CN appoints independent facilitators to lead community feedback forum
CN provides additional community input opportunities to support two-way communications efforts prior to and during construction and into operation of the Milton Logistics Hub.
CN is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Terence (Terry) Flynn and Ms. Edie Thome as independent, third-party facilitators to lead the Community Consultation Committee, a community feedback forum to support the exchange of information between CN and local stakeholders regarding the Milton Logistics Hub.
Dr. Flynn and Ms. Thome together bring more than four decades of senior-level expertise in community engagement and facilitation, working with stakeholders of all levels on complex projects across Canada and the United States. Serving independently as third-party facilitators, Dr. Flynn and Ms. Thome will be responsible for managing all aspects of the committee, from outreach and recruitment of members to establishing meeting logistics and facilitating meetings between CN and committee members. Outreach for committee members will begin as soon as possible to ensure sufficient time to build a diverse and representative committee. The committee will meet prior to construction and will continue to meet several times a year throughout construction and into operation.
From 2015 to 2021, the Project underwent a comprehensive federal review pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012), including an environmental assessment (EA) by an independent Joint Review Panel appointed by the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change. This multi-year federal environmental assessment process culminated in a federal government Decision Statement earlier this year and is subject to additional permits. The Minister’s Decision Statement included 325 legally binding conditions designed to protect the community and the environment.
Throughout the EA process, CN committed to continuing active engagement with potentially affected parties, including the local community, Aboriginal groups, all levels of government and other stakeholders. During the public hearing held in June and July 2019, CN committed to establish a committee to facilitate ongoing sharing of Project information and to consider of feedback from the community.
As CN moves forward to obtain the final permits for the Project, the Community Consultation Committee is one of the next steps in CN’s ongoing community consultation process, which includes consultation on the proposed Community Liaison Communication Process, now available for review and input through the CN project website cnmilton.ca. CN is seeking input on how it will continue to communicate and engage prior to and during Project construction, as well as into operation, if and when the Project receives all necessary approvals. This Consultation Period runs from May 26 to June 30.
The CN Milton Logistics Hub will provide critical infrastructure to help keep the regional and national economies moving by supporting the import of day-to-day goods and home deliveries and by creating export opportunities for local businesses.
CN has been part of the Milton community for over 100 years and is committed to investing in Canada’s infrastructure, and the communities it serves, for years to come.
About the Independent Third-Party Facilitators
Dr. Terence (Terry) Flynn, Ph.D., APR, FCPRS
Dr. Flynn is an Associate Professor at McMaster University and Adjunct Faculty at Syracuse University; Academic Director for the McMaster-Syracuse Master of Communications Management program; and Research Director for the Behavioral Insights Research Centre at the Institute for Public Relations.
Dr. Flynn joined McMaster University in 2004 after a 20-year communications consulting career, having built an international reputation specializing in crisis and risk communications, as well as environmental risk communications, and having worked with such organizations as: the Town of Walkerton, Ontario (e-coli crisis); the U.S. Navy Public Health Agency (leukemia cluster); the U.S. Army Centre for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine (base closures and environmental cleanups); the Chemical Manufacturers’ Association; Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada; Hamilton Port Authority; and Niagara Health System.
Dr. Flynn’s advice and counsel has been internationally recognized by numerous Canadian associations and institutions as well as the United States Secretary of Defense Environmental Restoration Award. Dr. Flynn has extensive expertise in community engagement strategies, participating in and moderating panels covering complex community and social issues, and is an award-winning teacher. He is adept at leading diverse groups of all sizes through in-person and online communication channels.
Ms. Edie Thome, BFA ICD.D
Ms. Edie Thome brings a wealth of senior leadership experience in government relations, governance, environmental permitting and compliance as well as on-the-ground experience working with stakeholders, First Nations and Indigenous groups, elected officials and landowners on projects and operations in the natural resource sector.
Ms. Thome was the President & Chief Executive Officer of The Association for Mineral Exploration (AME) in Vancouver, B.C. Prior to that appointment, as the Director – Environment, Permitting and Compliance, Aboriginal Relations and Public Affairs at BC Hydro, she was responsible for permitting and compliance, Aboriginal relations and government/public affairs for the Site C Clean Energy Project. Her management experience also includes Vice President, Customer Service, Airport Operations and Corporate Communications for Harmony Airways.
Ms. Thome brings a keen understanding of leadership and governance, gained through her service both in the AME Board of Directors and as the Chair of the Board of the Canadian Hydropower Association (“CHA”), a national, non-profit organization.
Currently, Ms. Thome serves as an independent director for Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. and as lead Director for Heatherdale Resources in addition to volunteering with True Patriot Love.
Ms. Thome has completed her Directors Education Program through the Institute of Corporate Directors and holds an Architectural Technology diploma as well as a BFA from The University of Alberta.