Halton Municipalities are going to Court to force CN compliance with laws

By: Laura Steiner
Halton municipalities are launching a collective court action in order to force CN to comply with the laws.  The move resumes a court action started in 2018, and includes Conservation Halton.
The Region wants to protect the health of residents who live near the CN lands, and its environment.  “CN must be accountable to those who will be most affected by the project, not just the federal government, which, ignored its duty to protect the health of Halton residents when it announced its approval of this project,” Halton Region Chair Gary Carr said.  The proposed Intermodal facility is in the Britannia Rd and Tremaine Rd, directly south of what’s known as the Boyne survey, which will soon be home to up to 34,000 new residents.
At the heart of the dispute is jurisdiction.  Planning permissions, and zoning permits are required under the provincial planning act to build.  CN argued that because it was part of a federally regulated industry, it did not have to go through the normal procedures.  Instead, it chose to submit plans through the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA).   “Let me assure all Miltonians, we will continue fighting and advocating for you at all levels of government and in the courts,” Milton Mayor Gord Krantz said.
. There has been strong community opposition on the grounds of potential health, and environmental effects.  “Protecting the environment and safety of our communities remains Conservation Halton’s top priority,” Conservation Halton Board Chair Gerry Smallegange said.  The Region argues that the approval contradicts the report of its own review panel which, found that the project would cause significant adverse effects on human health that cannot be mitigated. The Region filed in Federal Court to ask they review Cabinet’s decision.  “Regional council has a responsibility to do everything in  its power to hold CN accountable and ensure compliance with provincial and municipal laws,” Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said.    The final decision in favour of the development was made by the Trudeau cabinet had over 300 conditions attached to it.