Letter Decision No. LET-R-171-1999

June 23, 1999

Application by the Canadian National Railway Company for the proposed construction of its Edmonton intermodal terminal, Alberta

File No.: 
R 8045/E1

Reference is made to the above-noted application filed by the Canadian National Railway Company (CN) which was received by the Canadian Transportation Agency (the Agency) on February 24, 1999.

In accordance with subsection 29(1) of the Canada Transportation Act (CTA), the Agency shall make its decision no later than 120 days after the originating documents are received unless the parties agree to an extension. In the present case, the Agency notes that the CTA requires the Agency to render its decision on CN's application by June 25, 1999.

However, the Agency notes that an environmental assessment for this project is required pursuant to paragraph 5(1)d) of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA). Furthermore, the Agency notes that pursuant to subsection 11(2) of the CEAA, it shall not exercise any power or perform any duty or function referred to in section 5 of the CEAA in relation to a project unless it takes a course of action pursuant to paragraph 20(1)a) of that Act.

In this case, the Agency, as lead department in conjunction with other responsible authorities, has been unable to complete the environmental screening as CN has yet to file a complete environmental assessment. Accordingly, the Agency cannot exercise any jurisdiction at this time under section 98 of the CTA. Therefore, the Agency will continue its screening of the project with other responsible authorities once a complete environmental assessment is filed. Once the screening report is completed, the Agency will be in a position to render a decision on CN's application pursuant to section 98 of the CTA.

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