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

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

Editor:

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

Rough seas delay Prince Rupert/Haida Gwaii ferry

Northern Expedition is expected to leave Prince Rupert for Haida Gwaii at noon on Tuesday, Nov. 13

Piano duet claims Rupert’s Got Talent crown

Best friends, Pia Khaira and Alan Phuong, were named the winners of the Prince Rupert competition

Prince Rupert trades apprenticeship program receives $20,000

Funding from Industry Training Authority supports hands-on workplace experience for students

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

Heart of Our City: Teaching the next generation

Sadie Dennis is passing on her knowledge of fishing and canning to youth at the Friendship House

Prince Rupert Rampage suffers its first loss of the season.

Prince Rupert’s perfect season comes to an end with a 4-3 loss at the hands of the River Kings

Delivering the paper as a family

The Northern View is looking for newspaper carriers in Prince Rupert, join our team today

VIDEO: Newcomer kids see first Canadian snowfall

Children arrived in Canada with their mother and two siblings last week from Eritrea

Feds dropped ball with WWI anniversary tributes: historians

Wrote one historian: ‘Other than the Vimy Ridge celebration … I think they have done a very bad job’

Sides ‘far apart’ in Canada Post talks despite mediation, says union

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday

Feds’ appeal of solitary confinement decision in B.C. to be heard

Judge ruled in January that indefinite such confinement is unconstitutional, causes permanent harm

B.C. health care payroll tax approved, takes effect Jan. 1

Employers calculating cost, including property taxes increases

Nunavut urges new plan to deal with too many polar bears

Territory recommends a proposal that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking

Shelter struggles: Landlord takes over rental unit whenever visiting B.C. town

Renter’s story highlights how hard it is to find accommodation in Revelstoke

Most Read