Addressing CN Rail impacts to the Squamish Nation – next steps

For the signed update letter from Council Co-Chairs, please click here

Following up on our communication from February, we want to update membership on the status of activities with regard to CN Rail and the impact of its operations on the Eslhá7an and X̱wemelch’stn communities.

Despite our continuing good-faith efforts over years to engage with CN to find solutions to these impacts, CN has not been responsive. These disruptions have reached the level where they have undermined the health and well-being of many in our community. As we have said before, this is unacceptable.

This is why we have made the decision to hire lawyer Robert Janes, QC, to help us to address these issues through the legal system. Mr. Janes has been a litigator for over twenty years and has extensive experience in assisting First Nations needing sound strategic and legal advice, including in the area of rights and title.

Last week, Mr. Janes sent a letter to Sean Finn, Executive Vice-President, Corporate Services and Chief Legal Officer with CN Rail, on behalf of the Squamish Nation. In this letter, Mr. Janes made it clear what is needed from CN, in both the short- and long-term, to meaningfully address the impacts of their operations on our people and communities.

In the short-term, we are demanding that night operations stop, and that CN move their staging areas away from our communities to help reduce noise and air-quality impacts. In the long-term, we are demanding solutions that could include, for example, putting up effective barriers to block sound, burying rail operations underground or moving operations permanently to a different location.

CN has 45 days to respond to this request with a detailed plan for how it will address these concerns and on what timeline. If they do not respond with a detailed plan within 45 days, we will have no choice but to pursue legal action against CN. In the meantime, we continue to work with elected representatives from the federal, provincial and municipal governments to support us in these efforts.

As always, we will continue to keep you informed of our progress and results as we move forward in this process.

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