Canadian National (CN) first came forward with plans for an Intermodal terminal in 2001. After a bit of back, and forth with the town, permission was denied by council to build it in 2007.
Fast forward to January, 2015. CN had been making a few overtures in the community in the form of donations to various causes including a $300 000 donation to the Milton District Hospital Expansion.
A few people in Milton (myself included) got a phone survey on “Quality of Life in Milton Ontario.” Questions were asked about how likely were to support an industrial project if there were arts spaces, a community centre, or a sports facility. They said the project would bring 1000 jobs to Milton, and add more than $10 million in property taxes for a 400 acre piece of property. The phrase ‘build their facility’ was mentioned as well. Canadian National, or C.N. weren’t mentioned.
And then last week I saw a speculative tweet wondering why C.N. was invited to a Chamber of Commerce Breakfast this Thursday morning. Yesterday officials at the Town of Milton issued a news release stating they, and the Region had learned of C.N.’s plans to revive their intermodal facility for the Town of Milton. “As it stands C.N’s proposal is contrary to our plans,” Mayor Krantz said. It interferes with Milton’s growth; a chunk of residential development is planned for the area directly opposite the proposed Intermodal facility. And it’s near the planned Milton Educational Village.
Opposition to this is building. Two petitions are being circulated by Ward 8 Councillor Zeeshan Hamid, and Ward 1 Councillor Robert Duvall. Other councillors tell me Region, and Town are coming up with a strategy to fight it.
Get ready, it’s going to be a messy fight.