Hank Shelley

Column: A very emotional issue for all

By Hank Shelley, Observer contributor

Parked, in the semi-dark, cool, early morning, last week waiting for a CP west bound freight train to pass, through Salmon Arm, I started to count the tanker cars full of bitumen.

The count was 110. Two white-cradled tanks of chemicals, as well.

Suddenly I had a flash back of the many experiences I had as a fishery officer, and rail traffic. A split rail while waiting for a poacher one dark, rainy night hunkered under the 19 mile CP trestle over the Eagle River, below Griffin Lake. The grinding of steel on car wheels was explosive.

Standing on the track, flagging down a bright yellow, sulphur-laden, west bound freight with a hot box of overheated bearings shooting flame and smoke, 27 cars back, at Kay Falls, just west of the Enchanted Forest.

Sulphur is a dangerous chemical when mixed with water. Is it better to build the Kinder Morgan pipeline, to avoid a devastating derailment into the Thompson and Fraser rivers, destroying huge salmon runs and the total ecology out into the ocean off Vancouver?

Looking at the rail system’s record, despite upgraded safety, for both CN and CP. A few years back, June 29, two CN employees lost their lives when their locomotive, hit a rock and jumped the rails and plunged down to the Thompson River near Lytton. On July 31, the same year, 12 cars of a CP freight on CN tracks put 12 loaded coal cars into the Thompson River. Many will recall the Cheakamus river spill a few years back, when chemicals killed fish.

According to Ottawa, and Jim Carr Natural resources minister, B.C. can not infringe on federal jurisdiction on the impacts of national interest. The major issue is the increase of volume possibly as much as to 800,000 barrels to fuel three tankers at once at the terminal in Burrard Inlet, with increased tanker traffic.

The Texas-based Kinder Morgan $7.4 billion pipeline, according to CEO, Ian Anderson, will be built, and the stumbling blocks and delays will not deter building the pipeline.

The future of this project will have a very negative or positive everlasting effect on all aspects of our lifestyles, I still worry about those tanker cars full of bitumen rolling through our city. Then I think of Feb. 14, 2004, when in Montmagny, Quebec, 24 cars of a 122-car train carrying sulphuric acid, grain and cement derailed, causing devastation!

Just Posted

In photos: The 27th Annual Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival

Images from Friday evening and Saturday at the festival grounds.

Summerland cannabis shop receives approval in principle

Inspection now required before Green Gaia may sell cannabis

North Okanagan-Shuswap Liberal candidate responds to Trudeau ethics report

Prime Minister’s immediate response to commissioner’s findings appreciated

Shuswap tow truck operator sees high number of collisions this summer

Drivers encouraged to “loosen up behind the wheel, smarten up and read the road”

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Retrieved body from Okanagan Lake identified as missing kayaker

Zygmunt Janiewicz had been missing since May and was recovered Aug. 10

Paddleboard festival coming soon to Kalamalka Lake

Wildfire smoke got in the way of last year’s event, but conditions look better this summer

Most Read