Council blasts CN’s ‘stupid and irresponsible” idea

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

One of the most, if not the most, valuable control burns to prevent wildfires is no longer occurring.

And High Prairie town council is not very happy about it!

“We won’t be doing control burns along the railway (tracks),” fire chief Trevor Cisaroski told council at its May 10 meeting.

He added if the department wanted to do a control burn, they had to pay a $1,000 fee and fill out an 18-page application as per new CN rules.

“They’re charging $1,000 to reduce the fire hazard?” asked Councillor James Waikle.

“They’re just begging for a disaster. This is a safety issue. We need to put pressure on them.”

He added perhaps council could lobby with other Alberta municipalities and present a united front to CN.

“It’s beyond stupid and irresponsible,” added Waikle. “I’m stunned they would do something as foolish as this.”

Mayor Brian Panasiuk and the rest of council agreed with Waikle. Panasiuk suggested writing CN asking why there was a change in policy and ask permission to do a control burn.

“I agree with you (Waikle),” said Panasiuk.

“It makes no sense. As it stands now it’s a hazard for us,” he added.

Waikle preferred inviting CN to attend a council meeting to explain their actions.

Council agreed to write CN with its concerns. They will also bring the matter up with the recently formed Community Rail Advocacy Alliance they recently joined.

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