By: Laura Steiner
The Ontario government has filed arguments in Ontario Superior in support of the Region of Halton, and Conservation Halton’s fight against the CN Intermodal. The announcement today came from Milton MPP Parm Gill. “I am working for the people of Milton and Halton to ensure their voices are heard and respected,” he said.
Canadian National (CN) first announced plans in 2015 to build a 400 acre Intermodal facility in southwest Milton. Rail is a federally regulated industry in Canada, and CN argues that as such they aren’t subjected to the usual permitting, and approval process from municipal and regional officials. They chose to go through the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA).
In February, the Region of Halton announced a court challenge on the basis of jurisdictional issues. Regional Chair Gary Carr disagreed with their assertion. “CN’s absolute rejection of provincial and municipal government jurisdiction leaves the Halton Municipalities no choice but to confirm our legitimate role,” he said at the time.
CN has brought a motion asking the court to dismiss or stay Halton’s application. They argue that it’s premature pending assessment by a Joint Federal Review Panel that has been struck in order consider the environmental effects. The government of Ontario intends to argue that it isn’t premature, and it should move to a hearing in Ontario Superior Court.
Former MPP Indira Naidoo-Harris announced her government would be filing for intervener status in May. Carr is pleased to see Gill, and the Progressive Conservatives continue with the challenge. “I would like to thank MPP Parm Gill for his commitment to this issue and I look forward to continuing to work with him to ensure that resident interests are protected and the vision for the community is represented,” Carr said.
The Town of Milton has made its opposition to the project official part of its First Principles of Growth. “This is not only a significant issue for Milton but all of Halton Region. I am pleased to see the Province step up and support our fight,” Mayor Gord Krantz said. There are two citizens’ groups organizing against this, Milton Says No, and Milton RAIL (Residents Affected by Intermodal Lines. For more information on the CN Intermodal visit their website