Issue: June 2021
Uniacke Newsletter Logo
Next deadline: June 25

UNIACKE TRAILS

As you may be aware, Uniacke Trails Association has been involved in a Nova Scotia Utility & Review Board (NSUARB) hearing as the result of a complaint we filed in July and September of 2018.

The basis of the complaint was that we felt the Windsor & Hantsport Railway Company (W&HRC) were not following the terms of their operating license nor the Railways Act & Regulations.

The NSUARB reviewed our complaint and advised us that we had a valid complaint and that the NSUARB would convene a hearing.

Numerous documents were submitted, over the two year period of the hearing, by Uniacke Trails, W&HRC legal counsel and the intervenors Nova Scotia Transportation & Infrastructure Renewal (TIR), and the Municipalities of East Hants and West Hants.

One of the objections raised by W&HRC was that they felt we did not have “standing” to be able to file a complaint against W&HRC as we did not have any direct involvement in the railway.

On December 23, 2020, the NSUARB ruled in favour of the motion filed by W&HRC and stated that we did not have standing to file the complaint and the complaint was dismissed.

One of our accomplishments during the hearing was that we made it known to TIR that the Railways Act was out of date and required revisions. As a result, Bill 236, an amendment to the Railway Act, was passed by the Nova Scotia Legislature in March of 2020. The Bill has yet to be proclaimed awaiting the preparation of Regulations to accompany the Act. TIR has stated that these Regulations are “under development” but no time frame for completion was given. It is our feeling that these changes will (or may) accomplish what we were attempting to do with our NSUARB complaint.
However, there is some confusion in the Bill regarding the definition of a “non-operating railway” that we feel needs clarification. This was pointed out to the Nova Scotia Government in our submission to the Law Amendments Committee. The ball appears to be in TIR’s court now.

The hearing documents are available to the public on the NSUARB website. To read the material submitted go to https://uarb.novascotia.ca/fmi/webd/UARB15 and in the search box type M08802.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Paul Smith
President, Uniacke Trails Association


Editor’s note: We encourage you to write to our MLAs, MPs and TIR to encourage TIR to complete the Regulations and have Bill 236 proclaimed.
TIR could also take on this complaint as was suggested by NSUARB. Send in your letters now and have this complaint finalized.