Federal government decides the CN Milton Logistics hub needs to benefit from the eyes of an independent panel

News 100 blueBy Staff

July 21, 2015


The signs on the side of the roads told part of the story – not in our part of town. A lot of people in the Region did not want to see CN Rails Logistics Hub built in Milton.

On July 20th, the federal Minister of the Environment, the Honourable Leona Aqlukkaq, ordered that a panel review of CN’s proposed Milton Logistics Hub project be undertaken. The Halton Municipalities (the Town of Milton, the Town of Oakville, the Town of Halton Hills, the City of Burlington and Halton Region) are pleased to learn that the Minister has referred this project to a panel.

Milton No to hub sign

Protesters make their opinion known – they don’t want to the  truck part of the train-truck transfer hub on their roads.

In accordance with federal environmental assessment legislation, a panel is composed of independent experts who review an environmental assessment, convene public hearings and make conclusions and recommendations on whether or not a project should proceed and if so, under what conditions.
Previously, the Halton Municipalities had written to the Minister and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency expressing their joint interest in ensuring that there is federal-municipal cooperation in carrying out a full review of this rail-truck intermodal facility.

The Minister’s announcement also expanded the scope of Environmental Impact Statement Guidelines to be issued by Canada for the project. These changes respond to several concerns raised by the Halton Municipalities in recent letters to the Minister and Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. In particular, the Minister expanded these information requirements to expressly include:

municipal land use, including present and approved land uses;
human safety in relation to motor vehicle safety and pedestrian/bicycle safety; and
human health, including potential changes in air quality, drinking water quality and noise exposure in the Project vicinity.

The Minister has also set timelines for the environmental assessment. The review panel is to be established within 150 days, (December 17th, 2015). The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency will be asking for comments from the public on the Terms of Reference for the establishment of the review panel, details of which will be announced at a later date.

The presentation CN Rail made to Burlington’s city council left a lot of questions unanswered.

Milton CN logistics hub

Site rendering of a proposed Logistics Hub in Milton. Too many unanswered questions for the Region’s municipalities.

Councillors did not like the noise abatement plans they saw; there was one part of Milton that was far to close to the yards where the transfers from train to truck were to take place.

Another major concern was just which routes the trucks were going to take once they were out of the yard – no one had answers to that question.  Councillors could see trucks using Regional roads that were not intended for large volumes of traffic.  “Once a truck leaves that yard. we have no idea what route it is going to take” said Councillor. “They are on the clock and they will take whichever route cuts down on their travel time”, he added

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1 comment to Federal government decides the CN Milton Logistics hub needs to benefit from the eyes of an independent panel

  • JQ Public

    Pleased to see the Feds getting involved here through the environmental lens, especially for the specific concerns mandated to be addressed by the Environment Minister.

    Unfortunately our Transport Minister feels she’s “lucky” having her hands tied by the Railway Act. Some act; some luck.