Opposition to the proposed CP Rail logistics yard in Pitt Meadows is growing, and organizers are urging residents to provide feedback to the railway before a coming deadline.
Jan. 15 is the end of Canadian Pacific’s first round of public consultation. Heather Anderson wants to ensure residents have their say. She is part of a group that has started a website at pittmeadowsrailyardexpansion.com where they offer template letters to elected officials, a petition opposing the project, and links to the CP Rail feedback form.
On Dec. 2, CP announced its intention to built the new logistics park in Pitt Meadows, on farmland just south of the existing intermodal facility. The 41 hectare facility (101 acres) would include a liquids transload and rail yard for transportation fuels and ethanol, an auto lot for storage of vehicles destined for local distributors, and an agricultural hub where farm products will be transloaded into shipping containers and shipped around the world.
Anderson is concerned about more industrial development in Pitt Meadows, and said the fuel transload element is particularly alarming.
“This is extremely concerning to this community,” she said. “It’s a huge safety concern.”
CP held virtual town hall events on Dec. 8 and 12 to offer information about the project.
Anderson said the first goal of her group is to get information out to the community. Then, they want to provide positive ways for the public to voice opposition.
“It’s a David and Goliath story. It can feel like CP Rail has ultimate power – they don’t. It’s up to citizens to stand up,” she said. “This is not something that people are going to stand by and let happen without a fight.”
City hall has joined the opposition, with city council unanimously opposed to the new CP project.
There is also a Facebook page Pitt Meadows Intermodal Expansion – Concerned Residents urging residents to give their feedback to CP prior to the Jan. 15 deadline.
CP said the project will provide 150-250 direct jobs, and more during construction. It will also add approximately $1 million to the property taxes the railway pays the city, bringing the total to $4.1 million.
CP also lists reducing the amount of truck traffic on the roads, and supporting Canadian trade and boosting the economy among the benefits.
There is a petition against the expansion at change.org which has already received more than 1,300 signatures. There is also a new petition registered with the House of Commons that has 378 signatures.
CP said public consultation will continue through the coming year.