The City of Vancouver lost its court case to prevent CP Rail from continuing to clear the Arbutus Corridor. According to several media reports, the BC Supreme Court ruled that CP may continue clearing gardens and other obstacles along its rail corridor. The ruling was also reported to state, “the gardeners, pedestrians, cyclists, and motor vehicle operators who have been using the corridor have no right to such use.”
CP Rail had cleared a small section of the tracks from obstacles and gardens last summer in Marpole (photographs in Arbutus Corridor in Pictures). The clearing of the tracks was put on hold at the request of the City; however, later CP’s negotiations with the City of Vancouver broke down. The City reportedly offered CP Rail a mere $20 million for the entire corridor. The City took CP to court in October of 2014 in an attempt to halt the clearing of the corridor, in the middle of the election campaign.
With the court’s ruling, CP is presumably now able to reactivate the Arbutus corridor to carry rail traffic. The corridor was last used in 2001. It’s unclear what the City’s costs to taxpayers will be (for staff time and legal services). The decision by the court was not completely unexpected. The City may attempt to stop the reactivation of the corridor at the Canadian Transportation Agency in the upcoming months.
CP will be able to continue clearing the corridor at any time from obstacles; it remains unclear if they will provide gardeners more time to remove planters, structures, fruit trees and other items. CP plans to use the tracks for railcar storage; the tracks extend from the Marpole spur.
Further details about the City of Vancouver vs. CP Rail ruling can be found in the following articles:
- City of Vancouver loses Arbutus Rail Corridor fight (Paula Baker, GlobalNews, Jan 20, 2015)
- Arbutus rail corridor ruling from BC Supreme Court in favour of CP – Ruling comes after months of sparring between the City of Vancouver and CP Rail (CBC, Jan 20, 2015)
- City of Vancouver loses court battle with CP Rail over Arbutus corridor gardens (Keith Fraser, The Province, Jan 20, 2015)
- Court rules against City of Vancouver in Arbutus Corridor case (Naoibh O’Connor, Vancouver Courier, Jan 20, 2015)
- Vancouver loses court battle to stop CP from clearing Arbutus corridor (Emily Jackson, MetroNews, Jan 20, 2015)
- Vancouver loses bid to have CP Rail stop clearing Arbutus corridor – BC Supreme Court has ruled against an attempt to block the work (Martin MacMahon, News1130, Jan 20, 2015)
Brent Jang of the Globe and Mail shared an interesting tweet:
CP estimates it will cost $320,000 to get tracks ready for railcar storage on Arbutus corridor, south of King Edward Ave. #vanpoli
— Brent Jang (@brentcjang) January 20, 2015