An NDP MP is leading a new charge for improved rail safety cargo regulations in Canada.
Edmonton-Strathcona MP Linda Duncan says she’s working on a new bill to address changes made by the previous Liberal government.
“I’m deeply troubled by fact that apparently the previous Liberal government replaced most of the regulations for rail safety with a self-management system and rules that the companies themselves draft and they can also seek exemptions. It was one of those exemptions that was one of the causes of the Lac Megantic disaster,” said Duncan.
“I am now the NDP Transport Critic and I persuaded my committee over the past year to do a study on rail safety and we had a good number of witnesses and I’m increasingly concerned now, having heard from inspectors and rail workers and community people, about the depth of issues we have.”
Duncan says derailments like the ones that happened in Lac Megantic and Lake Wabamun should never have happened.
“I’m specifically targeting the need for special permission when the companies take on contracts to ship dangerous cargo like petroleum products and secondly, that when they are proposing major shipments, where they ship in these long trains, so if you have a derailment then it’s a really hard disaster to respond to.”
Duncan says rail is the only industrial sector that is not bound by environmental laws in Canada.
She expects to roll out her new bill to parliament in the fall. (djs)