At the Council Meeting on December 15, 2020, CP's Vice President, Jeff Edwards, provided clarification regarding the timing, nature and extent of their engagement with the full Pitt Meadows City Council in relation to the CP Industrial Logistics Park as December 1, 2020.
“CP recognizes that the beginning of our consultation with Council first occurred December 1 at an in-camera session, immediately ahead of CP’s public consultation announcement,” says CP Vice President Jeff Edwards. “While CP met with Mayor Dingwall and CAO Mark Roberts in May and June, CP asked that the content of those meetings remain confidential due to the commercially sensitive nature of the information. At that time, CP provided an overview of our proposed project, and was seeking early feedback from the Mayor and CAO about our project prior to making our decision to enter the regulatory review process.”
Mayor Bill Dingwall spoke on behalf of Council and the Chief Administrative Office (CAO) to outline the specific timeline and nature of the discussions with CP as follows:
“On November 24, I was informed by CP of their decision to issue a press release within days and begin public engagement in early December without any consultation with our full Council. It was during this call, I learned of CP’s intentions to proceed despite our vehement opposition. This also included learning of a mail out to our community and the town halls scheduled for December 8 and 12.
During the November 24 call, CP did not articulate to me the new scope of the project, the change in commodities nor what was to be presented to our community. I was dismayed to learn that CP was moving forward without presenting to our Council and I clearly verbalized my concerns.
Since Council had not been briefed by CP, it was critically important for them to share their concepts, drawings etc. for the first time with all of Council and to raise awareness of CP’s intention to issue their press release and commence community engagement.
On December 1, 2020 Pitt Meadows Council was formally briefed by CP about their proposal to develop the CP Industrial Logistics Park in Pitt Meadows. This provided the full Council and CAO with the opportunity to unanimously express their vehement opposition.
The following day on December 2, 2020 CP released their proposal to the public and the City issued a media release on December 3 to communicate Council’s strong opposition to the project and to encourage residents to provide feedback to CP as part of their community engagement.
At this point, it is important to address some feedback from a few residents that have concerns around the level and type of involvement of the CAO and myself, prior to this initiative coming into the public domain, as noted above.
Given that some information is not public, it is understandable that some members of our community do not have the full context and have raised concerns about earlier discussions between CP, the CAO and myself. We would like to take an opportunity to provide some clarity and context.
Throughout the normal course of City business, we routinely have citizens, companies and developers contact City staff, the CAO and myself to seek information and float ideas, many of which are informal, not fully contemplated ideas, not sufficiently complete for public discussion and/or are confidential in nature. Many never come to fruition nor proceed to formal public engagement.
In this case, on May 20 and June 24 in two separate meetings, CP provided high-level concepts that included an industrial park that would contain large commodities that ended up not being included in the final proposed project that is before our community.
I requested that CP provide copies of the drawings and was advised they were preliminary in nature and confidential due to the commercially sensitive nature of the information. And as such, no drawings or any other documentation was provided to the City.
Throughout discussions with CP, the CAO and I have expressed numerous concerns and strong opposition to all aspects of the proposal. This has been a consistent message expressed by the City. We were hopeful that our rationale would influence a different business decision. For the next five months until November 24, we didn’t hear anything further.
On May 26 at a Closed Council meeting, myself and the CAO verbally briefed all of Council with the limited details that ultimately changed.
We hope that this clarity provides important context for our community and alleviates any concerns.
We remain aligned with our community in continuing to strongly oppose the CP Industrial Logistics Park as evidenced by the motion before Council tonight.“
View video of the December 15 Council Meeting.