August 19th, 2014

Conservatives need to bolster railway safety

The conclusions drawn in a Transportation Safety Board (TSB) report into the July 6, 2013 Lac-Mégantic derailment, which caused 47 deaths, was decisive: the government shares part of the blame and must restore measures to monitor railway companies as quickly as possible.

“Conservatives left companies to monitor themselves – an approach that ended in tragedy,” said Transport critic Hoang Mai (Brossard – La Prairie). “It’s time for the government to implement more rigorous oversight to prevent accidents like Lac-Mégantic from happening again.”

The report – published today – clearly states that the self-regulation of railway companies has failed and that better surveillance of railway companies by the federal government is essential.

For 20 years, the TSB has recommended phasing out the DOT-111 tank cars responsible for the Lac-Mégantic tragedy, claiming they were unsafe for petroleum transportation. Now they are calling for increased oversight from Transport Canada and better physical safety measures on trains.

“We need to do all we can to immediately ensure the safety of Canadians,” added Mai. “We urge the Conservative government to implement the recommendations set out in the TSB’s report without delay.”