Multiple Peninsula governmental stakeholders have been invited to a June 28 Ministry of Transportation-sanctioned meeting to voice concerns about the safety of the waterfront rail route. File photo

Feds focus on Semiahmoo Peninsula rail safety

Civic, provincial and First Nations government stakeholders invited to meeting

South Surrey-White Rock MP Gordie Hogg says that continuing efforts to bring stakeholders together to share concerns about the Semiahmoo Peninsula’s waterfront rail route have resulted in a new meeting at the behest of the federal Ministry of Transportation.

The meeting, to be held at Transport Canada’s offices in Vancouver on June 28, will be chaired by Pacific Region assistant deputy minister Robert Dick, and, in addition to Hogg, invitations have gone out to the cities of White Rock and Surrey, Surrey-White Rock MLA Tracy Redies, Semiahmoo First Nation Chief Harley Chappell and the BNSF Railway.

The meeting is to address “the safety of the railway and concerns around that” Hogg said, adding that each invitee has been asked to submit two or three of what they consider to be key issues.

“For me, number one is public process and engagement,” Hogg told Peace Arch News Tuesday.

“Number two is utilizing the facts gathered in the Province of B.C. and the State of Washington’s rapid-rail study.”

The latter could have an impact in determining more practical rail routes for the future, which could add impetus for a long-desired relocation of the route, Hogg said.

“Hopefully we can get a chance to piggy-back on that,” he said.

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