Milton Logistics Hub Project has received additional information from CN rail in response to a portion of its information request package 4.1. CN provided responses to information requests related to general information, human health, physical and cultural heritage, indigenous matters, fish and fish habitat and wildlife including migratory birds. The additional information can be accessed on the public registry, document #632. Responses to the remaining information requests will be submitted at a later date.

    The Review Panel continues to seek comments on CN’s responses to the Review Panel's information requests. The public, Indigenous groups, governments and other participants are invited to submit comments in writing on whether the information submitted by the proponent is sufficient to proceed to the public hearing, or whether the proponent should provide additional information.

  • The Halton Municipalities initiated a joint Court application to confirm their jurisdiction to review the impacts of the proposed CN Truck-Rail Hub in Milton.

  • The Review Panel established for the joint process for the review of the Milton Logistics Hub Project has received additional information from the Canadian National Railway Company (CN) in response to its information request package 3. The additional information can be accessed on the public registry, document #613.

    The Review Panel continues to seek comments on CN’s responses to the Review Panel's information requests. The public, Indigenous groups, governments and other participants are invited to submit comments in

    writing on whether the information submitted by the proponent is sufficient to proceed to the public hearing, or whether the proponent should provide additional information.

     

    The Review Panel continues to seek comments on the draft Public Hearing Procedures.

  • The Review Panel conducting the joint process to review the proposed Milton Logistics Hub Project has issued a public notice seeking comments on the draft Public Hearing Procedures.

  •  

2017

2016

  • The Review Panel for the proposed Milton Logistics Hub Project sought public comments on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and additional information prepared by the Canadian National Railway Company. The Review Panel indicated it would consider all submissions received in making its determination on whether further information is required from the proponent. Written comments were to be sent by March 6, 2017 to:

    Joseph Ronzio, Panel Manager, Milton Logistics Hub Project
    c/o Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
    160 Elgin Street, 22nd Floor, Ottawa ON K1A 0H3

    A resource document to assist participants in the preparation of submissions regarding the sufficiency review, the Environmental Impact Statement and additional information, were made available on the public registry at ceaa.gc.ca, reference number 80100.

  • The Halton Municipalities issued a Brief providing information on existing land use standards that are relevant to the CN Project and its environmental effects.  The Brief includes a description of the Halton and Ontario land use planning regimes, and explains their relationship to the CEAA framework.  It also describes municipal land use standards that are relevant to assessing “significant adverse environmental effects” (SAEEs) under the CEAA.
    The Halton Municipalities Brief consists of four documents:

    Brief: Municipal land use standards relevant to assessing the Project for SAEEs; (PDF file)

    Appendix A: Visuals (describing the Project and zones of various possible effects); (PDF file)

    Appendix B: Legal and technical support for all standards identified in the Brief; (PDF file) and

    Appendix C: Glossary of technical terms and definitions used in the Brief. (PDF file)

  • The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Dr. Scott Streiner, Chair of the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) announced the establishment of a three-member panel to review the proposed Milton Logistics Hub Project in Milton. The Agreement to Establish a Joint Process for the Review of the Milton Logistics Hub Project, signed by the Minister and the Chair of the CTA, established the mandate and authority of this panel, as well as the procedures and timelines for the conduct of the review. Under the Agreement, the panel is to conduct an assessment of the environmental effects of the project; consider Aboriginal traditional knowledge, comments received from the public and mitigation measures and conclude whether the project is likely to cause significant adverse effects; and identify any follow-up programs required. Information will be gathered to assist the CTA in its assessment of the reasonableness of the location of the new railway lines, including with respect to the requirements for the railway operations and the interests of the localities that could be affected by the lines.

  • Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency responded to CN on Conformity Review of Environmental Impact Statement and additional information.

  • The Canadian Transportation Agency responded to Halton Municipalities’ November 14 letter.

  • Halton Municipalities wrote to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and the Chair of the Canadian Transportation agency to express concerns with joint process being established by the Draft Review Panel Agreement.

  • The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and the Canadian Transportation Agency invited the public to attend information sessions on the joint process being established for the proposed Milton Logistics Hub Project. The information sessions gave members of the public and Indigenous groups an opportunity to learn about the review panel process and the upcoming public participation opportunities, as well as to ask questions of federal representatives. 

  • Federal Minister of the Environment responds to Halton Municipalities’ July 11 letter.

  • Deadline for members of the public and interested stakeholders to submit written comments on the draft Agreement (external link) to establish a Review Panel for the proposed project.

  • A letter by Gowling WLG, on behalf of Halton Municipalities’ and their comments on the Draft Agreement To Establish a Joint Process for the Review of the Milton Logistics Hub Project under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (“CEAA”), was sent to The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.

  • The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) and the Canadian Transportation Agency invited the public to comment on the draft Agreement to establish a Review Panel for the proposed Milton Logistics Hub project. Once final, the Agreement would establish the mandate and authority of the Review Panel, as well as the procedures and timelines for the conduct of the review under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 and the Canada Transportation Act. Members of the public and interested stakeholders were invited to submit written comments on the draft Agreement by July 11, 2016.

  • The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) provided information requirements to Canadian National Railway Company (CN) with respect to additional information required in the CN Environmental Impact Statement for the Milton Logistics Hub Project in order to fulfill the requirements of the CEAA guidelines. The document can be found here. For more information on the environmental assessment, visit the Agency’s website (registry reference number 80100).

  • Federal Minister of the Environment responded to the Halton Municipalities’ November 4 letter.

2015

  • An Environmental Impact Statement was submitted by CN to CEAA.

  • Halton Region contacted the newly-appointed Federal Minister of the Environment regarding the composition of Review Panel.

  • The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency announced that funding was available through its Participant Funding Program to assist eligible individuals and groups to participate in the Environmental Assessment of the CN project. Applications for this funding were to be received by September 8, 2015.

  • The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency issued the final Environmental Impact Statement Guidelines (external link) to the proponent on July 20, 2015 for the preparation of an environmental impact statement.

  • The Minister of the Environment, the Honourable Leona Aqlukkaq ordered a panel review of this project which must be established by December 17, 2015 .

  • Halton Municipalities sent a letter (PDF file) to the Minister of the Environment reiterating the need for a joint three-member panel to review the CN proposal under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. It recommended that the composition of the panel include an expert in Ontario urban planning, an expert in railway safety and an expert in biophysical effects.

  • Halton Municipalities responded to CN’s letter.

  • Last day for receipt of comments, by the CEAA, on the draft Environmental Assessment guidelines related to the potential environmental impacts of the project. On close of the comments period, the CEAA triggered the Environmental Assessment.

  • Federal Minister of Environment responds to the Halton Municipalities’ June 19 letter.

  • Halton Municipalities submitted comments to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency on the draft Environmental Impact Statement Guidelines.

  • Halton Municipalities sent a letter to the Minister of the Environment requesting the need for a panel review of the CN Logistics Hub project by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

  • CN sent a letter to the CEAA rejecting the proposition that there is any duty to consult the Region and the Town as part of the environmental approvals process.

  • Halton Region contacted the Federal Minister of the Environment to request a panel review under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

  • CEAA responded to Halton Municipalities’ section 18 jurisdiction letter.

  • Halton Region, the City of Burlington and the Towns of Milton, Oakville and Halton Hills jointly submitted a third response (PDF file) to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA). This response identified that Halton Region and the Town of Milton are each a “jurisdiction” under section 18 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 meaning that both the Town and the Region must be consulted with as part of the environmental assessment for the CN project.

  • CN made a presentation to Halton Regional Council.

  • CEAA released Draft Guidelines for the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement. It set a deadline of June 21, 2015 for receipt of public comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement Guidelines through an online news release. The CEAA issued its notice of decision requiring the proposed CN Logistics Hub to undertake a federal environmental assessment process under the Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.

  • The Canadian Transportation Agency ordered CN to obtain federal approval under the Canadian Transportation Act to construct railway lines as part of the proposed Milton Logistics Hub.

  • The CEAA 45 day public consultation period closed.  Halton Municipalities request that the CEA Agency consider all matters within federal jurisdiction.

  • A letter was sent by Gowlings on behalf of the Halton Municipalities to the CEAA identifying the range of proposed CN physical activities, the required federal approvals, the environmental effects on matters of federal concern, and further questions on the basis for the CN claim to exemption from the CTA rail line approval process.

  • Interim Control By-law was passed by Town of Milton to regulate employment planning across the southern part the Town. It set out in a Schedule that includes the CN lands, but excludes "railway and related transportation works proposed by CN that are addressed and approved by federal law and regulation”.

  • A letter was sent by Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP (Gowlings) on behalf of all Halton Municipalities to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) expressing concern with gaps in the CN project description summary and report on the federal approvals required by CN, the failure to demonstrate exemption from the Canadian Transportation Agency rail line approval process, and the related failure to Identify all environmental effects on matters of federal concern.

  • The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency started a 45-day screening process to determine if the proposed project has the potential to cause significant environmental effects.

  • CEA Agency invited public comments for Milton Logistics Hub Project summary project description through an online news release.

  • CN made a formal announcement of the proposed Milton Logistics Hub and submitted a Project Description to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

  • A letter from Halton Region and Town of Milton advised CN that the Town and Region consider the project to be subject to many Ontario and municipal laws, including the land use controls of the Ontario Planning Act.

  • CN shared their intent with Halton Regional Council to build the proposed Milton Logistics Hub.

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