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Injunction fails, Okanagan Rail Trail land purchase goes ahead

The Okanagan Indian Band's attempt to get an injunction against the sale of CN land for the Okanagan Rail Corridor has been denied by the court.
Image Credit: Contributed/District of Lake Country
June 01, 2015 - 12:41 PM

KELOWNA - The last real hurdle to the purchase of the CN Rail corridor purchase was removed this morning in B.C. Supreme Court where an injunction sought by the Okanagan Indian Band blocking the sale was denied.

“With no injunction in place CN is within its right to sell the corridor lands,” City of Kelowna planning director Doug Gilchrist says. He's been leading the inter-jurisdictional team negotiating the sale.

Gilchrist says transfer of title will be submitted to the B.C. Land Titles office this afternoon, June 1.

“Our understanding is the specific claim over the Commonage reserve was concluded, however, land claims are ongoing across Canada and the City will respect any final decisions by Canada or the courts,” Gilchrist says. “We hope to continue to work with Okanagan Indian Band for the mutual benefit of all our citizens.”

Gilchrist says CN now has about a year to conduct remedial environmental work and remove the rails and rail ties before anything is done.

Before that, he says a public consultation on how to develop the corridor will be held.

Gilchrist wasn’t surprised at the judges’s ruling, as the band did not meet the three criteria for an interlocutory injunction.

The $50-million purchase of the 47.5 kilometre railway right-of-way has been plagued with setbacks, including a failed alternative approval process in Lake Country on whether that community should borrow $2.6 million to conclude the sale.

Besides Kelowna and Lake Country, the group includes Coldstream, Vernon and the regional districts of the Central and North Okanagan.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at jmcdonald@infonews.ca or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
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