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Working together to relocate silos

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Eight large silos rise above the tree line between the tracks on the BNSF Railway line property close to Mathers Ave and Lindsay St. In River Heights.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Eight large silos rise above the tree line between the tracks on the BNSF Railway line property close to Mathers Ave and Lindsay St. In River Heights. Photo Store Photo Store

The industrialization of rail line lands along Lindsay Street in Central and South River Heights needs to stop.  

Storage silos and the loading of dozens of trucks from rail cars each day is not appropriate for a residential neighbourhood.

The City of Winnipeg is in the courts pressing to have the silos removed. However, one of the rail lines has indicated its intention to further industrialize the rail line property by constructing a transloading station along Lindsay Street between Corydon Avenue. and Grant Avenue.

The disruptive nature of this type of transloading and storage operation includes traffic congestion and noise associated with any number of transport trucks coming and going from the site through the neighbourhood, safety concerns regarding the lack of knowledge of the materials being unloaded and stored, no control over the time of day or night work can be done and the negative impact on property values, to name a few concerns.

There does exist an opportunity to relocate the rail lines, silos and/or the transloading station. All stakeholders agree that an alternative site outside of residential areas is preferred. Sites exist, but the federal government must take the lead in making this happen.

I initiated discussion with Mayor Sam Katz, Winnipeg South Centre MP Joyce Bateman and provincial Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation Steve Ashton to support a feasibility study for the relocation of the rail lines, silos and/or transloading station.

Unfortunately, I recently received a letter from the Office of the Federal Minister Responsible for Manitoba, which denied support to a feasibility study.
Federal support and leadership are critical. The City of Winnipeg would not permit such land use. However, it does not have the legal authority over this land as per the federal Canada Transportation Act.  

The Federal Transportation Act prevents the City of Winnipeg from enforcing its land use bylaws.  If the city were able, it would not allow such land uses.
Please ask your Member of Parliament to find a way to support the feasibility study. It is a federal matter, but we all need to work together.

It is my hope that federal support is still possible.  In the meantime, I will continue to negotiate and look for other ways to fund a feasibility study.  The issue is too important to give up on.

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