Joyce Murray: CP Rail should cancel evictions of community gardeners in Arbutus corridor
Joyce Murray, the Liberal MP for Vancouver Quadra, issued the following open letter:
July 10, 2014
Mr. Hunter Harrison
Chief Executive Officer
7550 Ogden Dale Road S.E.
Calgary, AB T2C 4X9
Dear Mr. Harrison,
I was surprised to learn that Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) has issued eviction notices to community gardeners along the Arbutus Corridor in Vancouver Quadra. I was even more surprised to learn that these evictions are to take effect on July 31, 2014, providing barely one month notice.
It is my understanding that CP currently does not hold any permits or permissions for development along the corridor. Last month CP representatives advised a public meeting of Arbutus residents that they would be conducting surveying activities along the line and that they have no permission from the City of Vancouver for other activities.
Vancouver citizens have voluntarily improved some of the track right of way areas, turning unsightly garbage-strewn weed tangles into gardens that provide fresh food and flowers and benefit the community space. Can the CP surveyors not work around these objects?
The July 31st deadline for clearing the gardens is unreasonable and will waste the work that has been invested in this season's garden production. The corporation's decision to issue notices to remove gardens and sheds, without adequate time to make other arrangements, appears to be a thoughtless one that fails to meet the standards of good corporate citizenship.
I request that CP Rail show respect for our community by cancelling these evictions and inviting affected community members to work with them to find a satisfactory way forward. This will allow for a better understanding of all the relevant land use interests and issues, and a solution that accommodates both CP's requirements and those of the local communities.
Joyce Murray, MP,