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Federal Cabinet Approves CN Truck-Rail Hub in Milton with 325 Conditions; Telling of Negative Health Impacts of Project

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Any project that requires 325 conditions conditions for approval tells you everything you need to know about the negative impacts the CN Truck-Rail Hub will have on the health of Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton, Oakville and Halton residents. We will continue to fight this.

Below is a media release issued by the Region of Halton with input from Halton’s Chair and four Mayors.

The Regional Municipality of Halton
For Immediate Release
January 22, 2021

Halton Region will determine the best path forward to protect Halton residents from significant adverse effects

Halton Region, the Town of Milton, the Town of Oakville, the City of Burlington and the Town of Halton Hills (the “Halton Municipalities”) are extremely disappointed that the Federal Government has approved the proposed CN truck-rail hub in Milton.

“We have heard from members of our community, residents and local leaders about their collective concern regarding this project. It is unconscionable that the Federal Government would approve this project despite findings from its own Federal Review Panel that the project will cause significant adverse effects on human and environmental health. There has never been a decision like this before.” — Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr

“Halton residents deserve an explanation from the Federal Government about the project it has just approved, and the detrimental impact it will have on the health of residents. Throughout this process, residents and elected officials have come together across party lines to voice their concerns. This has been a truly non-partisan effort on behalf of all our elected officials, and our Region has never been more united.” — Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

The significant health effects caused by this project are unavoidable. Even after some form of mitigation, there will still be significant problems. This includes the release of particulate matter (PM2.5) that is inherently dangerous and unsafe at any level of exposure and will create significantly adverse effects on human health in the community.

Unanswered questions remain about the enforcement of conditions proposed by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada. The vast majority of the over 200 mitigation measures proposed by the Agency fall outside federal jurisdiction and cannot be enforced federally.

“How could the Federal Government disregard the concerns of the community and allow a project like this within one kilometer of approximately 34,000 current and future residents, including one hospital, 12 schools and two long-term care homes? There are many unanswered questions that the federal government must address. This is not what residents of Milton deserve.” — Milton Mayor Gordon Krantz

The health and safety of Halton residents has always been the priority of Halton Region and we will continue to be the community’s voice on this important issue.

“It is shocking that the Federal Government has put CN’s convenience over the health of our residents.” — Oakville Mayor Rob Burton

“We thank the community for their engagement throughout this process and for support from our local representatives at the provincial and federal levels. It is for this reason we will continue our opposition to this ill-conceived proposal.” — Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette

The Federal Cabinet announced their decision on Jan. 21, 2021. This is the first time in Canadian history that a Federal Review Panel has determined that a project will have significant adverse effects on human health.

The Halton Municipalities, Halton’s Members of Parliament and Members of Provincial Parliament, community groups and residents been advocating against this project for the past several years due to the impact it will have on our community and the people who live here. The location for the project is within one kilometer of approximately 34,000 current and future residents, one hospital, twelve schools and two long-term care homes, and the facility will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week—resulting in at least 1,600 new trips to and from the facility each day by heavy-duty container trucks.

The significant health effects caused by this project are unavoidable. Even after some form of mitigation, there will still be significant problems impacting human health. This includes the release of particulate matter (PM2.5) that is inherently dangerous and unsafe at any level of exposure and will significantly increase adverse effects on human health in the community. The Federal Review Panel proposed more than 200 mitigation conditions, but only a handful of them are enforceable by the Federal Government.

There are many unanswered questions about what CN plans to do with the remaining 800 acres after it builds its new 400-acre facility. The Halton Municipalities will review the decision and will continue to work with the community and be their voice on this issue.

To learn more about the Halton Municipalities’ position on the project, please visit halton.ca/CN.

To read the Federal Cabinet’s full decision, please click this link: Federal CN Modal Hub Decision – Jan 21 2021.

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A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made. As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington. The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful. Got an idea or comment you want to share privately? Please, get in touch:

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Media Specialist: John Bkila
john.bkila@burlington.ca
905-335-7600