LETTERS: Distraction from the waterfront

Letter-writer S. Cunningham notes protesters target oil pipelines, while another mode of transport is apparent. - S. Cunningham photo
Letter-writer S. Cunningham notes protesters target oil pipelines, while another mode of transport is apparent.
— image credit: S. Cunningham photo


The train I photographed (above) consisted of about 118 tank cars and only one open bulk car.

Is this the future of petroleum transport through B.C.?

While the focus of protesters is on blocking pipelines, this ramping up of rail shipments of oil increases.


S. Cunningham, Surrey

Apathy pervasive

Re: Rail safety comes down to hope, May 8 letters.

To keep the trains from running through White Rock would be to use the spur line in Sumas to link up with the lines that CP uses for their Coal Trains.

We have to get Prime Minister Stephen Harper to tell BNSF to use that spur line, give our lifestyle back to us, without the loss of sleep, property values declining and unnecessary deaths associated with the train traffic.

There is an apathy which I find pervasive throughout White Rock and Surrey of not wanting to do anything about the trains.

Maybe it is the elderly population, or a feeling of being overwhelmed by the costs involved or just who cares.

If we don’t speak up and do something constructive about the trains, Harper and BNSF will make our lives miserable and unbearable.

After three years of writing to BNSF, I have a letter from its legal department. In part, BNSF say that they are doing nothing wrong, and there are no complaints, and everything is wonderful, and they are complying with all Canadian laws.

Robert Melynchuk, Surrey

A poetic rebuke

I have formulated the following poem to make it more acceptable to letter format:

Screeching, screaming, howling, wailing

miles and miles of tanker cars

rumble past our homes

rattling our windows

banging at our walls.

Chlorine, chloride, sodium hydroxide,

hexyltrichlorosilane, organophosphorus pesticides,

hydrochloric acid and sulfur dioxide,

trichlorosilane, ammonia, sulfuric acid, aldehyde

hydrogen peroxide, hot asphalt, heating oil

crude oil, fuel oil, diesel fuel, petroleum

ethanol, methanol, coal unfit to burn

butylene, octanes, petroleum and gasoline,

liquid hydrocarbons, explosive, toxic, flammable

residue from sewer pipes in tanker cars of tin.

They’ll find us as we’re sleeping or sitting by our fireplace

or digging in the garden on a summer afternoon.

We’ll never know what killed us when the train derails.

Ben Nuttall-Smith, Surrey



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