CN Rail 'trespassing' on Fort William First Nation
Chief offers to 'authorize' CN's use of reserve land in exchange for reopening James Street bridge
The Fort William First Nation says CN Rail is trespassing on its land, but it's a violation it may be willing to overlook if the company will fully reopen the James Street swing bridge.
The bridge is the most direct link between Fort William First Nation and Thunder Bay. It has been closed to cars and trucks since a fire last October.
"If CN will agree to the suggestions put forward by the city of Thunder Bay yesterday to reopen the bridge, Fort William First Nation would consider discussions around the possible proposed solutions necessary to authorize the crossing on reserve lands," said a news release issued Friday by the First Nation.
On Thursday CN presented a proposal for reopening the bridge in the short term. Fort William First Nation and the City of Thunder Bay issued a couter-proposal. Details are not being made public.
"CN is currently trespassing on at least two road allowances," the First Nation news release said, while setting out its interpretation of the 1906 agreement that sets out the legal responsibility for the bridge.
"A survey indicating the locations of the road allowances was provided to CN which identifies FWFN reserve land and that CN does not have proper authority to cross them."
The city of Thunder Bay has has asked CN to respond by Monday to the counter-proposal for reopening the bridge.