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September 27th, 2016

NDP tables Bill to strengthen rail safety

OTTAWA- On Tuesday, NDP Critic for Environment and Climate Change, Linda Duncan (Edmonton-Strathcona), tabled a Private Member’s Bill to strengthen the regulation of dangerous goods shipped by rail.

"The shipment of dangerous goods by rail has dramatically increased over recent years," Duncan said. “Despite successive governments declaring that oil-by-rail poses significant risks, the rail sector remains massively under-regulated."

Duncan’s bill makes two significant changes to the regulation of rail. It requires a mandatory federal environmental assessment (with a public engagement component) of all rail activities that pose significant risk to the environment, human life or public health. Additionally, it creates a level of certification that will be required for rail companies who wish to transport specified volumes of dangerous cargo.

“These reforms will give Canadians a say in how dangerous goods move through their communities by rail," said Duncan. "With the National Energy Board forecasting a ten-fold increase of dangerous goods by rail over the next 25 years, we need to be proactive and prevent the impacts of rail disasters on the scale of Lac-Mégantic."