CP Rail intends to create a logistics park with fuel and grain storage in Pitt Meadows. (Special to The News)

CP Rail intends to create a logistics park with fuel and grain storage in Pitt Meadows. (Special to The News)

From ‘The Natural Place’ to ‘The Industrial Place’

Pitt Meadows residents, council rally against CPR logistics park

Pitt Meadows city council will be doing an environmental study as part of its work against a proposed new CP Rail logistics park.

The facility, which was announced in early December, will store fuels, grains and vehicles at a 41 hectare site just south of the existing CP Rail intermodal facility in Pitt Meadows. Council has voiced concerns about pollution, fire hazards, public safety and even the public image of the city.

READ ALSO: Pitt Meadows city hall and residents oppose new CP Rail operation

There is already strong opposition to the park, which would be known as CP Logistics Park: Vancouver. There are already, as of Friday, close to 600 signatures on an online petition on change.org, which is titled “Stop CP Rail Intermodal Expansion in Pitt Meadows.”

Citizen opposition is also being organized on a Facebook page called Pitt Meadows Intermodal Expansion – Concerned Residents.

At it’s Tuesday meeting, city council encouraged citizen opposition, and approved the spending of $50,000 to $75,000 for an environmental study “to determine associated health and environmental impacts of CP Rail’s operations along the rail corridor in Pitt Meadows, including but not limited to, baseline measurements of pollutants and carcinogens and their relation to regulatory standards.”

“If the results are not compliant with established standards, the city will be in a strong position to advocate and effect change with the federal regulatory agencies to the best we are able,” said CAO Mark Roberts.

He said the city has a operating budget surplus that will cover the study.

Each member of council spoke in opposition to the project.

Mayor Bill Dingwall called it “A blind side stomach punch to council, to our staff and most importantly to our community.”

Coun. Nicole MacDonald voiced concerns about the suddenness of the announcement on Dec. 1, and CP’s move into public consultation.

“The lack of disclosure on this behemoth project is an insult to the city and its residents,” said MacDonald.

She said the city has already engaged federal and provincial officials, the Katzie First Nation, neighbouring municipalities and Metro Vancouver about its opposition to the logistics park expansion.

MacDonald addressed a suggestion the city should pull out of its work on another project it is working on with CP and other levels of government – the Harris Road underpass, Kennedy Road overpass and rail extensions. It is a $141 million project.

MacDonald noted there are 40 trains per day through the city, expected to rise to 65 “in the not too distant future,” even without the expansion of the logistics yard. She said train traffic and train building operations could effectively “cut the community in half,” and it is better for the city to negotiate. At stake is the city not making a financial contribution to the project, preservation of museum buildings, sound and sight mitigation, and traffic flows during construction.

“It is essential we are at the table,” said MacDonald.

Dingwall noted that although council has been negotiating with CP and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority for the underpass and overpass projects, nothing has been mentioned about the logistics park until this month.

“This is not beneficial to our community at all… very concerned about some of the impacts to the environment and our health, safety,” said Coun. Tracy Miyashita. “We are fiercely protective of quality of life in our community,” and want a small-town feel.

Coun. Mike Hayes said after CP is able to build a third track through the city, it could start on a fourth.

“The sudden announcement of this Canadian Pacific proposed expansion has in my view destroyed any chance for CP to build trust and transparency with our trust and our city,” he said.

“We are in danger of going from The Natural place to The Industrial Place.”

He said CP is willing to “destroy quality farmland, property values and quality of life.”

Coun. Anena Simpson said “I felt like a curtain was being pulled back, and I was finally seeing just how nefarious CP’s plans for our community are.”

She spoke against rail activities in a residential area, dangerous chemicals being stored beside waterways, and fuel tanks built on on farmland.

Coun. Bob Meachen said CP is benefiting from rail laws that date back to the origins of the country.

“The laws that govern what large railway companies can do within Canada were written a long, long time ago, when the environmental issues we face today, with global warming and everything else, just didn’t exist.”

The city will meet with CP at its Tuesday council meeting.

CP is hosting an online community consultation about the project on Saturday from 1-2 p.m.



Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

City CouncilCP RailPitt Meadows

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dogs big and small on the patio at Witchcraft Beer Market and Bistro. (City of Maple Ridge/Youtube)
VIDEO: Businesses embrace new Dog Friendly Maple Ridge pilot project

Pets can come onto a patio at a restaurant or enter participating retail spaces

A photo submitted to municipal staff on April 6 showing a beaver dam southwest of Chester Street. The drainage issues on the south side of the highway are the responsibility of CP Rail, as they own the property. Photo courtesy of the District of Mission.
Delegation of Silverdale farmers say land continually floods along Lougheed Highway

Beaver dams, siltation, fallen trees, bad ditching is sinking crops next to recently widened highway

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising five years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Ken Dockendorf is rallying opposition to the changes to high school sports governance. (The News files)
Maple Ridge coaches oppose changes to high school sports governance

Vote coming on May 1 could change varsity sports across B.C.

Students in Garibaldi secondary’s music program rehearse for Swing into Spring. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge high school adding a spring to their step

Swing into Spring concert to raise money for the Garibaldi secondary’s music program

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. sees 873 more COVID-19 cases Tuesday, decline continues

Hospitalizations up to 377, two more deaths for 1,515 total

White Rock's popularity as a destination places it in a difficult position in ensuring provincial health orders are followed, Coun. David Chesney said, asking that staff obtain impartial input from both Fraser Health and the Ministry of Health before further measures are debated. (File photo)
Pandemic crowding on waterfront vexes White Rock council

Overcrowding, extra garbage the downside of take-out business

FILE – People hold signs during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver on Saturday, August 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. to request federal exemption for simple drug possession

Announcement comes on 5-year anniversary of B.C.’s first public health emergency

(AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, FIle)
Rare blood clots ‘may be linked’ to AstraZeneca vaccines: Health Canada

One case of the adverse effect has been reported in Canada

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Two men walk past a sign on Main Street in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calls for government transparency in COVID data continue as B.C.’s 3rd wave wears on

Social media, where both information and misinformation can spread like wildfire, has not helped

Two men were seen removing red dresses alongside the Island Highway in Oyster Bay. (Submitted photo)
Observers ‘gutted’ as pair filmed removing red dresses hung along B.C. highway

Activists hung the dresses to raise awareness for Indigenous Murdered/Missing Women & Girls

A grey whale off the coast of Vancouver Island is being monitored by Canadian and U.S. researchers, as it has developed lesions after being tagged last year. To try and prevent systemic infection from developing, the team administered antibiotics to the whale on March 31 and April 1. (Photo from the NOAA Fisheries website)
Grey whale off Vancouver Island develops lesions after being tagged, researchers monitor its condition

Canadian and U.S. whale experts administered antibiotics to the animal on March 31, April 1

Most Read