Mayor writes a letter about what is more of a Milton matter; doesn't copy that Mayor

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 29th, 2020



The Mayor has written another letter to a Member of the Doug Ford Cabinet – this time it was the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson.

The issue is serious enough –about the mobility hub CN Rail wants to build in Milton. If the hub is built it will have a major impact on a Milton community.

Rural Burlington will be impacted – not to the same degree as Milton however.

So why didn’t the letter come from Gord Krantz, Town of Milton Mayor?  He wasn’t even copied in the letter.

For what it’s worth here is what the Mayor of Burlington had to say:

CN site

The proposed facility is contrary to Halton’s planning strategy developed over 20 years ago—planning that is irreversible at this stage.

Dear Hon. Minister Wilkinson,

I am writing to you today to ask for your support in protecting the health of Canadians as it relates to the proposed CN intermodal project in Milton, Ontario.

As part of Halton Region along with Milton, Oakville and Halton Hills, Burlington stands in solidarity against this proposal due to the significant adverse health impact it will have on our communities, our infrastructure and our finances.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) panel found that this project will expose our communities’ residents to harmful toxic substances that are unsafe at any level. The impacts to air quality and human health as a result of CN’s project are unprecedented and put Halton citizens at serious risk. In the more than 100 Panel reviews since 1973, no Panel has made a finding of significant adverse effects on human health – nor has any federal decision maker concluded that significant adverse effects on human health are justified.

If this project were to advance, there are serious risks to the health and safety of some of our most vulnerable residents, given the proximity to 34,000 current and future residents, 12 schools, 2 long-term care homes, and 1 hospital to the proposed CN Milton site.

The mitigation measures recommended by the CEAA panel cannot presently be enforced by federal enforcement officers as most of the measures fall outside of federal jurisdiction. Placing conditions in to mitigate the negative environmental impact is insufficient when there is no clarity around who will be able to enforce those conditions.

Further to our environmental concerns are those related to infrastructure and safety. The surrounding rural roads, including those in Burlington, are not designed for the level of truck traffic that would result if the project moves ahead. A significant increase in truck traffic on our rural roads will also negatively impact farm operations as their vehicles are large and move at slow speeds on already busy roads. More traffic means less viability for our farming operations.

These roads have no shoulders and are rural farming roads, creating a significant safety hazard for the many motorists and avid cyclists who use them. If we are required to enhance the roads, there will be a substantial cost. Such projects are not built into our current infrastructure planning and therefore municipal funding is not earmarked for such an initiative, leaving the alternative of raising taxes – something we are not willing to do especially given the current COVID-19 situation where many people have already lost their jobs and are struggling to make ends meet.

Compounding that financial burden would be the loss in property tax revenue from the residential population growth and jobs that were expected to be placed in the same area. That growth was counted into our long-term financial projections.

As our colleagues at Halton Region have requested, we urge you to prioritize human and environmental health as you complete your review of the CEAA panel’s findings and ensure you uphold the important values and vision for protecting the health of all Canadians and working towards a green recovery as expressed in the Speech from the Throne.

The demonstrated negative health impacts on our community as detailed by the CEAA report should be sufficient reason to reject this project. The additional negative impacts on our rural community, road safety, infrastructure and financial well-being are even more reason for this expansion to be denied.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward
City of Burlington

Everybody the Mayor knows was copied on this letter.

Cc: The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
The Honourable Michael Chong, MP Wellington-Halton Hills
Adam van Koeverden, MP, Milton
Pam Damoff, MP, Oakville North-Burlington
Parm Gill, MPP, Milton
The Honourable Ted Arnott, MPP, Wellington-Halton Hills
Jane McKenna, MPP, Burlington
Stephen Crawford, MPP, Oakville
Effie Triantafilopoulos, MPP, Oakville North-Burlington
Halton Regional Council
Burlington City Council
Tim Commisso, City Manager, City of Burlington

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4 comments to Mayor writes a letter about what is more of a Milton matter; doesn’t copy that Mayor

  • D W

    New diesels that use DEF are much better. The particulate is not very fine, and sinks in air. On the ground UV breaks up the molecules. Electric vehicles have a big manufacturing eco footprint. Electric buses and such are a great bandwagon to jump onto, and will one day. Right now, not ready for prime time.

  • Penny Hersh

    Perhaps, the Mayor of Milton didn’t want our Mayor’s interference and that is why he wasn’t copied. Not that it would stop our Mayor.

  • Wendy

    And once again I ask, why is the City of Burlington purchasing diesel buses ? Why not electric!!!!!

    • Rob n

      Excellent point Wendy.

      Diesel should be banned from all road vehicles; city buses, school buses, commercial buses and private cars. Too much pollution. Too much fine particulate matter. You can smell the crap when you are near them. Terrible stuff.

      Look to the future Burlington! Diesel is for dinosaurs. Electric is the way of the future.