RAIL Was Originally Formed in 2001
RAIL was originally formed in 2001 by a group of concerned residents who are immediately affected by Canadian National Rail's proposal to construct an Intermodal Terminal in Milton. We quickly realized the potential impact this would have on Milton and Halton Region. The group rallied together and researched intermodal terminals in North America and their impacts on the environment, health and safety and the local communities. RAIL would like the public to be aware of the resulting hazards and effects this site could have to the entire area. We feel this includes ALL of Halton Region.
With the recent announcement in 2015, CN's proposes to build a 400-acre intermodal terminal, now rebranded as a "Logistics Hub.” This was a surprise as CN had announced in 2008 that they no longer intended to build the terminal in Milton. RAIL feels that this will have an even greater negative impact on Milton and Halton Region, as our beautiful community has grown substantially. The official plans of the Town and Region have been revised for growth, BUT NOT to accommodate this terminal.
Development of the Proposed Milton Intermodal Terminal by
CN will affect YOU, Your Family, Friends & Neighbours
Canadian National Rail is proposing to build an Intermodal Terminal to be located in the southern part of Milton. This facility is expected to be up and running by the end of 2018. It would be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year! (24/7/365)
To date (July 20, 2015), CN has not made an application to the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA), but has applied to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA); as legally required.
The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council, today announced the referral of the environmental assessment of the proposed Milton Logistics Hub Project in Ontario to an independent review panel.
Milton RAIL continues to do research to look at the impacts that may arise with the development of CN's proposed intermodal terminal.
Every Person's Responsibility
Milton RAIL would like to acknowledge the commitment of each of our Town, Regional, Provincial and Federal representatives currently in office. We recognize each of the representatives currently running for a Federal office position. We thank each and every one of you for standing up to represent and serve your community. We recognize that anyone in a political position today did not anticipate the added burden and responsibility of dealing with CN's proposed Milton Logistics Hub Project.
We recognize this is naturally a part of your platform for the current Federal Campaign, as the proposed CN Logistics Hub is the biggest issue Milton has faced to date. We are not asking you to confirm this as part of your platform today, or for the upcoming weeks, as you may expect. We want to know how strongly you are committed to stopping CN's proposed Milton Logistics Hub Project. Only one candidate will be voted in to office for this election. We want to know how strong your commitment is, and will you be standing beside us and the person elected, to continue to give your support to stop the proposed CN logistics hub after October 19th? Will you be standing on October 20th and remain standing for this cause? Ask yourself: How committed are you to this campaign? After all, you are each residents of Milton and will be impacted by this project should it go through.
We need a strong team of support. Our elected officials must all work together towards this common goal. Realistically this fight will continue for a few years. It is not only likely that we will see a new municipal government before this is over, we will see new municipal, provincial and federal government before this is over. So please do not use this as your platform to simply obtain votes. Commit to the entire fight not only because it is the right thing to do for you and your family, but for the current and future residents' of Milton and Halton.
Today we encourage you to become completely familiar with the processes; the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and the Panel Review Process; the Canadian Transportation Agency application and what happens if the decision goes to Cabinet? No one person can stop this project, and it may go to the Cabinet for a decision. In the meantime ALL levels of government must coordinate to stop this. We need to put pressure on our Provincial Government to become involved.
We need to do this not only to protect our community, but also to protect the next community in Canada who may be faced with such a project. Only in Canada, do the railways feel they are exempt from the local, municipal and provincial regulations. In the US railways are required to work with local municipalities and this MUST change in Canada.
Our local fight is an example of how any community in Canada can be impacted and even violated by railway companies like CN. This is not simply a local issue. We are setting a precedent for the next Canadian community facing the railways' next project proposal.
You may liken this issue to a big family wedding. You may not like everyone that is invited to the party, you may not want to sit at the same table, but you are all there for one common component. So remember, you will need to work with all of the people in the community and in various levels of government. Those roles and positions and parties may change over the next few years. Remember why you are running for office and know that you can't anticipate who will be seated at your table next.
Let's leave a clear mark for the next group that comes to the table, we don't want to start at the beginning at each change of government. We simple don't have the time to waste!
CN Intermodal Hub Changes Everything
Are any of the changes (as CN would like us to believe) good for Milton? You be the judge.
CN states that the planned hub is located “Close to 400 series highways for truck-haul routes”. The closest non-toll highway access to the CN terminal is 10+ kilometres. From there truckers will have to make their way to the CN Hub, passing through our neighbourhoods.
If CN is allowed to build an Intermodal Hub in Milton, there will be 1600 huge freight trucks driving along Highway 25 or James Snow Parkway and then Britannia Road every day of the year, 24-hours a day.
There will be a constant rumble of truck noise in our neighbourhoods. This could be disturbing to your sleep. CN states: “CN will control the route of up to 20% of the facility vehicle traffic as those vehicles are CN property. The travel routes of CN controlled vehicles can be planned to minimize road vehicle emissions impact.”
There are two problems with this assurance:
First - CN's train traffic safety record is less than stellar, so why would we be comforted by their assurances that safety will be better with their trucks, and;
Second - They will only have control over 20% of the trucks. That leaves 80% of trucks that they will have no control over.
There will be increased dust particles floating in our air, causing lung and breathing problems.
There will be diesel emissions (a Class I carcinogen which causes cancer) causing air pollution.
We will not know for certain what products the intermodal containers hold. If they have a slow leak, while either on the trains or trucks, our environment could be damaged. It would then be our cost to find the culprit and have charges laid. This is difficult and costly.
There will be damages to our roads from the great number of heavy truck loads. The road repair expenses will fall to the tax payers – local land and business owners.
There will be increased traffic congestion and gridlock, causing extra stress as citizens try to go about their daily activities.
1600 truck trailers are equal to more than 30 km of additional trucks daily. Think of the line of vehicles waiting to turn at all traffic lights on the routes mentioned above.
CN says their facility will provide extra tax revenue to the town; actually:
They are protected from the local tax base, being under federal rules. They therefore pay much less than local residents or business owners.
The land south of Britannia has been designated by the town and region for land use rated at a much higher tax revenue base when developed. This will not be possible if CN builds the hub, resulting in a tax loss, which will have to be collected from the rest of us.
The negative changes to the area as a result of the hub will decrease property values. This will decrease the tax base for our town even further, likely causing an increase in our tax bills.
In Memory and Appreciation
Milton RAIL was formed more than 14 years ago. Some people are no longer with us as they have moved away from Milton, and some have passed. As Chair, I, Rita Vogel Post would like to acknowledge everyone who dedicated their time towards this initiative and thank those who have recently taken this on. Your dedication to our community is appreciated more than you will ever know. It's not about public recognition, it's about dedication and stepping up and doing what is right even when it seems that all odds are against you. We are certainly committed to the David and Goliath fight!
Special thoughts of thanks and goes out to John (Jack) Gent, Phyllis Way and James Wanless who have passed. We feel you are still here with us in this fight! We want to acknowledge their support and hard work through the years.
I affectionately dubbed Jack (Mr. Gent) as “Mr. Wizard”, he was smart and witty and gave freely of his time to share his knowledge and expertise with environmental issues and so much more! Your dedication and passion is still felt with us to this day.
Phyllis was one of many who walked through all of Milton distributing flyers. She stood at tables and booths at countless events, collected signatures and handed out information. We hope you are getting some rest now, we can't even guess how many kilometres you walked for the cause to “Stop CN in its Tracks”.
Thank you to Jim for originally agreeing to co-chair the RAIL group. I did not have the confidence to volunteer to chair on my own at first. Clearly you knew I could do it and I appreciated your support. Thanks for all the info on light trespass; it has been very helpful indeed.
We thank each and everyone who supported Milton RAIL in 2001 and those of you who are committed to supporting it now. We invite you all to join in the effort to stop the CN proposed intermodal terminal. It's not a done deal and we still believe we can STOP CN IN ITS TRACKS!
Your Voice Matters!
We urge everyone to read the information on our website www.MiltonRAIL.com
Please know this is NOT a done deal – get involved – your support is invaluable to the cause.
Share this with friends, family neighbours and co-workers
Sign the petition, collect petition signatures from people in Halton
Read the sample letters provided on www.MiltonRAIL.com
Write, email or phone the elected officials – Your voice matters and your letters count!
Visit both the Milton RAIL Website and Facebook page.
Sign up for Milton RAIL newsletters and announcements.
Do this for you and your family and do it for future generations!