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October 29th, 2014

Swifter, more robust action needed on rail safety

Conservative government’s rail safety changes long overdue

A year and a half after the Lac-Mégantic tragedy, the Conservative government has finally decided to enact the Transportation Safety Board’s (TSB) recommendations. However, the measures announced today should have been implemented years ago.

Furthermore, Conservatives still haven’t honoured their commitment to rectify shortcomings with safety inspections and rail safety compliance measures.

“The Minister of Transport needs to immediately hire more inspectors; they are essential to ensuring the safety of trains. Currently, Transport Canada does not have the resources needed to carry out more inspections,” said NDP Transport critic Hoang Mai (Brossard—La Prairie).

Earlier this week, the TSB announced that 254 incidents had not been reported or had been reported late. The Conservatives have been unable to turn the tide on the undisciplined rail safety culture in this country and, as a result, the NDP is pushing for hefty fines for companies that break the rules.

“The Minister has said far more than she has done. The Conservatives have failed to bolster rail safety in Canada. Who’s to say that these new rules will be respected by railway companies?” added Mai.