Thunder Bay Files Court Papers Against CN Rail

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FWFN Chief Georjann Morriseau, Mayor Keith Hobbs and City Manager Tim Commisso
FWFN Chief Georjann Morriseau, Mayor Keith Hobbs and City Manager Tim Commisso
FWFN Chief Georjann Morriseau, Mayor Keith Hobbs and City Manager Tim Commisso
FWFN Chief Georjann Morriseau, Mayor Keith Hobbs and City Manager Tim Commisso

THUNDER BAY – NEWS – The City of Thunder Bay filed legal materials in the Superior Court of Justice against CN Rail in conjunction with the James Street Swing Bridge on Monday, Feb. 23rd 2015.

The City’s documents request that the Court interpret the 1906 Agreement between the City of Thunder Bay and CN Rail ; provide a declaration that the Agreement is valid and binding, and that the Agreement requires that CN maintain the James Street Bridge for the use of vehicular and pedestrian traffic in perpetuity.

The City is responding to CN Rail’s legal proceedings commenced against the City on Friday, February 20, 2015. The City is also asking the Court that the CN proceedings be stayed in favour of the City’s proceedings, and that the City’s proceedings be heard by the Superior Court in Thunder Bay rather than a court in Toronto.

To ensure that Fort William First Nation (FWFN) is always fully informed by both CN and the City regarding these legal proceedings, the City included FWFN as an interested party or “friendly respondent” in the City’s documents.

“The City is very sensitive to the fact that the operation of the James Street Bridge is significant to FWFN and that FWFN has a substantial stake in the outcome of the City’s litigation,” said City Manager Tim Commisso. “The Courts will now determine each party’s rights and interpret the Agreement.”

On Feb. 9, City Council unanimously rejected CN’s final offer regarding reopening the bridge. CN proposed to permanently limit the bridge to alternating one-way traffic, a measure generally used on a temporary basis for construction zones. As well, the City would have to “surrender” the 1906 Agreement and Fort William First Nation would have to agree to give up its current and future rights in any land claims process.

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