A meeting with CN but still no commitment to pay its share of drain bills


The mayors of Warwick Township and Plympton-Wyoming made a direct appeal to CN Rail, hoping to get the company to pay its share of drainage projects. But it appears little progress has been made.

Last year, CN informed municipalities across Ontario it wouldn’t pay for costs associated with drainage. CN said because it was governed by federal rules, it did not have to follow provincial regulations. The company simply stopped paying the bills municipalities across the province sent.

Warwick is waiting for about $160,000 and CN has $80,000 outstanding in Plympton-Wyoming. They’re not alone. The Association of Municipalities of Ontario says the company owes about $1.5 million for new drain construction and maintenance across the province. AMO added about $2.7 million worth of drainage projects are in limbo because of CN’s refusal to pay.

Feb. 17, Warwick Mayor Todd Case and Plympton-Wyoming Mayor Gary Atkinson met with CN Rail officials, but it doesn’t appear much progress was made on the issue.

“While it was a productive meeting with CN Rail, the municipalities are hopeful that a quick resolution can be found to the issue, so drainage works are not held up in the province and outstanding invoices to municipalities are paid,” said Case.

“CN Rail continues to benefit from municipal drainage assets for its rail infrastructure. Hopefully, CN Rail will revisit its position on Ontario’s Drainage Act,” added Atkinson in a news release.

The provincial government backs the municipalities saying CN is subject to the Drainage Act.