Update: CN dispute regarding Centennial Seawalk

Jan 2, 2018


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 also filed an application with the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) to confirm the District’s right to use the Seawalk. 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.


On October 25 and 26, 2017, the CTA held an oral hearing with respect to the District of West Vancouver’s application regarding the Centennial Seawalk. On December 28, 2017, the CTA issued a decision regarding the District’s application. The CTA has agreed with West Vancouver that the CTA has legal jurisdiction over the Seawalk. However, the CTA has decided to wait before making its final determination until the Supreme Court of BC rules on CN’s lawsuit regarding the terminated BC Rail leases.

The District’s application before the CTA and CN’s lawsuit in the Supreme Court of British Columbia are still underway. The District will continue to pursue the CTA application, defend against CN’s lawsuit and use all available means to protect the District’s interests.


Members of the public are cautioned that their legal right to use the Seawalk remains in dispute. 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 the inconvenience caused to the public. The District has received advice not to comment further while this remains before the CTA and the courts.

Media Contact

Media enquiries only

Donna Powers, Director of Community Relations & Communications

604-219-4806 (cell)

604-925-7168 (office)


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