Thursday, April 10, 2008

 

"BC Rail used to do these things" - "big bad bandits of CN no longer do." So B.C. towns, cattlemen supporting Wyse Bill.

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MLA TO PROPOSE RANCHING BILL


By Sage Birchwater
Williams Lake Tribune - April 10, 2008


Cariboo South MLA Charlie Wyse plans to introduce a private member’s bill in the B.C. Legislature next week aimed at restoring safety and economic certainty to livestock producers negatively affected by the 2004 [sic] sale of BC Rail.

Wyse says the bill addresses four issues concerning ranchers:

maintaining the fences,
maintaining the rail crossings,
notifying livestock owners when their animals are killed, and
managing the spread of invasive weeds along the railway right-of-way.

Wyse says since CN has taken over the operation of the railway they have not been maintaining the fencing or even calling ranchers when cattle have been stuck and killed.

“In one case they started burying the dead cattle without contacting the owner,” Wyse says. “This is clearly unacceptable as this represents a significant financial loss to owners.”

He says since the sale of BC Rail, ranchers have also been asked to pay for fencing along the rail corridor even though the railway was built through their land.

“BC Rail used to do these things. We’re now seeing an expectation that ranchers will have to pay for them.

“This is a significant cost for individual owners.”

The private members bill has the support of various communities along the CN rail line from Fort St. John to Whistler and from several BC Cattlemen Associations, Wyse said.

Letters of support for the bill include those from the City of Fort St. John, the district of Wells, the village of Clinton, and the village of Pouce Coupe.

Mayor Scott Nelson says the City of Williams Lake is unanimously behind Wyse’s initiative.Private Members Bill Targets CN For Lack Of Maintenance On Right Of Way

By 250 News
Tuesday, April 15, 2008 03:53 AM


Victoria, B.C. –A private members bill has been introduced in the BC Legislature aimed at getting CN, who took over the operations of BC Rail, to restore fencing that is becoming out of date along the old BC Rail line. Cariboo South MLA Charlie Wyse says many ranchers are being affected by the neglect.

“This bill addresses many of the problems created when Gordon Campbell broke his promise and sold BC Rail,” said Wyse.

“Since CN has taken over they have not been maintaining fencing or even calling ranchers when cattle have been struck and killed. In one case, they started burying the dead cattle without contacting the owner. This is clearly unacceptable as this represents a significant financial loss to owners.”

Since the sale of BC Rail, ranchers have also been asked to pay for fencing along the rail corridor even though the rail was built through their land. The bill also states that the railway should be responsible for preventing the spread of toxic weeds.

“Whereas before BC Rail used to do these things, we are now seeing an expectation that ranchers will pay for them – a significant cost for individual owners,” Wyse added.

The bill has support from various communities along the line.

Letters of support for the bill include those from: City of Fort St. John, District of Wells, Village of Clinton, Village of Pouce Coupe, Municipality of Whistler, District of Chetwynd, Peace River Regional District, Onward/Mission Ranch, Anahim Lake Cattlemen’s Association, Tatla Lake Livestock Association, Chilcotin Stockman’s Association, Lac La Hache Livestock Association, and the British Columbia Cattlemen’s Association.

“So we support it wholeheartedly, and if the big bad bandits of CN don’t cough up the money then we have to hold them accountable.”

Wyse says the bill addresses many of the problems that were created when Premier Gordon Campbell broke a promise he made prior to getting elected in 2001, not to sell BC Rail.

In other matters Wyse says he is concerned over the downsizing of the Ministry of Small Business assessment office in Williams Lake.

“I have raised the matter directly with Minister Rick Thorpe.”

He says the office has been downsizing since 2006, having gone from 14 staff to eight-and-a-half positions.

“I discovered that the farm portfolio has been transferred to Kamloops on March 15, and in the last two years the commercial industrial portfolio has been gradually relocated to Kamloops.”

Wyse says when he pursued the matter in the legislature, Thorpe said he was not aware of it.

Wyse says he has turned the information over to the Minister of Small Business for him to investigate.

He says the assessment office covers a huge area geographically, including the Chilcotin, the Quesnel area, and down to the 100 Mile area.

“It’s the continuing practice of relocating services away from rural B.C. and making it much more difficult for the people of our area to obtain the service that they need.

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Comments:
If you take a look at the map of BC and trace the CN route through this province then check out where all the major problems are I think you'll find them mainly along our BC rail line. From Fort St. John right down the line to at least Squamish. Mills closing, lumber companies,going bankrupt, fences in direpair in cattle country and the biggest insult, major pollution spills all down the line.

CN will probably say that BC still owns the track bed and then Campbell will say But CN is using it. And all of a sudden we fall into more delays. When are these imbiciles in Victoria on the government side going to wake up and revolt against their leader and big business?
 
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Gary E,

I'd like to read about this, with more eyewitness information about what the loss of BCRail has meant to the central and northerly BC towns, communities and ranches.

Even just the effects on the town "30 minutes from your mountain-top home" ... that would be more information than we see in the big daily media in and around Vancouver.

How about it, for your next posting in your new blog?

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What if for a year the interior, the hurtland made a deal or no deal with the government and their corporate elite buddies down there at the coast.

For one year we will just hang onto or find other things to do with our beef, minerals, timber, hydroelectric power, natural gas, grapes and tree fruits, to name the resources that come to mind immediately. The dairy farmers and vegetable growers of the Fraser Valley, the parts not yet paved, can decide which side to join, I guess..........

You Fat Cats of the Coast keep your money.

The money seems to be getting more worthless daily, unlike the gas, minerals, and other resources which will most likely have appreciated over the course of the year.

If worse comes to worse we'll just eat our beef and such and you Fat Cats can dine on your money, with milk poured on top, if the Fraser Valley decides to join your side.

To paraphrase the Furry Freak Brothers, food will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no food!
 
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