Judge tosses band's bid to block sale of B.C. rail corridor to local governments

KELOWNA, B.C. – A B.C. Supreme Court judge has dismissed a bid by the Okanagan Indian Band to block the sale of a rail corridor.

The Vernon-area band asked the court to stop railway firm CN (TSX:CNR) from selling the former rail line between Coldstream and Kelowna to local governments that want to turn it into a public trail.

The band says 22 kilometres of the corridor run through their Commonage reserve, and Chief Byron Louis has maintained that once the track was no longer being used for rail service, it’s control should have reverted to the band.

But the city says in a news release the judge rejected the request because it didn’t meet the three-part test required for an injunction to be issued.

It says the judge ruled there would be “no irreparable harm” if the injunction were not granted and the “balance of convenience” does not weigh in favour of an injunction.

City of Kelowna spokesman Doug Gilchrist says officials planned to complete the transaction on Monday, although Louis says the band is reviewing its options and “nothing’s over.” (CKIZ)