𝐎𝐱𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐝 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐲 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐥 𝐭𝐨 '𝐚𝐬𝐤' 𝐢𝐟 𝐌𝐢𝐥𝐭𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐬𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭 𝐡𝐮𝐛 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐨𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐞*
Many of you may be aware that Oxford County is interested in the CN hub. We were present at the council meeting when the decision to have conversation with CN was announced. Here is an update:
*𝐍𝐄𝐖𝐒: 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐎𝐱𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐝 𝐒𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐥 𝐑𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰 𝐅𝐞𝐛 𝟑, 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟏
𝐎𝐱𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐝 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐲 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐥 𝐭𝐨 '𝐚𝐬𝐤' 𝐢𝐟 𝐌𝐢𝐥𝐭𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐬𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭 𝐡𝐮𝐛 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐨𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐞
Author of the article: Kathleen Saylors
Publishing date: Feb 03, 2021 • 15 hours ago • 3 minute read
Could a major CN Rail site – and the major investment dollars that come with it – move from crowded Milton to rural Oxford County?
It’s a worthy question, some Oxford County councillors think, after a South-West Oxford’s mayor brought forward a motion to have staff explore that possibility with the federal government.
CN Rail is looking to build a 162-hectare (400-acre) combined truck and rail hub – known as an intermodal site – currently slated for a large parcel of land the company owns in Milton, south of Brampton.
But one county councillor suggested Oxford County could ask some questions about whether there’s interest in bringing that hub to Oxford, a suggestion endorsed by his colleagues last week.
“I think we should at least toss the idea around,” Coun. David Mayberry said at the recent council meeting.
Mayberry made a motion to have Warden Larry Martin and top administrator Michael Duben explore any potential opportunity to have CN Rail, and potentially CP Rail, locate this $250-million intermodal site in in Oxford County.
The site could be located between Highway 6 and Woodstock, close to Highway 401 and near the confluence of the CN and CP rail lines, Mayberry suggested to council when he brought forward the idea.
“Oxford County is fortunate that we are at the confluence and relatively close to three major 400-series highways and where the two national railway lines are very close together. In the past, we have had discussion around the potential for an intermodal site that would serve both CN and CP outside the (Greater Toronto Area), but certainly midpoint between Chicago and Quebec which is a fairly major business corridor,” he said.
The site proposal has been controversial in Milton, Mayberry noted, but suggested a rural location might be a better fit.
The proposal for a truck and railway hub in Milton was approved by Transport Canada in January, something Halton Region – the upper-tier municipality for the Town of Milton – said in a statement was “disappointing.”
“How could the federal government disregard the concerns of the community and allow a project like this within one kilometre of approximately 34,000 current and future residents, including one hospital, 12 schools and two long-term care homes?” Milton Mayor Gordon Krantz said in a statement on Jan. 22.
“There are many unanswered questions that the federal government must address. This is not what residents of Milton deserve.”
The municipality has compiled a list of concerns about the project, including traffic congestion and proximity to current and future residential areas, schools and a hospital, all of which it says are inconsistent with growth, land-use planning, health and the environment.
The project has history in Halton, going back to January 2015, and CN did public consultation and surveys on the project in 2018 and 2019.
Duben said the county could explore the issue, as long as it was just that – an exploration.
“As Coun. Mayberry said, there has been tremendous opposition to the project in Milton, Halton,” Duben said. “If it’s something council wants us to explore, and it’s clear its just an exploration at this point and it’s clear it has to go through many, many steps, and we may just be told flat out ‘no,’ some direction from council and direction that makes it clear we’re simply investigating if there’s even any interest, would be appropriate.”
The motion to explore the possibility with the warden and CAO was approved by council, but councillors said it had to be merely a “high-level discussion.”
“The operative word in that is ‘explore.’ I would concur with that explore means do some high-level communication but, ultimately, it’s council … who is getting information,” Coun. Stephen Molnar said. “I support the resolution but I believe its intent is very high level exploratory.”
Martin agreed, saying the county would be “just asking.”
“That’s the intent,” Mayberry said in response. “I think just simply portraying the idea that we have a number of advantages for this kind of development compared to a very urbanized area.”
***Note for Milton and Halton Residents*** Please remain diligent and share our concerns about the hub with Hon. Minister Wilkinson. We encourage you to write in your own words to let our government know your thoughts; write your email letter today.
Visit www.miltonrail.com/action for a complete email list, and letter samples for those wanting assistance with wording.