Letters to the Editor

LETTERS: Stop-gap measure won’t work

Planned chain-link mesh along East Beach is a ridiculous solution in the name of safety, writes Don Robertson. - File photo
Planned chain-link mesh along East Beach is a ridiculous solution in the name of safety, writes Don Robertson.
— image credit: File photo


We keep on playing this game of trains, and despite all the talk, talk, talk we seem to be going nowhere except continuing to cater to BNSF.

With Transport Canada in their pocket, as well an environmentally friendly Port Metro Vancouver, now the White Rock taxpayers are being told to pay for the beefing-up of the perimeter fencing along the tracks (Mesh fencing hoped to reduce train whistles, Aug. 28).

As we all know, any such solution is stop-gap and won’t work. This is a completely ridiculous solution, as the whole question is actually: should the railway be permitted to operate through built-up areas, namely White Rock’s foreshore, carrying not just a toxic grade of coal but a menu of highly dangerous cargoes?

At one time this was probably acceptable in a then-sparsely populated area. As with few trains with modest contents, no one objected. Now, with the threat of some 640 coal trains per annum commencing next year, on top of other goods and Amtrak, plus a cacophony of innovative whistles offered by engineers, we have an interesting future in our ‘City by the Railroad Tracks.’

The simple answer to all this waffling is to move the traffic elsewhere to rails made for heavier rolling stock, to avoid the constant shaking of our unstable soil base and removing the threat to our growing community.

When the feds dictate that local taxpayers should spend their money to create a concentration-camp look along our waterfront, our democracy is increasingly shaky.  Let’s have a referendum on the matter to include the fact that council is not authorized to spend our money on propping up this illusion of safety being created by Transport Canada’s s outlandish fencing ideas.

Local politicians made loud noises last year about moving the railroad from our community, but that initial rush of common sense must have disturbed someone up top, as there has been a great deal of silence ever since.

I urge city council to resist these arbitrary moves and put the whole scenario back where it belongs, instead of wrapping the problem in mediocre constraints in our ‘City behind the Chicken-Wire Fencing.’

The simple message is that the railway must go.

Don Robertson, White Rock



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