Mary Polak and the B.C. Liberals Exposed…. They haven’t got a clue about the FACTS surrounding the Reactivation of the Interurban Corridor with Passenger Rail!

Posted: October 21, 2020 in Uncategorized

In an on-line Langley City All-Candidates Meeting moderated by former Editor of the Langley Times Frank Bucholtz candidates were asked about their position on the question of support for the Reactivation of the Interurban Corridor – Mary Polak’s answer showing her ignorance of the issue was on display in full color. What it shows that many of us have known for some time, is that the B.C. Liberals are in support of CP Rail not having to live up to the signed terms and obligations of their $6.3 Million purchase of freight rights over what is known as the Pratt Livingston Corridor in 1988! This attitude of working against the public’s protected passenger rights is fitting with the title of my last blog post –

Is this deliberate or are they just ignorant of the facts!

“When the B.C. Liberal Party tells you who they are…. Believe Them!

The Master Agreement that represents the freight rights sale and obligations over this corridor was uncovered and its renewal led by me as Mayor of the Township of Langley in 2009. This renewal was supported in writing by the Mayors and Councils of City of Delta, City of Surrey, City of White Rock, City of Langley, Township of Langley, and the City of Abbotsford. It was renewed a short 6 weeks BEFORE we lost it forever. Since that time, the Mayor and Council of the City of Chilliwack are registered in unanimous support! So, let us set the record straight shall we:

Master Agreement Synopsis

Introduction – Press Release: 2:00 PM July 27th, 1988

B.C. Government names ITEL Rail Corp. as successful bidder in sale of B.C. Hydro’s Rail Freight Division. C.P. Rail acquires operating rights to strategic trackage for Roberts Bank Coal Port.


Sale of FREIGHT operating rights on entire corridor to Itel of Chicago for a price of approx. $32

Million. (These FREIGHT rights are now owned by Southern Rail)

Sale of FREIGHT operating rights on the joint section (Pratt Livingston corridor) to CP Rail for a

price of $6.3 Million.

The Master Agreement is an agreement made between the British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority and Canadian Pacific Limited on the 29th day of August 1988 covering what is known as the Pratt-Livingston corridor, or otherwise known as the Joint Section. (This section is roughly from 232nd Street through the Langleys to Cloverdale). This agreement was for 21 years as well as the renewal clause, both permitting renewal at either party’s option.

What are the key points of interest found within this agreement? Excerpts follow –

Page 2 – E.

“CP Rail has also agreed to grant Hydro running rights over certain tracks owned by C.P. Rail.”

Page 3 Part 1

Pratt Livingstone 1.01 – Sale of Assets on Pratt Livingston Line to C.P. Rail. “Hydro agrees to

sell, and C.P. Rail agrees to purchase the Tracks and Equipment free and clear of all liens,

charges and encumbrances.”

Page 4 1.02    

Grant of Statutory Right of Way over Pratt Livingstone to C.P. Rail.

“Hydro agrees to grant to C.P. Rail on the closing date a statutory right of way over the Railway Operations Easement Area in the form attached hereto as Annexure III.”

Page 4 1.03

Survey of Railway Operating Easement Area

“The Railway Operations Easement Area shall encompass the Tracks and an area sufficient to enable C.P. Rail to double track, construction of such double track to be at the sole cost of C.P. Rail including the cost of removal and relocation of the works of any other party on the lands required to double track.”

Page 5 1.05

Running Rights over Pratt-Livingstone Tracks to Hydro

“Hydro hereby reserves unto itself the right in perpetuity to operate a railway on the Tracks and Equipment and on the double track, when constructed. The reservation shall be in the form of running rights agreement attached hereto as Annexure V.”

Page 5 1.05(b)

“if the railway operations of Hydro are sold to and operated by the Successor Rail Company,

provided it is not owned or controlled by Canadian National Railway Company (“CN”) or

Burlington Northern Inc. (“BN”), on a without charge basis, so long as the use thereof by the

Successor Rail Company does not exceed 33% of the total annual wheelage of all trains

operating trains in the Railway Operations Easement Area.”

Page 12 5.03  

Regulation “C.P. Rail will not take any action intended to bring Hydro or Successor Rail

Company under the jurisdiction of the Railway Act R.S.C. 1970, c. R-2, as amended or the

National Transportation Act, 1987 S.C. 1987, c. 34, as amended.”

P. 21               

Entire Agreement

Section 10.07 “Each of the parties hereto acknowledges that there are no covenants,

representations, warranties, agreements, or conditions expressed or implied, collateral or

otherwise, forming part of or in any way affecting or relating to this agreement save as

expressly set out in this Agreement and this Agreement constitutes the entire agreement

between the parties hereto with respect to the subject matter hereof.”

Annexure V     Page 2 Sect. 1.2         

“Hydro shall have the exclusive right to operate upon any Hydro trackage connected with the

Joint Section to serve present or future industry from the Joint Section, to pick up or discharge

passengers, freight, or express business upon the Joint Section or to handle directly any

passenger, freight, or express business originating at or destined to points on the Joint


Page 3 Article II Section 2.4  

“CP Rail shall initially at its sole cost and expense, maintain and keep the Joint Section,

including all mainline turnouts, in good condition and repair suitable for use by all parties.”

Section 2.5     

“CP Rail shall make such reasonable rules and regulations as are from time to time customary

among railways for the operation of the Joint Section. All train schedules, rules and

regulations shall be reasonable among all railway companies using the Joint Section and shall

not reasonably discriminate against any of them.”

Section 2.7     

“This agreement does not contemplate the operation of passenger trains upon the Joint

Section by any railway company other than Hydro. Hydro shall have the right to operate

passenger trains over the Joint Section. The cars and engines of such passenger trains shall be

included in the wheelage count made pursuant to Section 4.4.”


The Master Agreement lays out in very specific terms the rights and conditions of the sale of the freight rights over the Joint Section (known as the Pratt Livingston Corridor) by all parties concerned. A review of the B.C. Government Press Release spells out the intent of the then B.C. Government to #1 – Continue ownership of the full Interurban Corridor in the right of the people of B.C. and #2 – protect corridor for passenger rights on said corridor. The rights were renewed by B.C. Hydro in June of 2009, two months prior to the 21-year term of expiry.

The Master Agreement and relevant additional pages number 88.

IMPORTANT – A full copy of this Master Agreement is available for review to substantiate its authenticity, but it will not be released from our possession.


I am working on a few posts at present that I believe are of significant concern to Township of Langley Residents, come back often for news of interest to Township residents.

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