RESPONSE

LAC-MÉGANTIC RAILWAY BYPASS PROJECT

Physical Activities

Transport Canada is proposing the construction of a Lac-Mégantic railway bypass of 12.5-kilometre long, which crosses the City of Lac-Mégantic and the municipalities of Frontenac and Nantes, in Quebec. Canadian Pacific Kansas City is responsible for the plans and specifications and construction of the bypass. As proposed, the railway bypass project includes a railway bridge over the Chaudière River as well as Villeneuve and Wolfe streets, a public road bridge over the railway, two public tunnels under the railway one for pedestrians and one for off-road vehicles as well as two public level crossings. The project also includes the construction of five private crossings, comprising of two tunnels, a bridge and two at-level crossings. Finally, the project also plans to set up two railway yard tracks covering an area of about 2 hectares in the City of Lac-Mégantic's Industrial Park.

Delegation of Powers to the Agency

Under subsection 154(1) of the Impact Assessment Act (IAA), the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada (the Minister) may, subject to any terms and conditions that the Minister specifies, delegate to the Agency any powers, duties, or functions that the Minister is authorized to exercise or perform under the IAA. On June 15, 2023, the Minister delegated the authority to respond to requests for designation, for which limitations on designation described under subsection 9(7) of the IAA apply, to the President or Vice-President of Operations of the Agency.

Decision

The project is not designated

Reasons

Pursuant to subsection 9(7) of the IAA, the Minister must not exercise his power to designate if a) the carrying out of the physical activity has substantially begun; or b) a federal authority has exercised a power or performed a duty or function conferred on it under any Act of Parliament other than this Act that could permit the physical activity to be carried out, in whole or in part. Therefore, the Minister cannot designate the project for the following reasons:

- A federal authority, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), has exercised powers conferred on it under sections 14 and 15 of the Expropriation Act that could permit the physical activity to be carried out, in whole or in part.

Document Reference Number: 1

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