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2014-07-22 at 17:36

City council unanimously rejects CN's latest bridge offer

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By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- The city has rejected CN's offer over the James Street swing bridge.

The company made its most recent offer last week with a Tuesday deadline that would have re-opened the bridge to vehicular traffic by sharing the rail portion of the bridge. CN was willing to pay 50 per cent of the costs, up to $1.5 million, to get the plan moving.

But that came with strings attached -- the city would have had to renegotiate a 1906 agreement that says the company must maintain the bridge in perpetuity. The renegotiation of that agreement was  something mayor Keith Hobbs and city manager Tim Commisso said council was unanimously against.

"This is now a legal file however we are open to suggestions by CN to move this forward if possible," Hobbs said.

"I don't like going to arbitration or to court to settle issues. As long as they're talking with us there's hope but it's faint right now."

Litigation could take months or years but Hobbs said it's about what's right. Commisso said at the heart of it is that CN wants to back out of an agreement it made with the city. That sets a bad example for how the city does business.

"At the end of the day it's a contract that a company has with the city to maintain a bridge in perpetuity and they don't get to decide what perpetuity is," he said.

Commisso and Hobbs couldn't say what the legal costs have been to this point but say it's well under the $1.5 million that could've been used to re-open the bridge.

"We're not going to back down from big corporations just because they have deep pockets and they're going to try and bully a municipality," Hobbs said.

In the meantime though people will have to use Highway 61 to access Fort William First Nation, something Hobbs and chief Georjann Morriseau have raised safety concerns over.

For Morriseau, heading to litigation means her community needs to prepare for years before that bridge could re-open.

"It's going to be very difficult for both communities to wait that two, three years for a decision to be rendered on that 1906 agreement," she said.

What's worse is that while Fort William First Nation is the most impacted, the community is sidelined to observer status because not only did the agreement exclude the people then, it also displaced their homes and burial grounds to put the railway in. While she agrees with the city that CN has a legal obligation to open the bridge, her community will bear the brunt of the process.

"This is somewhat salt in the wound I would say because now the bridge is closed and our community is being impacted (by the 1906 agreement) once again," she said.

In a statement CN said it regrets the city's decision.

"Our offer provides a practical, immediate solution that would avoid years of costly litigation which will not resolve the access issue," it states.

"We regret that the City’s decision will continue to inconvenience thousands of Thunder Bay residents."

All sides have said they're still open to negotiations.


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Comments

We've improved our comment system.
City In Decline says:
Well, would you look at that! It's confirmed what we've known all along....Hobbs' and Morrisseau's mouth IS big enough to fit both their own feet and a huge slice of humble pie.
7/22/2014 5:44:05 PM
p.o.ed taxpayer says:
Commisso and Hobbs couldn't say what the legal costs have been to this point but say it's well under the $1.5 million that could've been used to re-open the bridge.

"We're not going to back down from big corporations just because they have deep pockets and they're going to try and bully a municipality," Hobbs said.
Scary the way this council and Manager handle the city's finances...It would be easy for them to provide a far more accurate amount that has already been spent on legal fees...I think there would be a few lawyers out of work without this crew....
It is laughable to hear the Mayor (Chief of Police in waiting) refer to someone else as a bully!!!
7/23/2014 7:10:44 AM
woodzee says:
CN placed an offer to maintain the bridge and the city rejected. 1.5 million could be the value of the structure to CN and may be a clue to the city that the contract could be frustrated by removing the rail line. The 1906 agreement probably doesn't have removal of structure considered.
7/23/2014 9:11:54 PM
Royalflush says:
What on earth are you talking anout? They made the right decision for once. If CN wants to run their trains over this bridge, then they have got to provide access to vehicles. If they deem this bridge no longer viable then they would have to concede that it is no longer safe for trains either. That is the only way they can get out of this contract. Its pretty ironclad.
Perpetuity means as long as the rail part of the bridge is usable for trains. Once it becomes unsafe for use as a train bridge, the perpetuity part ends, and they no longer have to provide access to vehicles. So you see, they are just trying to weasel out of their obligation. This bridge makes a lot of money for them, and they just dont want to share it, like a spoiled child.
7/23/2014 10:59:26 PM
illuminati_nation says:
While I'm no fan of Hobbes, I agree with the city's stance. CN has a contractual obligation to maintain the bridge in perpetuity. By going public with its letter, CNs purpose was simply to back the city into a political situation by which it would feel pressure to cave into a cheap short-term solution while letting them off the hook for future repairs through renegotiating the 1906 agreement. What's right is right. CN has to maintain other property, such as the section of public roadways its tracks cross (like Memorial Ave and Ft. Will. Rd), legally and in principle, this bridge isn't any different. CN has the right to be upset over the damage caused to the bridge and the impending cost to fix it, but it is bound by contract to maintain vehicle and pedestrian traffic, and they can't re-write an agreement to suit their own interests.
7/22/2014 6:17:29 PM
eventscentre says:
Do you realize that there is an alternate route that takes just minutes longer? So you now support Hobbs wasting our tax dollars on a bridge that we don't even need? Could we not spend this money on feeding the hungry or fighting crime? A useless bridge is more important? I don't understand mankind.
7/23/2014 7:51:27 AM
tiredofit says:
As someone who drives HWY 61 on a daily basis, I can tell you first hand that I have seen and personally been involved in a couple of near misses at the corner of HWY61 & Chippewa Rd.

Prior to the bridge closing, these occurrences were far a few between. People need to learn and understand that they need to actually WAIT until the road is clear, there is no merge lane!

Like many have stated, if this was in the middle of town, things would be different.
7/23/2014 11:59:59 AM
eventscentre says:
But it isn't in the middle of town. Just be careful at that intersection, like you should at any of them. This is silly....no other city would spend as much time whining about a bridge as Thunder Bay. I swear, if whining was a serious crime three quarters of the people in this town would be behind bars for life
7/23/2014 8:15:52 PM
Tannoy says:
Maybe if people were a little more patient at that intersection there would be less near misses. Visibility is just fine in both directions, the problem is people make the turn into traffic without any concern that there is a vehicle heading at them at 90-110km/h. Common sense and patience, use them.
7/24/2014 2:38:29 PM
Eastender says:
If I lived out there and had to drive by every day, I would be slowing down when approaching that intersection. My life is more important than my right to maintain my speed. But thats just me.
7/26/2014 2:45:16 AM
iceman says:
Build a new bridge, see who will pay for what later, right now 50% city 50 % natives to cover cost.Then what ever you win in court will go towards the bridge
7/22/2014 6:18:24 PM
fastball says:
...50 percent UP TO 1.5M dollars. (two pretty key words there)
Seriously - you're going to build a bridge that can handle 2 lanes of traffic for 3M?
Don't think so.
If they're paying 50 percent...let it be 50 percent of the TOTAL, regardless of what it is.
None of this mealy-mouthed "up to" garbage.
7/22/2014 11:38:36 PM
festus says:
I have one seduction.
There is a road so if you drive you can still get there.
For the people who do not drive, (yes there is a limited bus week days only no holidays) Lets build a small foot bath bridge across.
7/22/2014 6:19:20 PM
Rock49 says:
Good for the city. For those that think CN has no obligation, remember that THEY wanted the city to let them out of the agreement with their final offer. We'll sue them to for repairs to continue traffic, plus ALL COURT COSTS. And this was a unanimous decision from council. If you don't like it, vote in a new council and pay millions for a new bridge.
7/22/2014 6:37:17 PM
Kam River says:
Thank goodness, This bridge is not need for vehicles there is the highway 61 bridge

Council is going to learn the hard way that perpetuity when it comes to structures does not mean forever. The bridge was build before even the 1st Model T was built

Please to not waste any more money on this.
7/22/2014 6:40:44 PM
woodzee says:
Got Bridge? Thank the railway for it.
7/22/2014 6:55:37 PM
eventscentre says:
I live in the most classless city in the world. CN, on behalf of the sane residents of Thunder Bay, I apologize.
7/22/2014 7:02:34 PM
Royalflush says:
Oh get off your knees and stop grovelling! You need not apologize on my behalf.
How embarassing!
7/24/2014 9:33:43 AM
progress now says:
Mr: Commisso says:

"At the end of the day it's a contract that a company has with the city to maintain a bridge in perpetuity and they don't get to decide what perpetuity is."

No but it looks like the courts might and CN thinks they have a case, and I don't rule that out.

Council portraying themselves as David vs. Goliath at election time suggests interesting motivations.

But at the end of the day its an old bridge and with a service life. I doubt CN is on the hook to rebuild it.

This action does not seem terribly thoughtful to me, but time will tell. If this bravado gets the current council through the election, they will consider it worth it, no matter what the outcome.


7/22/2014 7:47:33 PM
enos012 says:
Although the process may be lengthly, I am glad that the city id standing thier ground! I hope that in the end CN is to pay all legal fees, 100% of the cost of the bridge and to pay what the businesses FWFN lost. The sad thing is this was still government owed it would be fixed by now. This is what happens when you sell your companies to private investors, let this be a lesson to you Wynne.
7/22/2014 7:48:58 PM
Jack Frost says:
I can't help but wonder if it would have been much different if it were not an election year for this current council...

Otherwise, a good call by city for all, finally !!
7/22/2014 8:11:26 PM
YellowSnow13 says:
Is there ANY place that isn't a burial ground? If it was OK 100 years ago for that land, why is it all of a sudden a big deal? If the bridge was fixed would you be saying that at all? Is FWFN getting paid for using that land for rail? Is FWFN getting rent from the properties using the rail service? It sounds to me like FWFN may have been displaced a little, but I tend to think FWFN has been paid as well. It is mutually beneficial to both parties to have the rail there. The bridge for cars is really just a short cut.
7/22/2014 8:14:50 PM
Fozi says:
Commisso might not want to yell too loudly about how bad it is to try and back out of an agreement between the city and a private company.... Horizon`s lawyers might be listening. Kettle, meet pot.

``Commisso said at the heart of it is that CN wants to back out of an agreement it made with the city. That sets a bad example for how the city does business.``
7/22/2014 8:54:12 PM
Eastender says:
This is strictly a case of a multimillion dollar corporation trying to bully this municipality.
I would think that if CN can renege on their commitment to put this bridge in a condition that would allow vehicular traffic to be accomodated, then tne city should be able to seek an injunction to block access to the bridge for their trains, pending a final court settlement.
How quickly would CN offer to pay the full 3 million for the fix they have proposed. If their intrasigence can affect the municipality economically then why should they continue to make money with their trains.
7/22/2014 10:03:10 PM
ThunderBayFullOfCrime says:
100% agree with Eastender on this. They should seek an injunction to stop CN trains until this is resolved in court. That will speed up this process very quickly.
7/22/2014 10:36:15 PM
Bobguy says:
I can't help but think this will come down to two sides. One, you can only maintain an item for a period of time until it reaches it's life's end. For example my car. I can change the oil, rotate the tires and rust protect it but eventually crushed and put on a boat for china as scrap metal; and two, it the bridge is still used for rail then it agreement states that road and pedestrian access must be maintained. Hard to say what is right.

What I do know is that the city is playing a game of chicken. CN is a for profit company that makes decisions based on return on investment. It may find there are other places to ship grain that is cheaper and scrap the bridge. That would leave another big hole in the property tax revenues as 2 elevators close and Resolutes costs increase significantly.

Always remember, CN could deliver grain to other ports or make even more money delivering crude oil to refineries. Food for thought.
7/22/2014 11:35:57 PM
dan dan says:
Good for this council! We will not be bullied by corporate interests!

And you can bet CN feels they have some liability, or they would not have offered to pay one cent.
7/23/2014 12:14:01 AM
j_northey says:
Is CN being a 'bully'? Sure. They want out of that agreement yesterday and will fight to make it happen. They'll stretch this out as far as possible for as long as possible at maximum cost to the city.

We need some political leadership. We need to get a new bridge planned and built using a mix of city/federal/provincial funds and then work on an agreement with CN for the rail bridge to have a walkway/bikeway on it (walking on one side, bikes on the other perhaps) which would be far, far cheaper to build and would fit the original intent of that 1906 agreement.

Yes, we can fight until the cows come home to force CN to rebuild the bridge that was unsafe and in rough shape pre-fire. But I'd rather see a real long term solution even if it costs a bit to get done.

Almost makes me want to run for city council. Almost.
7/23/2014 12:35:12 AM
nvjgu says:
I don't care if that bridge ever opens to traffic. I'm hopeing CNR goes down on the issue.
7/23/2014 5:03:46 AM
TownDogs says:
The article states that the company had agreed to "maintain" the bridge in perpetuity. Last time I checked, maintenance does not include being on the hook for replacement due to arson. Let's be real here! The community has lost the use of this bridge because some twits burned it down. In my humble opinion, that places the responsibility to replace it solely on the shoulders of the community. Along with that responsibility is the need to take a long hard look at why the moral fabric of this community is unraveling and to commit resources toward reversing this disturbing trend. Perhaps the city should take another look at their decision not to invest a small amount of money on the proposed youth center. Not that I am necessarily blaming the fire on youth, but demonstrating that you care for the youth and are prepared to invest in their future is a good start toward building pride in our future citizens so that maybe, in the future, we can put a stop to this kind of pointless destruction.
7/23/2014 6:35:54 AM
maggie says:
I read that CN would consider talks if the 1906 agreement was rewrote If this contract is not so binding then what is CN so worried about? This is just another stalling maneuver to give them time to get all those grain cars across those tracks to the ships before the season ends. I agree with Eastender, look at the money they are making while others sit back and loose. It is not just the first nation people that are losing out, town people work out that way too. Chippewa park also has camping grounds and activities thru out the summer, Mt MacKay has a wonderful scenic lookout for tourists the list goes on
So way to go city council for sticking to your guns
7/23/2014 7:26:58 AM
Idontknowitall says:
It really doesn't matter to me what the outcome of this is (repaired or not, who pays, etc.) but I have a couple of questions for interests' sake. First, if the bridge was closed because of willful damage, should CN be on the hook for that? And if the city is saying that there was structural damage NOT associated with the fire, did they ever approach CN to make repairs before now? There should be something on record to that effect, showing that they were concerned for the safety of their residents.
7/23/2014 8:29:41 AM
The Beaver..... says:
Eastender
The amount of business that CN does across the bridge and indeed from Fort Frances to Thunder bay is so little that it does not even show up on the charts.
With Lumber gone, Coal gone, there is not much left..is there.. hundreds of miles of track and infrastructure to maintain for very little return.
Think KINGHORN my good man.
7/23/2014 8:50:17 AM
Royalflush says:
Well, then shut the line down and be done with it. Life will go on without the CN. Do you think for a minute that they are just doing us a favour by keeping this line open? They are either making money, and will keep it open, or not, and will close it, bridge or no bridge.
7/24/2014 9:41:35 AM
BuddhaMum says:
I, for one, am going to trust our city council to do what is best for the city and FWFN (*gasp* TRUST council - I'll bet I'll get flack for that!). I don't believe any of the council members went into politics thinking, "How can I weild some power and screw over members of the community?" so let's assume they, being the only ones who were in the meeting, are looking at all options and want a solution that will be good in the long run, not just RIGHT NOW. Quick isn't always better.
7/23/2014 8:50:49 AM
bttnk says:
Another classic example of people on here looking for a reason to take a shot at our Mayor and City council. This is a very black and white issue. CN has an agreement that states they are to take care of the bridge. Not half of the responsibility or a third. All of it! They tried to force the city into a corner by delaying and fear mongering with the prospect of lengthy litigation, hoping that the city would just throw their hands up and offer to hand over $1.5M to cover half of CN's costs.

I applaud the city and council for making a difficult decision, but clearly the correct one. A great example of steadfast leadership.
7/23/2014 9:28:03 AM
progress now says:
No I doubt very much that it is a black and white issue.

Routine maintenance for normal wear and tear is different from rebuilding after damage. Changing spark plugs in a car is maintenance. Repairing a car after a collision is not.

This is not cut and dry.

I believe other issues may be at stake as well.

The railroad lawyers know railroad issues better than the city ones I would bet.

This issue is out of control.
7/24/2014 1:03:44 AM
DustInTheWind says:
As far as I am concerned this is a Federal Issue. Sure there is a contract between The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway and the City of Fort William dated 1906 but neither party to this contract exists today. The City of Thunder Bay and CN are third parties to this agreement in a battle to get the bridge reopened. Personally, I do not see the courts siding with the city on this issue. That is like saying one purchases a house for sale and two neighbors had the agreement that it was ok to cross each others lawns to visit other neighbors. So I move into the home and I am not ok with people crossing over my lawn and I stop this practice. I am under no duty to continue the agreement between the previous neighbors. I am the new owner and this is not ok with me. I can only see the courts releasing CN from any previously thought commitments that cannot be binding between the third parties. CN will win their case and the city will be on the hook for costs and in the end everyone will lose.
7/23/2014 9:54:34 AM
smartguy83 says:
You are actually totally wrong. Agreements get passed on to the purchasing party when it comes to business.

However, there are a few concerns.

Precedence for example - are there related court cases?

Also, I believe the company must "maintain" the bridge. If arson occurred, does this meet the intended purpose of this clause in the agreement. CN could argue no, and they have a fair point. However, I do not think arson was ever concluded.

CN may have tied their hands by trying to get out of the agreement. I wonder if this will be a fair point to raise in court? They basically acknowledged the legitimacy of the clause.
7/23/2014 10:39:13 AM
bttnk says:
Nearly everything your wrote is false DustInTheWind. CN acquired the contractual responsibilities of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway.

@smartguy - Of course precedent exists. For hundreds of years courts have been holding up terms of a contract as legitimate. Lastly, the fact that there may have been arson has no impact on an agreement to maintain a bridge. CN is free to seek restitution from anyone convicted of arson, but that doesn't excuse them from a contractual obligation.
7/23/2014 12:11:00 PM
DustInTheWind says:
Then it is up to the courts to decide if there was an assignment of consent on CN's part when the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway was purchased. Nothing signed then no consent was given. If there was no consent then city is screwed.
7/23/2014 10:48:09 AM
cazam says:
The City has no chance of winning in court against CN. Without being able to actually review the 1906 contract, I can believe that a 108 year old contract would be sophisticated enough to include provisions of maintaining vehicular traffic when there was none at the time. The contract was made signed by parties that no longer exist and CN's team of high profile lawyers no doubt have spent considerable time identifying deficiencies in the contract and preparing their case even before their 'offer' was presented.

I think it is time for the City to cut its loses and move on to an alternative solution, that is, if one has been considered.
7/23/2014 10:52:59 AM
Idontknowitall says:
I wouldn't say DustInTheWind is 'totally wrong' (although I'm certainly no lawyer). A quick google search would suggest that the phrase, 'in perpetuity' makes things extremely murky when it comes to most things legal. Many cases were cited, but I didn't research that far :).
7/23/2014 11:04:12 AM
boofer69 says:
Clearly everyone is pleased to hear that that currently, they have not made promises to repair the bridge with tax dollars. I, and many others would be deeply upset about this.

One thing we must keep in mind, as long as this battle is going on, tax dollars are being wasted. This has been costing tax payers since day one. The city has to let this go if CN does not want to fix the bridge... NO BRIDGE - Period.
7/23/2014 11:18:04 AM
daryl060761 says:
CN, bear in mind, is the company that had special contracts and friendly relationships with the Mulroney government back in the 80's, and which owened the track that ran through Atikokan, while CP track ran through Thunder Bay, thus resulting in CN being awarded the Via Rail contract that passenger service would continue through Atikokan, but be cancelled here in Thunder Bay. Plus, CN are in the business of building railways, not roads, and are probably less than thrilled that someone set the bridge on fire in the first place. If we are to drive cars right down the middle of the track over the rails, lets make sure we do it in a Delorean at 88 miles per hour, so that Doc McGhee can to back to the future to 1885 and eventually rewrite that original 1906 agreement. :)
7/23/2014 11:33:30 AM
Jim Halpert says:
"We're not going to back down from big corporations just because they have deep pockets and they're going to try and bully a municipality," Hobbs said.

Your memory is short Hobbs. Remember the Horizon Wind lawsuit against the city?
7/23/2014 12:23:05 PM
sunnyside says:
Please note Dust In the wind....I currently use a driveway across someone elses property. It has been there for 70 years. Real estate law says if usage is accepted for that many years there is nothing the other owner can do about it. And I had made that point when Chief of reserve say CN are trespassing and if they have bèen doing so then can t see how they can ask for additional money .












7/23/2014 3:04:08 PM
DustInTheWind says:
The GTR went bankrupt in the early 1900's and responsibility laid with the Federal government up until it being re-privatized in the 1990's. The assignment of assumed consent until that time laid with the Federal government until that time. Knowing the contract existed is not assuming consent. You are still dealing with third parties.
7/23/2014 3:06:57 PM
nvjgu says:
By reading the Document's that are available at www.scribd.com/doc/234105104/4139-008- it looks like CN is toast. This is going to cost them millions and millions maybe more Id say.
7/23/2014 3:46:47 PM
RBosch says:
I am not sure that everyone is aware of what CN's solution is. Their proposal is to make adjustments to the railway portion of the bridge to allow for vehicular traffic as well as train traffic. The roadway portion would be guided by a set of lights on either side of the bridge, allowing for a single lane of traffic in a single direction at any time. This is similar tow what occurs on bridge construction on the highways. The reason they have offered this solution is because the railway portion of the bridge is built to a different standard that the vehicular/pedestrian section that burned. I am not in favour of this solution at all, especially when it was entangled with the desire to scrap the 1906 agreement, which pretty well corners CN today.
7/23/2014 4:09:08 PM
anvil of crom says:
CN SAYS "Our offer provides a practical, immediate solution that would avoid years of costly litigation which will not resolve the access issue," it states.

CNs offer was a weak one, a slap in the face really, think about it , a deal that divested them of all responsibility for a measly 1.5 million.
And they throw lengthy litigation into the mix too. CN still holds he cards, they are in no rush.
The Cities stance is the right one litigate and see what happens.
P.S. There will never be a new bridge built there, too expensive when the other route exists, so dreamers give that up.

7/23/2014 5:46:40 PM
ThunderBayFullOfCrime says:
Who ever proved this was arson? Half these comments are related to the fire being arson, which was never proven. Has anyone ever thought a grease build up from the train under the bridge and a spark may have ignited it? Even if it was arson, which is very likely, insurance should cover repairs, or do bridges get insurance? All I know is that the bridge needs to be repaired or a new one needs to be erected asap. CN is responsible for the fix. They are obviously avoiding it and trying to back out of a contract. SMH
7/23/2014 6:55:19 PM
watchful says:
CN is a huge corporation whose business is to make money and profits. Thunder Bay is what, a small lunch box town who cannot even make the map on the weather channel. Really people, we are tone laughing stock of Ontario. CN win, TBay unknown
7/23/2014 8:47:40 PM
DustInTheWind says:
IMHO. I would never assume that CN is toast. CN exists because the federal government assumed responsibility for numerous bankrupt railroads back in 1919 when they were incorporated. The federal government controlled this railway up until 1995 when it was sold and privatized. There is plenty of wiggle room in this case. When the FEDS took over the GTR did they acknowledge at the time the assignment of consent to a prior contractual agreement with the City of Thunder Bay? Or did they just simply take over the bankrupt railway because it was failing? Secondly, in 1995 when the FEDS sold CN into private hands did the new purchasing body assume the assignment of consent? In either scenario we are dealing with third parties to the contract and without an assignment of consent there is no contract. Therefore it is a void contract. Just because one has knowledge of said contract does not mean consent is implied. A new contract must be signed in order to make it valid.
7/23/2014 10:26:44 PM
outofgas says:
So CN will maintain forever. I have no problem CN putting this in their 5, 10, or 20 year budgetting plan to get it done. They are not in breach in contract yet, as there is nothing in the contract to do maintenance/repairs within 2 days, 2 months, 2 years, 20 years......
7/23/2014 10:43:42 PM
DustInTheWind says:
@ sunnyside that would be classed as an easement in law. Assignment of consent is an entirely different beast. And it is not automatically assumed in business as previously discussed. Any transaction between two parties to a contract requires full disclosure. And good luck getting that from the FEDS.
7/23/2014 10:44:27 PM
JoeBush says:
Some points to ponder regarding the cause of the fire that damaged the bridge.

Why hasn't responsibility for the been discovered, or has it? CN have their own very capable investigations dept.(CN Police). Do you not think that they would have determined what caused the fire by now?

Here's some insight to how railways in Canada work. If the fire had been caused by a train passing over the tracks causing sparks or dripping molten brake material from a sticking brake or any other operations related event, CN Police would not be involved and there would be no need for them to establish cause. If, by chance a third party had been involved, then the police would investigate. Considering CN's silence, I suspect that the fire was likely caused by a train. If the CN Police had a culprit to pin it on, you can rest assured that they'd publicize it.

Regarding perpetuity. There's a reason CN wants to obviate themselves from the 1906 agreement. They're legally bound by it.
7/24/2014 9:23:04 AM
bobguy says:
AS I said before; I'm sure that there is a cost-benefit analysis going on at CN and if the cost to repair or replace the bridge is greater than the reasonable profit to be made from the bridge then it will cancel its obligations on the far side of the bridge and scrap the bridge and rail line altogether.

If I were to play devils advocate I would think they are buying time until their grain contracts expire and then they are in the best position to decide whether to keep the bridge or close it completely.

If the bridge is closed, say good by to how many well paying jobs and how much property tax revenue?

Like David and Goliath fighting until Goliath went home.
7/24/2014 10:51:19 AM
mystified says:
There will be no grain handling contracts ending soon. The railways are still hauling 2013's harvest which was a bumper crop plus they will have this years crop to haul until the elevators are full this coming winter.
As for arson! Only the investigators and CN need to know wether it was or wasn't. It's nobody else's business. If I were CN I would send a person to the bridge every day and have them pound one nail and have the bridge plastered with under repair signs. Everyone wants a gimme bridge. You will see all the cheapskates taking the long way if they put a toll on a bridge. The issues with the intersection at hwy 61 is a no brainer. Drive defensive and not aggressive and everyone will get to their destination safely.
7/24/2014 11:48:14 PM
JoeBush says:
DustIntheWind:

Just curious...
If I read you correctly, you're implying that due to CN assuming a number of defunct railways, that obviates them of their responsibilities to abide by the old railways contractual obligations to the city?

If so, using that line of thinking, Fort William was an old city that amalgamated with Port Arthur, another old city to create a new City. Would that make the City of Thunder Bay clear and free of all contractual obligations to CN Rail? CN could be opening a can of worms by trying to weasel out of it's contractual obligations.

You may not be aware but CN is a national bully that has to be taken to task. I applaud city council for having the fortitude to do it.
7/26/2014 8:42:53 AM
snotzky says:
This whole issue is embarrassing for everyone. The FWFN, CN, our city council. When is the FWFN going to be the first to step up and commit money to this problem? Their the ones who apparently are losing and suffering the most here. Why would any taxpayer of Thunder Bay want to support our clowns at City Hall in committing city monies to something that clearly isn't the responsibility of our citizens. Wake up Hobbs, and quit trying to talk from the both sides of your mouth. You alone have caused enough lawyer debt to us citizens,in your reign as mayor. First you were an expert in policing, now your in way over your head as an engineer and lawyer.
7/26/2014 8:45:05 AM
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