Prince Rupert residents deserve better from CN and the Prince Rupert Port Authority

We are reminded virtually every day of our incredible good fortune to have port development taking place.


Re: CNR, PRPA and Port Development

We are reminded virtually every day of our incredible good fortune to have port development taking place. There are, however, dark sides to this development that need to be addressed.

This community recently went through an emotional public review of the proposed pellet terminal. The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) was the government agency responsible for conducting this review, at the exclusion of the usual involvement of Environment and Health Canada. In spite of numerous objections to the development from a number of perspectives, the development has now been approved to proceed with virtually no recognition being given to the complaints raised, particularly with the size and location of this facility.

During the review process, CN’s plans to place barricades and fences around ‘their’ property were NOT identified. To the contrary, at the public meeting at the Lester Centre, an artistic drawing showed a paved roadway along the foreshore compete with a public sidewalk, trees and flowers. CN’s actions now are a total betrayal of what was presented to the public and the PRPA must accept responsibility for the lack of disclosure of this fundamental and important issue.

I disagree with the recent comments of those within our community, including a spokesperson from the PRPA, who suggest that CN owns their waterfront property and they are therefore free to do with it as they please. Society, cities and municipalities don’t, or at least should not, work that way. What CN is doing in this community greatly affects many people and so it becomes their responsibility to consider how their actions can best meet the wishes of the community. If this is not a legal responsibility it is certainly a moral, ethical and social responsibility.

Since the fire destroyed the central wharf in 1972, CN’s waterfront property in the area has remained a wasteland. 40 years after the fire, a fence is still in place complete with a CN sign, restricting access to the ‘beach area’ due to the contaminated gravel. The ‘beach area’, bordering where we have most of our community waterfront activities, consists of broken pieces of concrete with pieces of re-bar protruding dangerously into pathways and jagged pieces of steel as well as numerous sawn off creosote pilings extending from the gravel beach. All of this is along with the dusty, pot holed road which numerous residents have used regularly for walking and jogging and which has been spewing dust onto everyone for years. This central area of Prince Rupert’s waterfront should never have been allowed to remain in such a user unfriendly state for this period of time. It is also unnecessary and unacceptable that it now be barricaded and fenced. In short, CN needs to become a functioning member of this community.

Further, neither CNR nor the PRPA have ever offered an explanation to this community of their betrayal of the terms set out in the development plans for the container terminal. In the documentation submitted jointly by CNR and PRPA to the regulatory agencies for approval to proceed with this development it was explicitly and repeatedly stated that the rail traffic associated with the container terminal would not proceed north of the terminal. Since the first day of operations of this terminal, most if not all of this traffic has been shuffled to and from the inner city rail yard at great disturbance to this community. It is not only the excessive sounding of the mighty train whistles at all hours of the day and night and the thunderous noise created from the shunting of rail cars that has been of immense disturbance, but there is also the resulting interference from these rail movements to BC Ferries, Alaska Ferries, our Airport ferry service, VIA Rail, the floats at Fairview Bay, and those living in Dodge Cove.

To make matters far worse, there is a fivefold increase in rail traffic projected to occur with container terminal expansion, as well as the daily switches soon to begin for the pellet facility. The adverse effects these developments are having on our community are being ignored, including CN’s recent actions with placing barricades along the waterfront.

Port development needs to consider the interests of all parties and not just the developers, most of who do not, have not and never will live here. Residents of Prince Rupert deserve far better than this.

Brian Denton

Just Posted

Child care minister listens to challenges Prince Rupert providers face

Aboriginal Head Start programs to receive $30 million in funding to support early learning

Alaska’s marine highway receives critical funding

Prince Rupert ferry sailings south to Bellingham or north to Ketchikan to continue over the summer

Prince Rupert woman reported missing

Victoria Lynn Fraser was last seen on May 22, 2018

In Our Opinion: Putting the horse before the cart

Should the federal government give priority to Via Rail passengers over cargo travelling on CN Rail?

VIDEO: Why Prince Rupert residents Relay

Voices from the many Relay For Life participants come together in this video

This Week Podcast — Episode 86

Pick up a few gardening tips from Prince Rupert Sunken Gardens manager Andree Fawcett

Feds limit chinook fishery to help killer whale recovery

Chinook is main food source for only 76 southern residents killer whales left

B.C. mom who died just before daughter’s wedding wanted family to be happy: twin

Ann Wittenberg was pulled into the ocean while on a surf board in Tofino last weekend

Courtenay-Alberni MP calls for lifeguards at popular surf spot near Tofino

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is defending its decision to cancel the surf guard program.

Harvey Weinstein to surrender in sex misconduct probe: officials

Would be first criminal charge against Weinstein since scores of women came forward

Media are not an arm of the police, Vice lawyer tells Supreme Court hearing

Ben Makuch challenges Ontario Court of Appeal ruling that he must give materials for stories to RCMP

B.C. launches plan to tackle doctor shortage, emergency room congestion

John Horgan aims to set up regional primary care networks in a ‘team-based’ approach

Vancouver, Squamish pipeline challenges dismissed by court in B.C.

Justice Christopher Grauer ruled the province’s decision to issue the certificate was reasonable

Early learning programs for Indigenous kids get $30M boost

B.C. government to help expand Aboriginal Head Start Association programs with three-year funding

Most Read