Update: CN dispute regarding Centennial Seawalk
Sep 13, 2017
On Friday, February 17, 2017, CN Acquisition Limited filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of British Columbia alleging that the District of West Vancouver and its residents do not have a legal right to use the Centennial Seawalk, in those locations where it runs along the railway right-of-way. The lawsuit by CN seeks both an injunction to restrain the further use of the Centennial Seawalk and financial compensation.
The Centennial Seawalk has been used by the public for close to 50 years. The District of West Vancouver is defending the lawsuit and has also filed an application with the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) to address the situation. The CTA is a federal tribunal which has jurisdiction to resolve a large number of issues relating to public transportation, including the power to grant rights to use a railway right-of-way in appropriate circumstances.
The CTA has recently decided to hold an oral hearing with respect to the District of West Vancouver’s application regarding the Centennial Seawalk. The oral hearing will be held in Vancouver on October 25 & 26, 2017.
On September 11, 2017, the CTA posted a Notice of Oral Hearing.
Key excerpts from the Notice are set out below:
The CTA will hold an oral hearing commencing on Wednesday, October 25, 2017, in Courtroom 601 at:
Federal Court of Canada
CF Pacific Centre
701 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
The hearing will begin at 9 a.m. and continue on Thursday, October 26, 2017.
The CTA will hear oral arguments from counsel for both parties.
Persons who have a substantial and direct interest in the proceeding have until October 3, 2017 to file a request to intervene pursuant to section 29 of the Canadian Transportation Agency Rules (Dispute Proceedings and Certain Rules Applicable to All Proceedings), SOR/2014-104. All such requests received by the CTA will be shared with the parties to this case (West Vancouver and CN) for their comments. The CTA will make a determination on whether intervener status will be granted, and if so, whether an intervener will be invited to speak at the hearing, or alternatively, to provide written comments only.
Members of the public may attend as observers of the hearing. The seating capacity in the public gallery of Courtroom 601 is for 40 people only, and will be filled on a first come basis. No outside cameras or recording devices are permitted.
The District is preparing for the oral hearing and looks forward to resolution of this matter.
While the District opposes CN's legal action, the District has been advised to reduce maintenance activities on the Centennial Seawalk to the level required for public health and safety.
The District apologizes for any inconvenience caused to the public. The District has received advice not to comment further while this remains before the courts.