CN begins work on Milton transportation hub, community caught by surprise

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Published June 30, 2023 at 1:37 pm

The sign tells the story. CN has closed roads and have started work on the Milton transportation hub.

CN has started work on the controversial transportation hub in Milton which has caught local residents and politicians by surprise.

A message sent out by Halton Region reports that CN is going ahead with construction despite strong local opposition and without proper local approvals to build and close roads.

“CN is proceeding with construction & local road closures without approval,” a message sent out through social media by Halton Region reads. “CN has been told they are in breach of by-laws. We continue to prepare for three separate legal proceedings in 2023 to enforce rights on this issue.”

CN officials could not be reached for comment.

The railway and transportation company believes the hub is an integral part of its business network necessary to transfer goods between trucks and trains.

Last year CN won a legal battle when a judge denied a Halton bid for an injunction to halt the project. CN has argued that it has gained all federal approvals to operate in Milton.

All of the municipalities in Halton, backed by Regional council, have been trying to block the creation of the hub since it was first announced in 2015.

Politicians and Milton residents are concerned the potential increased noise and traffic that will flow from the hub will have adverse effects on the health and safety of those who live nearby. The hub is expected to operate 24 hours a day, meaning truck and train traffic will increase significantly.

Sameera Ali, Ward 4 Regional Council, said the work is proceeding despite how local residents feel.

“Well, I can confirm that CN is proceeding with construction and local road closures without any approval from the Town of Milton,” she said in a message to residents. “I can tell you that no other private developer would be able to do this. CN is proceeding at its own risk.”

Ali went on to say: “They have been told numerous times that they are in breach of by-laws and we continue to prepare for three separate legal proceedings in 2023 to enforce our rights on this issue.

Halton Region taxpayers have already spent $25 million in an effort to keep the CN intermodal hub out of Milton.

So far, $22 million has been spent in attempts to stop the facility from being built, but Halton is also on the hook for another $3 million to cover CN’s court costs after an earlier round of litigation. The Region is appealing the court cost amount.

Costs are expected to rise based on the continuance of the legal battle.

This sign has been posted by Milton and Halton Region about the work and road closure.

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