*Please see below a news release issued by the Region of Halton.
The Regional Municipality of Halton
For Immediate Release
November 25, 2021
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 the CTA’s decision. 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.” — Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr
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. 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.” — Milton Mayor Gordon Krantz
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 twenty-five 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
MAYOR MEED WARD’S TAKE:
We are extremely disappointed by the CTA’s decision to approve CN’s proposed rail lines, while dismissing Halton’s major concerns with the larger project. Halton Regional Council and staff are reviewing any legal options to challenge it under federal and Ontario laws. We can’t see any basis for this project to be approved, particularly when a federal panel review found it is likely to cause significant adverse effects on human health. For questions about the project or the position of Halton municipalities, please call 311 or visit halton.ca/CN
*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist