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North Vancouver officials to provincial magistrate: 'Stop sale of BC Rail'

On Sept. 8, the City of North Vancouver passed a resolution calling on British Columbia's government to halt the proposed sale of BC Rail Ltd. and develop a process — involving affected communities and labor unions — to ensure the railroad continues to be publicly owned.

"The provincial government's own internal documents suggest one-half to two-thirds of [city] jobs will be lost if BC Rail is sold to a private corporation," city officials state in the resolution.

BC Rail earned $76.8 million in operating profit last year and is expected to earn about $80 million in 2003, as well as $120 million in net income during the next three years, city officials said.

In July, British Columbia short-listed four companies to submit final proposals detailing plans to assume the 1,400-mile regional's operation and management: Canadian Pacific Railway, Canadian National Railway Co., RailAmerica Inc. and a Burlington Northern Santa Fe/OmniTRAX Inc. joint venture.

A provincial evaluation committee expects to choose a finalist in late September or October. British Columbia plans to negotiate a public/private agreement by year end.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/10/2003