Every second Tuesday of the month, I sit in Port Edward council chambers to find out the latest happenings in that community.
And about 15 minutes into every meeting, like clockwork, the business of the day is interrupted by several loud bursts of a train whistle.
For guests in council chambers, including business delegates who often speak near the beginning of the meeting, the train whistles are simply an inconvenience. But for those who have sat on council over the past nine years I have covered the meetings, the train whistles have been a constant thorn in their side.
It’s an issue that has been raised year in and year out by residents who enjoy the small-town feel of Port Edward but could do without the constant interruption at all hours of the day and night.
It’s also an issue that has only gotten worse as traffic through Fairview Terminal has continued to grow and more and more companies across the world have turned their eyes to the Port of Prince Rupert.
Finally, after years of working with CN and other stakeholders, the District of Port Edward is putting its money where its mouth is and leading the charge to put an end to train whistling in town. By investing more than $700,000 to get the ball rolling to convert the unmanned crossings to controlled crossings, Port Edward council is showing they are serious about finding a solution to this problem and they are not going to simply rely on others to fund it.
That is the kind of proactive work that municipal governments should be undertaking, as finances allow of course, and Port Edward council is to be commended for taking this action.
Now it is my hope that those other stakeholders who have been approached about supporting the cause will follow council’s lead and show they are committed to improving the quality of life for Port Edward residents.
After all, keeping residents happy is a critical part of being good corporate neighbours.