Supreme Court Dismisses CN Rail Appeal on James Street Bridge

Regional News

The James Street Bridge remains closed to train, vehicle and pedestrian traffic
The James Street Bridge remains closed to vehicle traffic

THUNDER BAY – The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed an appeal from Canadian National Railway over the James Street Bridge.

The decision means the earlier ruling by the Ontario Court will stand and the company will have to get the James Street Bridge open to vehicle traffic again.

Read the decision: SCC Decision

CN Rail had appealed the earlier decision brought by the City of Thunder Bay to have the original agreement enforced that means CN is to keep the bridge open to vehicle traffic.

Thunder Bay Mayor Bill Mauro says, “With this decision, CN has run out of options to delay. CN has failed to convince the highest court in Canada to allow a further appeal. CN must fix its bridge and reopen this important connection between Thunder Bay and Fort William First Nation.”

“For more than five years, CN has failed to honour its commitment under the 1906 agreement to repair and reopen its bridge.

“The Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the City in June of 2018 and ordered CN to reopen its bridge. CN is fully responsible for its bridge and must obey the court’s order.”

The impact of the bridge being closed has impacted fire, ambulance and policing response to Fort William First Nation and had a serious impact on business in Westfort, as traffic has been detoured to Highway 61, and away from Westfort.