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City of Vancouver to challenge Canadian Pacific Railway action on Arbutus corridor

October 3 2014

“Today’s action in BC Supreme Court is a reflection of the City’s longstanding commitment to ensuring the corridor is protected as a greenway for the benefit of all Vancouver residents,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson.

Vancouver City Hall

Today the City of Vancouver has filed a notice of civil claim in BC Supreme Court in a direct constitutional challenge to action taken by Canadian Pacific (CP) to clear the Arbutus corridor and to reactivate it as a railway.

Injunctions sought to restrain CP

Building on steps by the City to represent the interests of Vancouver residents and to oppose the reactivation of the rail line, permanent and interlocutory injunctions will also be sought to restrain CP from:

  • Operating the Marpole Spur as a railway
  • Initiating further construction, demolition, or clearing of gardens on the corridor
  • The spraying of herbicides

Joseph Arvay, Q.C., who is renowned for having successfully argued a number of landmark constitutional cases, has been retained to lead this action.
 
“Today’s action in BC Supreme Court is a reflection of the City’s longstanding commitment to ensuring the corridor is protected as a greenway for the benefit of all Vancouver residents,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The refusal by CP to reach a reasonable agreement on the future of the Arbutus corridor is immensely disappointing and frustrating, but the City will continue to responsibly represent citizens’ interests and strongly oppose the reactivation of cargo trains. The City will not react to threats and bullying on the corridor by spending tens of millions dollars more than the land is worth, which would be a tremendous disservice to taxpayers.”

CP broke off talks on the future of the corridor

The City of Vancouver has offered to purchase the land at a fair price based on its permitted use and an Official Development Plan that is based on thorough community input and that was upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada. While the City has offered to bring in a third party facilitator to reach an agreement and engaged experienced external professionals to assist with the discussions, CP recently broke off talks on the future of the corridor and has indicated they will immediately begin clearing the corridor for active railway use.