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CN Rail Proposal: Milton Logistics Hub

Project Updates

Review Panel Seeking Public Comments

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency announced on December 20, that the Review Panel for the proposed Milton Logistics Hub Project is seeking public comments on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and additional information prepared by the proponent, Canadian National Railway Company.

The Review Panel invites the public, Indigenous groups, governments and other participants to submit comments in writing on whether the information submitted by the proponent is sufficient to proceed to the public hearing, or whether the proponent should provide additional information.

The EIS provides an analysis of the potential environmental effects of the project and measures to mitigate those impacts. The deadline for submission of written comments is March 6, 2017. For details, visit the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency website.

Three-member Review Panel

On December 6, 2016,The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Dr. Scott Streiner, Chair of the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA), announced the establishment of a three-member panel to review the proposed CN Logistics Hub.

The Minister has appointed Ms. Lesley Griffiths as the Chair of the Review Panel, and Dr. Isobel Heathcote and Mr. William McMurray as panel members. Mr. McMurray is also a member of the CTA and has been assigned by the Chair of the CTA to decide whether the proposed rail construction should be approved under section 98 of the Canada Transportation Act.

About the Proposed Logistics Hub

On March 19, 2015, the Canadian National Railway Company (CN) formally announced that it plans to move forward with a proposal to build a $250 million intermodal and logistics hub adjacent to its main line in the Town of Milton.

The proposed facility would transfer cargo containers between rail cars and trucks to move goods eastward cross the Greater Toronto Area and throughout North America. The facility would be approximately 2900 metres in length and have the capacity to handle four trains per day. Once completed, the terminal would operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Town of Milton is working closely with Halton Region to develop a coordinated municipal planning and regulatory response to the CN proposal.

Location

The proposed facility would be built on a 400-acre parcel of CN-owned land in the southwest portion of urban Milton. It would be bordered by Tremaine Road to the west, Britannia Road to the north, Lower Base Line to the south and Highway 25 to the east.

Both the Town of Milton and Halton Region have serious concerns that the selected location in Milton is not appropriate as the proposed expanded railway operations and services are not consistent with existing zoning or the Official Plans of the Town and the Region.

Applicable Regulations

The Federal Government is responsible for regulating certain classes of railways. Both the Canada Transportation Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act identify requirements for the approval process for the construction of a new railway line or railway lines.

Halton Region and the Town of Milton are working to ensure that any development proposed is subject to a full municipal regulatory review under the Planning Act and other Provincial laws and regulations.

Project History

Halton Municipalities comment on CEAA terms and scope for review of proposed CN Logistics Hub

Environmental Impact Statement and Application by CN (January - June 2016)

CN filed its Environmental Impact Statement for the Milton Logistics Hub on January 7, 2016 as part of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency's Environmental Assessment process. 

Candian Environmental Assessment Agency Determination (April - June 2015)

CN submitted a project description to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency on April 8, 2015 (CEAA) for review and to determine whether an environmental assessment was required for the project.

To assist in making its decision, the CEAA invited public comments on the project and its potential for causing adverse environmental effects. That commenting period has now closed and all comments submitted by April 27, 2015 were considered.

On May 22, 2015 the CEAA issued its notice of decision requiring the proposed CN Logistics Hub to undertake a federal environmental assessment process under the Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.

Response from Halton Municipalities

The five Halton municipalities (the Town of Milton, the Town of Oakville, the Town of Halton Hills, the City of Burlington and Halton Region) jointly issued a formal response to CN's submission to CEAA. This was followed by a second response, which was submitted by the five municipalities on Monday, April 27. Follow the links below to read full written responses.

On June 17, CN sent a letter to CEAA regarding the project. The five Halton municipalities responded in writing on June 30.

On July 3, Halton Region and the Town of Milton jointly sent a follow-up letter (July 3, 2015) to The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment.

Canadian Transportation Agency Determination

On May 13, 2015 the Canadian Transportation Agency ordered CN to obtain federal approval under the Canadian Transportation Act to construct railway lines as part of the proposed Milton Logistics Hub.

Additional Information

To learn more about the CN proposal and rail transportation visit the following web pages:

News Releases

  • May 29, 2015 (Canadian National Railway Updates Regional Council on Proposed Milton Logistics Hub)
  • April 27, 2015 (Halton Municipalities Issue Second Response to CN's Submission to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency)
  • April 17, 2015 (Halton Municipalities Respond to CN's Submission to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency)
  • March 16, 2015 (Canadian National Railway Company to Announce Plans for Proposed Intermodal Facility in Milton)