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CN gets green light to resume Milton intermodal hub construction

Federal Court of Appeal rules in favour of the rail company
A CN Rail underpass in Milton.

CN Rail has been given the green light to restart work on the intermodal hub in Milton by a Federal Court of Appeal.

Back in March, the Federal Court called for a redo of the “flawed” approval process by the federal environment ministry — and brought the project’s construction to a stop. CN then filed an appeal and requested a stay of the decision.

In a ruling issued on May 2, Federal Appeal Court Justice George Locke granted CN’s motion for a stay pending final ruling on the appeal. 

While acknowledging some negative effects in granting the stay, the court found the evidence submitted by Halton Region concerning emissions from construction activities to be out of date and inconclusive. Ultimately, the judge stated that “any delay in completion of a project that is in the public interest is detrimental to the public interest.”

“The harmful effects of construction emissions appear to be outweighed by the costs to CN of suspending its construction activities, and more importantly, the public interest in the completion of the project,” part of the ruling reads.

CN began construction of the 400-acre logistics hub that will facilitate the transfer of containers between rail cars and trucks in 2021. Located on lands east of Tremaine Road and south of Britannia Road, the facility would run 24 hours a day and seven days a week, with 1,600 daily truck trips.

Doug MacDonald, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, previously said that the project is fundamental to the government’s effort to address supply chain issues and improve Canada’s transportation system.

Coun. Sameera Ali, whose ward encompasses the project’s site, was disappointed with the setback.

“You may see activity resume on the site, but we continue to take action through legal channels,” Ali posted on X (previously Twitter). “We won’t stop protecting the health of #MiltonON residents.”