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The Atlantic Gateway and the Proposal to Pave the CN Rail Cut

History: The federal government launched the Pacific Gateway Initiative in October 2005, with a $590 million funding package during a boom in imports from Asian countries. The 2007 federal budget included a long-term Infrastructure Plan which included a new National Gateways and Border Crossings $2.1 billion fund. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the development of an Atlantic Gateway was signed by the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic Provinces on October 14, 2007. Since then, the federal government has been waiting for the Atlantic Provinces to form a consensus on which Atlantic Gateway projects should proceed. Both the federal and provincial governments want to speed up this “infrastructure” spending in light of the current economic and electoral climate. Nova Scotia’s Gateway projects: In March of 2008, Premier Rodney MacDonald identified the following projects to be studied or undertaken as Atlantic Gateway projects to be funded program through the federal National Gateways and Border Crossings program: • • • • • • a multi-transportation corridor to Halifax's Ocean terminal (Halterm) a Gateway Logistics Park adjacent to Burnside Industrial Park) the Burnside Connector twinning Highway 104 from Antigonish to Port Hawkesbury a new refrigerated terminal at Halifax Stanfield International Airport. dredging Sydney Harbour.

On October 23, 2008 the MacDonald Government issued a Request for Proposals to study the feasibility of constructing an Integrated Transportation Corridor (ITC) in the CN rail cut ( Shortly thereafter, McCormick Rankin, a transportation engineering firm, was selected to conduct the study ( Among other things, the consultants would assess: • • • • the environmental benefits and impacts of diverting traffic from downtown streets to an existing transportation corridor. the overall cost of the proposed project, including projected economic impact assessment. options to enhance public transit options through use of the corridor. possible greenway features, including trails for cyclists and pedestrians.

The $288,765 McCormick Rankin feasibility study has an exceptionally tight timeline and is supposed to be completed by January 31, 2009. There have been several articles recently in the newspaper regarding the project suggesting that the government strongly supports this project, including one saying that Peter MacKay believes the railcut should be paved. Why the Port of Halifax / CN Rail Cut?: The Port of Halifax, which includes Halterm, Ceres and other locations, is the closest and deepest mainland North American container port to Europe and, through the Suez Canal, to South and East Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. Halifax can handle almost one million TEUs ( a standard measure used by the shipping industry) without any major infrastructure change. It is currently operating at half that capacity. Over the last few years, the Port of Halifax has experienced a decline in container traffic and this $80 million Gateway (Rail Cut paving) initiative is aimed at speeding up truck traffic entering and leaving Halterm thus making it more competitive for the containers leaving or returning to this location. For more detailed (background) information: Ebbs and flows and competition in the global shipping trade have significant implications for the Port, the City, the Province, transportation on the peninsula and HRM, other Ports in the Province and communities along the route. The Port of Halifax generates nearly 12,000 direct jobs and over $600 million in direct Gross Domestic Product. There have been a number of related studies conducted or commissioned by various levels of government in recent years. Here is a listing of some of the more notable documents and links to them: Gateway Brochure - "A look at Nova Scotia: a strategic gateway to North America and a pivotal link in the gobal transportation system - to the economic benefit of Canada." (more) Gateway Presentation to Senate - Feb 21, 2007 (more) Nova Scotia Gateway Study - Gateway Strategy Development Initiative prepared for The Government of Nova Scotia (more) Community Business Development Corporations - Self Employment Benefit Conference, New Glasgow (more) Presentations from The Symposium on Canada’s Atlantic Gateway Elizabeth Beale - Developing the Atlantic Gateway: New Transportation and Trade Opportunities for Atlantic Canada

Mary Brooks - The Nova Scotia Gateway: My Vision Pat Sinnott - The Atlantic Gateway: A Critical Component of Canada's Supply Chain Infrastructure Marie-Therese Houde - CN and the Atlantic Gateway: Positioned for Growth Paul Ouimet - The Atlantic Gateway : Think Big / Act Regionally Shirley-Ann George - Canada and India: Boosting Economic Ties and Cutting Barrier

Community Consultation: In November, Mr. David Oxner, Executive Director of the Atlantic Gateway, sent a letter to select property owners living along the rail cut informing them that the ITC study was moving forward and that it has been put out to tender. It is expected that the consultant’s report will be a public document. The position of the government is that no public consultation will be taken until the consultant reports. At this point, the only way for citizens to voice their opinion directly to the government on this matter is to go to Nova Scotia’s Atlantic Gateway site and provide online feedback. If you would like to get involved: In addition to the government agencies identified above, there are a number of community groups that have entered the debate to date: Notably, . . .HUGA, EAC, PSCA. GHP, HCC, CREST (statement of purpose?). If you would like to receive updates or more information or become more involved, please respond to this email [address] or go to this website [address] . Halifax Gateway Council

Documents Halifax Gateway Council - Vision Document (PDF) Halifax Gateway Council - Strategic Plan (PDF) Halifax Gateway Council - Economic Impact Study (PDF) Media -

Memphis Eyes Halifax as Potential Partner - June 9, 2008 Halifax Eyes Link to Memphis - May 23, 2008 Presentations Halifax Gateway Council - Canada Maritime Conference 2007 Presentation (PDF) Port of Halifax