Canadian Manufacturing

CN Rail set to battle Ontario town over proposed $250M intermodal hub

With apparent disregard for a reputation tarnished by repeated derailments, CN Rail is now picking a fight with Milton, Ont.

TORONTO—Canadian National Railways (CN Rail) says it plans to build a $250-million intermodal and logistics hub adjacent to its main line in Milton, Ont., some 50 kilometres west of Toronto.

But it seems like no one thought to tell Town of Milton. And according to reports from The Toronto Star, Milton is not happy.

CN says it chose Milton because of its ready access to major highways reaching key industrial and commercial areas in the Toronto and Hamilton area.

It says the new facility is expected to create more than 1,000 direct and indirect jobs in the region, and will complement its Brampton Intermodal Terminal, CN’s existing Toronto-area intermodal facility which is nearing capacity.

CN’s intermodal business—principally containerized international and domestic cargo moving by rail, truck and ship—is one of the company’s fastest growing segments.

Unfortunately, Milton is one of Canada’s fastest-growing municipalities, and The Star reports that the new terminal is slated for land earmarked by the town for new residential and commercial development. This will dismantle Milton’s carefully crafted growth management strategy, which chief administrator William Mann said has been a model for Ontario’s Places to Grow Act, a provincial plan which has set population growth targets throughout the GTA.

Apparently CN Rail has retained a few of it’s powers from when it was a Crown corporation. Mann told The Star that CN still has a certain power to circumvent municipal planning as governed by the province of Ontario.

As the MP for Halton riding, Federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt represents Milton. A statement from the ministry to the Star said only that Raitt would attend the March 19 announcement event “and looks forward to the presentation.”

CN has not as of yet provided the province with specific details of the proposal.

Read the report from The Toronto Star here.

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