Central Okanagan News
CN Rail spoof
UPDATE 12 P.M. - Castanet's hoax about the CN Rail line garnered a lot of attention. For those taken in by our April Fools spoof, our sincere apologies.
The lawyer's name is a dead give away - Lorna I. Ellison (acronym LIE).
For information on how the real story is progressing check out the Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative.
Castanet has learned CN rail has sold the former Kelowna Pacific Railway corridor to a private developer.
That means efforts by local governments and private concerns to see the area preserved as a multi-use pathway stretching from downtown Kelowna to Vernon have been unsuccessful.
While CN, which owns the line and the property adjacent, has not made an official announcement, an internal memo leaked to Castanet indicates the sale has been completed.
CN had apparently been negotiating with a prospective buyer who had hoped to purchase the railway in hopes of operating it once again.
Those negotiations, according to the memo, fell through.
Instead of then making the property available for purchase by interested levels of government, CN instead has agreed to sell the property to a developer.
The memo, from lawyer Lorna I. Ellison, states, in part, "It is our best legal opinion that once the deal to sell the rail line to parties interested in re-establishing a rail route from Vernon to Kelowna fell through, CN Rail was under no obligation to offer the property to government agencies first.
It is also our belief the offer from the private developer will fetch a price four or five times what public interests would be able to pay with taxpayer funds."
Castanet has also learned the development company is based out of Calgary with ties to a large pipeline company.
We will have more details as they become available.
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