Non-functioning railroad should belong to Crown

I read with interest the controversy surrounding the ICF and the E&N rail line.

The E&N grant of over a million acres for nothing but Dunsmuir’s century-old promises is a big problem for Vancouver Island. There is no longer any railroad running ‘in perpetuity.’ The E&N is walking dead.

Under contract law, failure to fulfill is grounds for seizure, in this case by the crown. You don’t make your mortgage payment, the bank seizes your property. You don’t pay your taxes, the crown seizes your property. The E&N railroad stops running, the crown — the original grantor — takes back its property. (If pressed, the BC Assessors office in Victoria will admit that, yes, if the E&N goes, the grant property should revert to the crown).

The E&N should be shut down. If they want the trains to run, then only non-government money needs to fund it — like out of the pockets of Brookfield Asset Management, B.C. Investment Management, PSP investments, etc. That was the original Dunsmuir deal: land for a R.R., just like the U.P. Railroad deal in the states.

For the taxpayers — through the government — to pay for a railroad they already paid for once years ago is nonsense. The crown needs to seize the E&N land, then retitle back to present owners, but with water, timber and minerals under crown control, to be used for the good of the commonweal, not for a select few at the top.

Would that somebody with guts in the B.C. legislature make this an issue: the clear application of English common law for the good of the commonweal. No more lining the rich guys’ pockets at the expense of the masses.

Derrick P. Grimmer


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