Photos of dead vegetation along Skeena River CN Rail Line

May 23 2018 letter from CN to BC Ministry of the Environment

CN claiming to be above BC Law?

View letter

CN claiming to be above BC Law?
CN’s legal department dropped a bombshell last week. In the midst of federal and provincial investigations1 into alleged 2017 illegal pesticide spraying along the Skeena CN rail corridor CN sent a letter to the BC Ministry of the Environment (MOE), copied to T Buck Suzuki Foundation (TBSEF), claiming: “As a federally-regulated interprovincial railway company, CN is of the view that it is not required to submit a [BC] Pest Management Plan”. Monika Pezdek, Coordinator, Legislative Affairs CN – May 23 20182
Angela McCue, lawyer for TBSEF responds: “It appears that CN is claiming to be above BC law! Pest Management Plans (PMPs) are a key tool to provide strict government oversight for industrial large scale use of pesticides and to minimize their use to protect human health and the environment in BC. It appears as though CN is claiming to exempt itself from important protections for BC salmon and other fish including significant pesticide free zones to keep potentially hazardous chemicals out of the water and mandatory opportunities for public input to advocate for lower risk approaches before potentially hazardous pesticides are even permitted thereby ensuring that vital local interests are taken into account.”
“This letter appears to be an attempt on the part of CN to avoid having to consider appropriate alternatives to pesticide use and to insulate itself from public scrutiny. Worse yet, it is an apparent attack on the Constitutional ability of the BC government to protect the environment and people of BC. That could have significant ramifications for BC’s ability to regulate potentially harmful activities of other industries including those relating to transportation, public utilities and pipelines.”- McCue