Railroaded Correspondence

The following are a few of the many letters and e-mails sent by Railroaded to various governments, companies, agencies and associations regarding the very ill-conceived rail yard recently constructed in the Bretona Community, Strathcona County, Alberta. Railroaded news releases also appear below:

May 18, 2011

CN Wildfire Burns Conservation Area

Railroaded describes in this news release a wildfire caused by CN that burned 1.5 to 2 acres of forest and meadow in a wildlife conservation area near a rail yard built in 2010 to store petroleum tank cars. The hazards of fires caused by railway companies is discussed.

April 25, 2011

E-Mail to Alberta Environment – Drainage

This e-mail to Alberta Environment requests the department review the altered surface drainage caused by construction of the Cando Contracting/CN/Imperial Oil rail yard. Two adjacent properties have been flooded.

November 14, 2010

Letter to Transport Minister – Approvals

This letter points out that because a rail yard is not a railway line, the Canadian Transportation Agency should have approved the Cando rail yard and a formal environmental assessment should have been conducted well before the rail yard was built.

November 8, 2010

Letter to Prime Minister Harper – Intervene

In the absence of any substantial response from federal Cabinet Ministers and the MP for Vegreville Wainwright, Railroaded has sent this letter to the Prime Minister, requesting that he intervene to stop operation of the newly-constructed rail yard right next to homes and protected wildlife conservation areas. Also see Railroaded news release.

November 7, 2010

Letter to Leon Benoit, MP

Railroaded has been trying to get Leon Benoit, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Vegreville Wainwright, to support constituents in their fight against the Cando rail yard. So far, Mr. Benoit has been trying to suggest that the federal government is not responsible for rail yard construction and operation; however, the law says otherwise. See the most recent letter here.

October 21, 2010

Letter to Strathcona Commissioner – FOIP

This letter was sent to Strathcona County, requesting access to public information under the Alberta Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

October 14, 2010

Letter to Petroleum Association (CAPP)

Railroaded points out that Imperial Oil, a “Producing Member” of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, is in partnership with CN and Cando Contracting Ltd.  regarding construction of an industrial rail yard to store petroleum tank cars. The rail yard will have negative impacts on adjacent homes, protected wildlife conservation areas, waterbodies, and a nearby elementary school and 27-hole golf course. See letter here.

Imperial Oil is one of the largest investors in Syncrude which has been in the news a lot lately because its toxic tailings ponds have been attracting and killing hundreds of ducks.

October 12, 2010

E-mail to Cando Contracting Ltd. – Appeal

Railroaded has contacted Cando Contracting Ltd. many times since residents found out by accident about this company’s plans to build an industrial rail yard in their community. See one of these e-mails here.

August 19, 2010

CN Derailment Worries Residents

A major derailment of 43 cars in the Scotford Rail Yard near Fort Saskatchewan worries Strathcona County residents that a similar accident could easily happen in a rail yard under construction right next to their homes and protected wildlife conservation areas. See Railroaded news release.

August 12, 2010

E-mail to Cando – Proximity Violation

This e-mail was sent to  Steve Gallagher of Cando Contracting Ltd.,  who is also a member of the Proximity Sub-Committee for the RAC/FCM Proximity Guidelines and Best Practices initiative. The e-mail asks Mr. Gallagher why Cando is violating the minimum 300 metre setback between homes and rail yards. See e-mail here.

August 9, 2010

Letter to Canadian National Railway

This letter describes CN’s role in the rail yard being built so close to homes and protected natural areas. It also points out the many ways construction and operation of the yard violate CN’s own environmental, proximity and community relations policies, as well as CN’s Code of Business Conduct. See letter here.

August 5, 2010

Letter to Imperial Oil – Policy Breaches

With respect to the Cando rail yard, violations of Imperial Oil’s own community relations and environmental policies, as well as Imperial’s Ethics and Standards of Business Conduct are pointed out in this letter. See letter here.

August 4, 2010

Letter to RAC and FCM – Proximity Violation

Railroaded makes the Railway Association of Canada (RAC) and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) aware of the Cando rail yard under construction in the middle of an agricultural, conservation and recreational community. The letter also highlights how construction and operation of this yard violate joint RAC/FCM proximity and landowner relations guidelines. See letter here.

July 23, 2010

Letter to Alberta Environment Minister

This letter requests that a formal environmental impact assessment of the Cando rail yard proposal be required pursuant to provincial legislation. The request is based on the fact that about half of the rail yard site drains into a private farm dugout, into a private land conservancy site and then into a public wildlife conservation area, Bretona Pond, and finally into Mill Creek. The other half of the rail yard drains directly into Mill Creek, which drains into the North Saskatchewan River. Spring and rain run-off from this site is a major concern because normal oil, grease and solvents will be dripping and leaking from locomotives and the 225 petroleum tank cars, plus if there are any leaks of toxic petroleum products from the rail car tanks it could be a disaster. We have been told there are no spill containment measures incorporated into the rail yard design. See letter here.

July 23, 2010

Letter to Strathcona County – Questions

Landowners living immediately adjacent to the Cando rail yard ask the County a number of questions based on County staff being very helpful to the rail yard proponents but doing nothing to help County residents who have lived in the Bretona Community for several generations. See letter here.

July 21, 2010

Letter to 3 Federal Ministers – Objection

This 21-page letter, which is a formal Notice of Objection to the Cando/CN/Imperial Oil rail yard under construction in southwest Strathcona County, highlights the many breaches of federal legislation and regulations, railway operating rules, RAC/FCM policies and CN policies. Breaches pertain to: no landowner notice; federal approvals required; environmental assessments required; noise and vibration; threat, safety and damage; and, construction standards.  See letter here.  Also see Railroaded news release.

June 24, 2010

Unannounced Rail Yard Construction Starts

Cando Contracting Ltd., CN and Imperial Oil surprised Strathcona County residents by starting construction of an industrial rail yard in their agricultural, conservation and recreation community without any landowner notification. See Railroaded news release for details.

June 21, 2010

E-mail to 3 Orders of Government

In response to the rail yard proponents starting construction on June 21, 2010 without any landowner notification or opportunities to object, Railroaded sent this e-mail to federal, provincial and Strathcona County representatives, objecting to the rail yard. See e-mail here.

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