Rail Yard Site and Its Use
As the media have been covering this story, we note that the standard response by Cando Contracting Ltd. is some version of, “This site was designated for railway use in the early 1900s by the federal government, and that’s why we chose this location.” The fact is that this site was never designated for a rail yard. It was historically the location of the Bretona Railway Station and the P & H Grain Elevator, both of which were very important and necessary services for local farmers traveling and hauling their grain to market. On the other hand, the Cando rail yard is a service only to Imperial Oil Ltd. and CN, and a business venture for Cando Contracting Ltd. Local residents certainly do not benefit from this rail yard; in fact, residents get stuck with the noise, pollution (e.g., petroleum spills), devalued properties, and negative impacts on quality of life and the local environment. One CN railway line with an occasional train going by is one thing, but an industrial rail yard with 10 tracks for storing 225 tanker cars is a totally different matter. Everyone living along a railway line in Canada should be aware that this nightmare could happen to them as well.