Injunction hearing over Okanagan Rail corridor set for this month

VERNON - A Supreme Court Judge will hear the Okanagan Indian Band’s argument for an injunction to stop the sale of the Okanagan Rail Corridor later this month.

The hearing is set for May 25 to 27 in Vancouver, according to a May 5 press release from the band. Chief Byron Louis is anticipating many band members will make the trip to Vancouver for the hearing. 

The band filed a statement of claim for the Commonage Reserve, upon which roughly 22 kilometres of the CN Rail corridor sits, on March 24 and named CN Rail, Canada, British Columbia, the District of Lake Country, the City of Kelowna and the Regional District of the North Okanagan as defendants.

“The OKIB never legally surrendered the lands in question,” Louis said.

Okanagan municipalities have a June 1 deadline to offer CN Rail $22 million for the 47.5-km corridor, which runs from Vernon to Kelowna. Local government wants to turn the route into a recreational pathway, but Louis said the property within the historic Commonage Reserve is not CN’s to sell.

“Call your mayors, MPs and MLAs. When you learn about our case, the truth is hard, if not impossible to ignore,” Louis said.

Previous stories about the Okanagan Rail Corridor can be found here.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infonews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.


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