Letter Decision No. LET-R-28-1999

February 1, 1999

Rail Access to the Port of Quebec

File No.: 

In respect of the motion of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company (CP) dated December 30, 1998 requesting that the Canadian Transportation Agency (Agency) stay all proceedings in the above-noted matter pending the outcome of litigation outstanding before the Quebec Superior Court, the Agency has considered all of the pleadings and hereby grants CP's application.

The Agency concludes that there is a duplication of proceedings before the Quebec Superior Court and the Agency, a duplication which was acknowledged by the Canadian National Railway Company (CN) in its letter to the Agency dated July 17, 1998, and by the Agency at the pre-hearing conference and in the subsequent pre-hearing conference notes approved by CN and CP.

The Agency also finds that refusal to grant a stay of proceedings at this time could ultimately result in conflicting decisions on the same issues leading also to different appeal routes arising from the Quebec Superior Court and Agency decisions. Further, CN has not adequately demonstrated to the Agency the extent or seriousness of harm which would result from a stay of proceedings.

The issues before the Agency where there is no overlap with those before the Quebec Superior Court relate to the Motion by CN to emparty the Quebec-Gatineau Railway Company (QGR). Depending on the outcome of the court proceedings, an Agency ruling on the standing or jurisdictional matters relating to QGR may prove to be moot. The Agency finds that it would be premature to rule on this Motion until the Quebec Superior Court decision has been rendered.

While CP made its request for a stay of proceedings pursuant to section 76 of the National Transportation Agency General Rules (General Rules), the Agency recognizes that section 76 governs requests for a stay of a decision or order pending the disposition of an application for review or rehearing. However, section 6 enables the Agency to dispense or vary procedure where the Agency considers it appropriate to do so. Under this authority, the Agency accepts this stay application and grants such stay pending the decision of the Quebec Superior Court. Immediately following the Court's decision, CP is directed to inform the Agency of its intentions in this matter.

Should you have any questions, you may contact Agency Counsel Mr. Ron Ashley at (819) 997-9324 or Ms. Claude Delmar at (819) 953-2284.

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