More Vancouver Island First Nations go to court over E&N rail line

A VIA Train travels the E&N rail line some time before train travel was stopped in 2011

Two more Vancouver Island First Nations are taking the Island Corridor Foundation to court over the E&N rail line, looking to get railway land returned to them.

The Cowichan Tribes near Duncan and the Halalt First Nation near Chemainus seek to prove in court that there is no "reasonable prospect" that rail operations will return to the E&N rail line.

As such, they want land where the tracks cross their reserves given back. In documents filed in BC Supreme Court they cite laws like the federal "Consolidated Railway Act" that said land should revert to the reserves, or at least the crown, in the case that rail operations ceased. The Cowichan and Halalt say the land was originally removed from their reserves in the 1800’s when the tracks were first laid.

The Island Corridor Foundation and Attorney General of Canada are named as defendants .

The Nanoose Bay First Nation launched a similar civil suit earlier this year.

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