Halton mayors urge government to reject CN’s proposed truck-rail hub in Milton


Published December 4, 2020 at 2:48 pm

Halton municipalities have recently banded together to urge the Federal Government to refuse the approval of CN’s proposed truck-rail hub in Milton.

Following a pledge made by the Federal Government during the recent throne speech to “put the health of Canadians first,” a statement released today (Dec. 4) by Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr, Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette, Milton Mayor Gord Krantz and Oakville Mayor Rob Burton, further urged the rejection of the proposed truck-rail hub.

“We strongly support the government’s Speech from the Throne pledging to put the health of Canadians first. We are calling on the federal government to act on that pledge by rejecting CN’s proposed truck-rail hub in Milton,” read the statement.

“Health effects were expressly part of the federal review of this project by an independent and expert panel. For the first time ever, the federal panel concluded its review by finding that this project will have significant adverse effects on human health.”

The statement featured a list of points made to further emphasize the “adverse effects” including exposing Halton residents to PM 2.5, which is “inherently dangerous and unsafe at any level of exposure” and mentioned that there is no way to mitigate the effects that the project would have on human health.

Additionally, the statement pointed out that the local neighbourhood has grown to a community of approximately 34,000 current and future residents, one hospital, twelve schools and two long-term care homes, within 1 km of the proposed site and still greater populations beyond 1 km.

“Now, after decades of local planning for high-density growth, including participation from CN, CN wants to change its plans, claim immunity from municipal and provincial controls, and ignore local concerns by putting this project right beside Milton’s rapidly growing residential communities,” read the statement.

“Even 19th-century laws and courts rejected railway immunity from local controls protecting the environment. This is no way for Canada to work today and is completely inconsistent with the Federal Government’s commitment to ‘build back better.'”

According to the statement, should the Federal Cabinet decide to approve this proposed truck-rail hub, residents will forever be exposed to “significant adverse effects on human health.”

“That is not the future we want for Halton. The Federal Government must put the health and safety of Halton residents first. We strongly urge the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and his Cabinet colleagues to reject this proposal,” concluded the statement.

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