Ottawa

Court to hear city's case on Prince of Wales Bridge

The city is going to the Federal Court of Appeal to argue against an order to repair train tracks and get the Prince of Wales Bridge ready for service.

Court of appeal will hear city's case over restoring rail service on Prince of Wales Bridge

The city ripped out rails leading up to the Prince of Wales Bridge. (Patrick McCurdy)

The city is going to the Federal Court of Appeal to argue against an order from a government agency that it needs to repair train tracks and get the Prince of Wales Bridge ready for service.

The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) in February ordered the city to replace a section of rail line leading up to the bridge that had been ripped up during LRT construction.

The agency told the city it needed to get the rail line in a place where it could be put back in service within 12 months.

Moose Consortium Inc., a group that has had ambitions of offering rail services to outlying communities in Quebec and Ontario filed the initial complaint with the agency in 2016, highlighting that the rail had been removed and a permanent structure built on top of it. The CTA requires rail line owners to notify them if they plan to discontinue a rail line, which the city had not done.

The city was supposed to deliver a plan to the agency last month, but they got more time while the court was deciding whether or not they would hear the city's case.

In a memo to council, Rick O'Connor the city's solicitor, confirmed the court had decided to hear the case.

Cabinet review 

When the agency issued its order, Mayor Jim Watson also asked Federal Transportation Minister Marc Garneau to consider having cabinet weigh in and change the agency's order. O'Connor confirmed that process is moving ahead as well.

"The federal minister of transportation, the Honourable Marc Garneau, has invited the city to submit all of the relevant facts, information and evidence in support of the mayor's petition."

No date has been set for the court hearing. If the city should lose at the appeal court it would have 30 days to respond to the agency's order.

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