Monday, June 5, 2017

CN Fence to stay up; discussions to continue between railway and City

Mayor Brain, Councillor Niesh
and CN Rail VP Sean Finn
met in Ottawa last week 
A short note on Mayor Lee Brain's Facebook page has offered up a glimpse into a recent conversation between City of Prince Rupert representatives and an official for Canadian National Railway.

On Saturday Mayor Brain in Ottawa for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities convention, provided his impressions culled from an exchange with Mr. Sean Finn, the Executive Vice-President of Corporate Services and Chief Legal Officer for CN regarding the fence that currently is in place to the west of the lightering dock on the city's waterfront.

Describing the session that he and Councillor Niesh held as "very collaborative and positive" and one that explored future uses for the property, the Mayor noted that he and Mr. Niesh had "made it very clear how the community feels about this issue", adding that the city representatives had "brought forward a number of solutions that could be seen as a win-win for all stakeholders."

According to Mayor Brain, the CN VP has agreed to enter into a long term discussion with the City regarding the issue, Mr. Brain also indicated that CN will conduct an internal assessment of the property among their Operations team.

While CN explores its internal process, Mayor Brain notes that the City and the railway will collaborate on conducting further environmental testing of the site as they both look to determine the contamination concerns that are of note for the stretch of shoreline behind the fence.

The fence will remain up on the waterfront this weekend as the City and CN continue
their discussions related to future access to the shoreline east of the lightering dock

As for the fence, it will remain in place owing to public health and safety reasons.

With that in mind the mayor also asked that community members to stay off the beach due to health, safety and legal reasons, particularly on Seafest Sunday June11th.

The Mayor also outlined the nature of the temporary solution related to waterfront events, a plan which will see the activities shift their focus to the east of the lightering dock with the use of an extended dock off that facility.

Mr. Brain concluded his short synopsis of the exchange with the CN officials by noting that moving forward on the issue, he would be communicating directly with Mr. Finn on an on-going basis, thanking CN for their willingness to hear the community and asking for the patience and understanding of residents on the matter.

To this point, the fence advisory for the public from Mr. Brain has only been relayed through the Mayor's social media platform, with no advisories provided to the official City website, or the City's reange of social media streams.

Mr. Brain offered no timeline through his statement as to when that ongoing dialogue with the railway is expected to next take place.

As well, there was no indication as to what kind of schedule is in place for the review of the environmental testing for the site and what the anticipated cost of that review for the city might be.

The full statement taken from his Facebook page can be reviewed below:

More notes related to CN Rail activities on the North coast can be found on our archive page here.

For items related to City council discussion topics see our City Council archive page here.

Update: The City included an advisory to the city website later on Monday morning.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review.

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