CP's Hunter Harrison says #ShameOnYouCPRail tweeters guilty of NIMBY-ism

A community representative in Inglewood says recent comments from the head of Canadian Pacific Railway aren't helpful.

Inglewood community association says residents aren't 'hicks,' overnight noise 'unreasonable'

Canadian Pacific Railway was ordered by the Canadian Transportation Agency in August to take steps to curb the noise coming from its southeast Calgary CPR Alyth Yard. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

A community representative in Inglewood says recent comments from the head of Canadian Pacific Railway aren't helpful.

CEO Hunter Harrison told a Calgary Chamber of Commerce audience Tuesday that residents who have been complaining about noise from the company’s rail yard are just guilty of NIMBY-ism.

“With due respect to the people in Inglewood, North America is turning into not-in-my-backyard-territory. OK. I don't care what you do, just don't do it in my backyard,” he said.

But Leslie Robertson of the Inglewood Community Association says both the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) and a federal court have found otherwise.

“[They] have decided that this, in fact, that this isn't a reactionary bunch of not-in-my-backyard hicks. But, indeed, this is a real, legitimate, absolute violation of reasonableness,” she said.

Last year the CTA ordered CPR to cease load testing and idling operations at the rail yard which  straddles 15A Street, stretching from Blackfoot Trail south to 42nd Avenue S.E. between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. within 400 metres of the repair facility.

According to Harrison, CPR is complying with the order.

But some residents who disagree have started a Twitter campaign,#ShameOnYouCPRail.

They're asking people to tweet every time they are disturbed by noise from the yard through the night.

DOT 1-11 cars

Harrison also says his company has no choice but to continue using a type of rail car that has been criticized.

The so-called DOT 1-11 tanker cars were used when a train derailed in Lac-Mégantic in Quebec last summer, killing 47 people when the oil on board exploded.

Harrison told the Calgary Chamber of Commerce that everyone knows those tanker cars are more dangerous than others and he would like to stop using them.

"Don't wait to study. We know the facts. There's lobbyists banging on doors. You know what it comes down to? And I hate to tell you this — the almighty dollar. Who's gonna pay for this?"

Harrison says the thousands of tanker cars are actually owned by other companies and by law CP Rail cannot refuse to move them when requested.