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Shovels are not going in the ground, and I remain steadfastly opposed to this development.

opiniongreen 100x100By Adam van Koeverden

January 23, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

Milton MP Adam van Koeverden released the following to the public via a tweet.

Dear Neighbours,

Today, the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change released the over 325 conditions under which the CN Intermodal project may proceed. I am disappointed with this decision, and I’m writing this to make that clear, but I also want to let you know where we go from here. Something I want to be abundantly clear about this situation – is that this fight isn’t over.

graphic of site

Located on what is currently farmland – the site will become a very busy transfer hub where thousands of shipping containers will be transferred to trucks.

While I’m grateful that these additional measures, restrictions, and conditions are reflective of the many valid concerns we in Halton have with this project – I remain very concerned about the potential truck traffic and the resulting pollution, health and safety implications for all of my constituents, especially those who reside in south Milton.

I have worked extremely hard to articulate the individual concerns of my neighbours, the hard-working advocacy groups and those of my fellow elected officials – both prior to my election at the Joint Review Panel and since as the Member of Parliament for Milton. But never once did I compromise my strong position that this application should be rejected.

freight train

The freight train traffic will be running into the hub 24/7

The health, safety and wellbeing of Miltonians is my number one concern. The 325 legally binding conditions set out by the Minister today represent some reasonable progress. The result is that this Intermodal project cannot go forward as it was presented by CN. Those 325 conditions would make this facility the most stringently regulated in North America. They include measures to address effects on air quality, traffic, human health, groundwater and surface water, migratory birds, species at risk, fish and fish habitat, the use of lands and resources by Indigenous peoples, and physical and cultural heritage. Failure to comply with any of these conditions is a violation of Federal Law.

One of those 325 conditions is that CN will be required to establish a community liaison and communication process, in consultation with representatives of local and municipal governments, nearby residents, community and business organizations. This process will allow potentially affected parties to provide feedback about any adverse environmental effects of the project, including reports from an independent environmental monitor that would be engaged to verify compliance with conditions. CN will be required to document and respond to feedback from the community and demonstrate how it has been addressed, including through the implementation of any modified/additional mitigation measures or additional follow-up program requirements. This includes liaising with potentially affected parties to identify and address potential impacts on traffic and road safety.

Milton NO sign

The community doesn’t want the hub in the proposed location. The federal government approved the project with 325 Environment and Climate Change conditions

But that does not mean that it is an inevitability. We are not at the finish line, or even the start line for this project. Shovels are not going in the ground, and I remain steadfastly opposed to this development. There is a Canadian Transport Agency process, and the Minister is very aware of my objections to this project. There is a Provincial court case involving the Region of Halton, and many other hurdles for CN to attempt to clear before this is over.

Every elected official in our region and the vast majority of our neighbours are united in our opposition to the location of this industrial project. This fight is far from over. Our voices will continue to be heard, and you can continue to count on me to keep fighting for our community.

 

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14 comments to Shovels are not going in the ground, and I remain steadfastly opposed to this development.

  • David Barker

    There you go again, Phil. BTW, my name is David.

    Spoken like a true blind Tory.

    Now, I must make it totally clear I totally disagree with his positions on many subjests, but what about Derek Sloan? O’Toole just kicked him out to the Tory party for having different views.

    As for Philpott & Raybould both were cabinet ministers where there is an expectancy of “cabinet solidarity”, where you must outwardly and in your actions support the Prime Minister’s position even if you disagree with it. That situation was at a very different level to McTeague or Sloan.

    I freely admit Trudeau in my view has made many mistakes. The handling of the We episode, and the SNC matter (though I believe it was correct to fire Raybould). The blackface pics were had as much relevance to his fitness to be PM as did Scheer’s lying about his being a licensed insurance broker, or about being a dual citizen etc. I was a tory voter from day one of being here in Canada. But The latter years of the Harper govt opened my eyes to there being a more empathetic, sympathetic and kind way for govt to act. Yes, I am biased. Biased towards those who reflect the kind, caring, supportive, embracing character Canada is renown for.

    Your bias is that Trudeau and the Liberal party can do no right, no matter what.

  • PAUL KADLICK

    This proposal has been around for a long time. Subsequently Milton and Oakville have been
    growing towards each other with residential developments. Typically these bureaucrats
    have not paid attention and do not bother noticing the area north of the 401 in Milton
    that is industrial

    • Phillip Wooster

      Excellent point, Paul. And the access to Hwy 401 will be somewhat less congestive than the QEW which will be most impacted by the current location. Unlikely there is an excellent spot for this transportation hub, even the 401 is heavily travelled by commuters to Toronto from Guelph and K-W.

  • Eve St Clair

    Liars will always blame someone else . Milton has been duped by an unqualified MP who
    ‘s inexperience shows . Hopefully in the next Federal election ,Milton will not be duped by a shiny sequinned Olympic jacket and vote for someone who actually lives in Milton and does not have an over inflated ego .

    • Phillip Wooster

      Adam VK is a classic Liberal under Trudeau–a shiny star that tows the party line; if you listen to him in interviews and as I did during the election, he will duck the tough questions and deflect to Liberal talking points. And while the residents of Milton and Halton should be outraged at the negative effect this decision will have on Halton Region, don’t expect VK to lose his Milton seat–his election is a direct reflection of changing demographics in Milton. It’s not for nothing that older residents of Milton now refer to this riding as Brampton West.

      • David Barker

        Come on, what you describe, Phillip, is how any politician would respond. No politician ever answers a direct question with a direct answer.

        AVK can hardly be described as towing the party line, as you say. He is vociferously and very publicly going against his party and government. Is he not?

        That Brampton West comment has a bit of a racist tone to it.

        • Phillip Wooster

          “Is how any politician would respond”–really? We know for certaintly is how Trudeau responds–he rephrases, he deflects, he changes subject, but he never answers. And this is certainly true of his Cabinet ministers.

          As for AVK not towing the party line, AVK’s track record is following Liberal talking points without variance. I suspect a bit of duplicity by the Liberals–allow AVK to publicly object to this decision to help his electoral prospects, but it wasn’t done without permission of the PMO.

          • David Barker

            Phillip, you are being wiifully blind and deaf as to how other politicians of all stripes act and answer a direct question when one is put to them. They ALL pivot to a subject or talking point that is the party line and does not answer the uncomfortable question posed to them. Harper, McKay, O’Toole, Scheer, Ford, Lecce of the blue persuasion all do/did it.

            And what evidence do you have for the duplicity you suspect? How on earth do you know he is not being genuine? What evidence do you have that the PMO sanctioned his comments? I SUSPECT you have absolutely no evidence whatsoever, but I SUSPECT you do have a bias.

          • Phillip Wooster

            Dave, spoken like a true Liberal. Your comment is deflective when faced with the reality that Trudeau and his cabinet never answer questions; you sound like a grade school kid who went caught doing something wrong blurts out “But he did it too!”.

            And as for evidence of duplicity, you only have to look at Trudeau’s track record with Liberals who hold opinions different from his own. Dan McTeague, a former Liberal MP, who was booted from the Liberal Party because his views on abortion conflicted with Trudeau observed about Trudeau in 2015, “an unserious mind, given to selfies, socks and sobbing who likes to surround himself with YES men and YES women”; nothing that has transpired in the past 6 years contradicts McTeague’s view. Indeed, Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott were also booted from caucus for having the courage to take a stand against Trudeau. However, here with have AVK who expressed an opinion that contradicts a Liberal cabinet decision and Trudeau does nothing? Not hard to draw a reasonable conclusion.

            And I wouldn’t bring up the question of bias, Dave, you are an ongoing apologist for the Liberals who in your red-sunglassed eyes can do no wrong.

    • David Barker

      Seems to me, Eve, you did not read his piece. He is taking a position directly and vociferously counter to his party’s government. That type of thing does not earn brownie points with those up the power ladder. So give him the credit he is due for being true to his constituents.

      As to your “inexperience” comment, let’s say the MP happened to be a third term Liberal or Conservative politician. As an experienced politician (of either stripe) what actions would you have expected of him that AVK has not not taken.

      I do not expect a response, because as usual, you will throw a critical comment but provide no alternative. Go on, surprise me.

  • Hans Jacobs

    It seems like the best way to avoid this catastrophic development would be to find a different location for it that is acceptable to CN, n’est-ce pas?

    Another alternative: didn’t Bill Davis block the federal Pickering airport plan? Ask Bill how to stop this…

  • Tom Battaglia

    Adam is an MP not an MPP, which is a provincial position.

  • Leonard Collins

    Who are we to blame for this if not you and your government ?

  • Kurt Koster

    It is refreshing to see our MPP stand up for his constituents, regardless of the position the Liberal government has taken. We are fortunate to have Adam as our member of parliament. Keep up the good fight Adam.

    Editor’s note. AVK is the MP for Milton – He is not an MPP