LETTERS: Civic leaders impact rail line

Letter-writers say the issue of trains on the Semiahmoo Peninsula is a civic issue.

Editor:

I’ve just spent a couple hours looking at municipal council candidates’ websites in an attempt to determine who, among them, might have taken a strong stance in favour of moving those noisy, stinking, dangerous, environmentally hazardous trains from the Semiahmoo Peninsula waterfront.

To my surprise, I can find no candidates who have taken any stand on this matter. Readers will note that White Rock candidates have prominently featured this issue in their platforms.

This issue, at least as far as I am concerned, should be of primary importance in the forthcoming election. I would encourage all candidates to emphasize their positions on this matter.

Paul Griffin, Surrey

• • •

Moderator Gary Hollick, at the White Rock all-candidates meeting, dismissed questions about the BNSF as “falling under federal jurisdiction” (Frustrations air at W.R. debate, Nov. 4).

We are the people who live along the rail line, not Ottawa or Warren Buffett. We are the ones who will be impacted by a derailment, spill or explosion. Does our city council know the contents of the increasing number of trains through White Rock? The increase alone is a problem, but the contents are a critical issue. Is the bridge on Semiahmoo First Nation land fixed?

We, not some federally designated person, need to know the possible dangers and how close and prepared first responders are.

How are people alerted if toxic gases are dispersed in the middle of the night? Who responds to an explosion or fire in the first few minutes? Who contains and cleans up a spill into the bay? Do we know there’s the ability for rapidly warning and removing persons at risk? Has there been training and is there ready access to combating, containment and detox equipment?

What could council do to negotiate transport of toxic materials through a less-populated and environmentally significant route, keeping the few passenger trains?

Susan Lindenberger, White Rock

 

 

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