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Robertson: CPR is “bullying”; LaPointe: Vision has been “incompetent” on CP file

August 15th, 2014 · 174 Comments

So CPR sent out the bulldozers to take down the zucchini plants and raspberry bushes this week along its long-unused line, which apparently is now so critically in need of work that the clean-up couldn’t wait until, say, the end of the season. As someone on Twitter remarked, the PR in CPR sure doesn’t stand for public relations.

But at least the politicians are responding, with lots of heat, if no light.

First was the mayor with this statement.

Statement from Mayor Robertson on CP and Arbutus Corridor

“CP’s removal and destruction of long-standing structures along the Arbutus Corridor is completely unwarranted, and these actions are simply a bullying tactic. The City made a fair market offer to CP to buy the land, which they turned down. There is no business case to reactivate cargo trains along the Corridor, and the City’s right to control the zoning was upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada.

“The City offered to purchase the land at fair market value, which CP rejected. I wrote to the head of CP last month requesting a facilitated discussion to reach a long-term solution, which has been ignored. The actions by CP are counterproductive, unnecessary, and disrespectful.”

Then NPA mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe with this statement.


 The situation between the City of Vancouver and CP Rail concerning its Arbutus Corridor property once again emphasizes that Vancouver is a great city, badly run.

Gregor Robertson spends his time on sweeping pronouncements and commitments of tax dollars to issues outside the City’s jurisdiction, like the Aquarium, tankers and Granville Island ownership.

Meanwhile, he drops the ball on issues in its own back yard, such as the Arbutus Corridor negotiations with CP Rail. This week we saw the results of his failure to resolve this and it was upsetting for many.

I empathize with those who have put time and resources into creating and tending community gardens. They must now witness the dismantling of these gardens because the City failed to competently negotiate a commercial transaction with CP.

But it didn’t have to come to this.

We need an administration with the business acumen to finish these negotiations in a way that balances the needs and rights of the landowner with the City’s taxpayers and the affected community.

We also need far more transparency on this complex issue, which has important principles at its heart, such as private property rights. But openness is a foreign concept to this mayor. Consequently, the taxpaying public is in the dark, having to rely on media reports about the most fundamental aspects of the issue, such as the gap between CP and the City over the land’s value.

Let’s put this issue out in the open, see what solutions are on the table, wrap up negotiations and let communities, taxpayers and CP see a resolution. It’s gone on for too long.



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