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October 30th, 2020

Liberals must do more for railway safety, Canadian lives depend on it

OTTAWA – Today, NDP Critic for Transport Niki Ashton (Churchill—Keewatinook Aski), called on the Liberal government to urgently address the railway safety concerns reported by the Transportation Safety Board. The increase of unplanned or uncontrolled movement of railway equipment is a great risk to the safety of Canadians. Many people lost their lives in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Lac Mégantic due to railway accidents that could have been avoided.

“Every tragic accident was supposed to act as a wake-up call, but that wake-up call doesn’t seem to be reaching the federal government,” said Ashton. “The Minister must take responsibility and apply the recommendations by the Transport Safety Board without delay. Lives depend on it.”

Furthermore, the report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development on the transportation of dangerous goods has shown that Transport Canada is using incomplete and outdated data to prioritize inspections.

“People should be able to count on their government to ensure their safety,” said Ashton. “It is unacceptable that Transport Canada inspectors lack the tools they need to ensure that Canada’s railways, waterways and airspace are safe for workers and commuters. It is time the Liberals to take responsibility, stop relying on the industry to regulate itself and step up for workers, commuters and communities.”