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Vancouver launches new legal challenge to CP Rail, saying it has no rights to use Arbutus corridor for rail any more

October 5th, 2014 · 30 Comments

Hoo boy, the Holy War between Vancouver and CPR heated up again Friday when the city launched a lawsuit claiming CP has effectively given up its right to use the Arbutus corridor as a rail line. I’m attaching the city’s statement of claim below so all the legal scholars on the blog can weigh the merits of this argument.

Here’s my Globe story as well.

One other thing. The mayor said the lawsuit was partly to protect citizens from having CPR doing obnoxious, public-disturbing things along the track. But a former city staffer (that growing group of people with an enormous body of knowledge about the city) pointed out that the city specifically did not list certain activities as permitted on the corridor.

This is what the bylaw says

Excerpt #1

2.1 Designations for the Arbutus Corridor

This plan designates all of the land in the Arbutus Corridor for use only as a public thoroughfare

for the purpose only of:

(a) transportation, including without limitations:

(i) rail;

(ii) transit; and

(iii) cyclist paths

but excluding:

(iv) motor vehicles except on City streets crossing the Arbutus Corridor; and

(v) any grade-separated rapid transit system elevated, in whole or in part, above the surface

of the ground, of which one type is the rapid transit system know as “SkyTrain”

currently in use in the Lower Mainland;

(b) greenways, including without limitation:

(i) pedestrian paths, including without limitation urban walks, environmental demonstration

trails, heritage walks and nature trails; and

(ii) cyclist paths.

(link )

One provision it didn’t include in its bylaw was the following, meaning that CP’s threats to store train cars or do welding on the track would likely be prohibited just under the current bylaw, without having to go to court.

Excerpt #2

Transportation and Storage Uses means and includes all of the following uses, and any one of them, but no other:

Railway Station or Rail Yard, which means the use of premises as a depot or station for passengers awaiting use of rail transport (non-commuter), for the servicing, cleaning or live storage of railroad cars, engines and other rolling stock, for the marshalling of trains, and including related storage of goods pending transport;





Categories: 2014 Vancouver Civic Election