Rail Safety: Mayors Address Minister Garneau
The mayors of the Estrie Montérégie rail corridor are in direct contact with the Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, to advance the issue of rail inspection and maintenance in the territory.
The onday morning, members of the rail corridor Estrie Montérégie Alliance (ACFEM) conducted a public outlet to apply directly to the Minister of Transport Marc Garneau. He urges him to act on the rail inspection file.
Rail safety in Lac-Mégantic: the city challenges the CMQR
Rails: Sherbrooke calls for action by Transport Canada
ACFEM will send a signed letter to Sherbrooke from all the mayors of the member cities urging them to take the necessary measures to ensure that rail infrastructure inspections are carried out more rigorously.
“It is Transport Canada’s responsibility to provide the most transparent information available to municipalities to protect their citizens,” said Louis Villeneuve, President of ACFEM and Mayor of Bromont.
“Therefore, we urge Transport Canada to take the necessary measures to reassure the public, including tightening the rail inspection criteria. ”
A week later
Mayors take action one week after Transport Canada’s Director General of Rail Safety Brigitte Diogo appeared before Sherbrooke City Council. It should be noted that it revealed that 253 anomalies were identified and corrected in 2018 on the Lac-Mégantic-Farnham railroad. However, the department did not verify each of the corrections, but rather proceeded randomly.
Chair Nicole Bergeron asked Ms. Diogo to provide answers. Last Friday, Transport Canada still did not reveal its intentions following its visit to Sherbrooke on Monday, when the City of Sherbrooke passed a resolution calling for a tightening of rail safety in urban areas.
The City of Sherbrooke is expected to have a return from Transport Canada in the coming days, said Sherbrooke Mayor Steve Lussier.
Mr. Villeneuve said he favors collaboration in confrontation, but ACFEM deplores Transport Canada’s lack of transparency. No information regarding the state of the railway is communicated to the municipalities along its route, particularly in the case of deficiencies, defects or irregularities that could jeopardize the safety of the railway. citizens. Similarly, no information concerning the corrections made by the company Central Maine & Quebec Railway (CMQR), owner of the railway section, is transmitted to the municipal authorities so that they can notify their respective citizens, he said.
The ACFEM also requests Transport Canada to ensure that CMQR discloses to all municipalities crossed by the railway the contents of hazardous substances such as crude oil, propane and other chemicals. At present, municipalities do not receive this information, which has been requested since the Lac-Mégantic tragedy.
“We are increasing the pressure. We need security measures for the transportation of goods and people, “adds Villeneuve.
The latter wants the public release, which occurs during the federal election campaign, may have an even greater echo.
For his part, the outgoing Sherbrooke deputy, Pierre-Luc Dusseault, present at the press conference, for his part denounced this situation that is repeated since the tragedy of Lac-Mégantic, six years ago. “We thought it was going to move, but no,” he said.
“We have to put an end to self-inspection and self-regulation by the railway companies. People are scared for their safety. The mayors have come here today. ”
More powers at Transport Canada
The NDP candidate intends to give teeth to Transport Canada to ensure the safety of citizens and communities along a railway corridor if he is re-elected.
During its press briefing on July 17, 2019, ACFEM called on the two senior levels of government to study the Alliance’s overall project, offering an integrated solution that includes upgrading the entire section of the Alliance. . This plan for the transportation of goods and people will address the challenges of safety, economic, tourism and environmental challenges, not to mention the significant reduction in greenhouse gases.
The ACFEM project is a model of regional partnership for the benefit of future generations. The Estrie-Montérégie Rail Corridor Alliance (ACFEM) was created in response to the desire of municipal leaders to improve the safety of the people living along the rail corridor and its users, to use it as a lever for economic growth by promoting the fluidity of freight transport and possibly offering a passenger transport service as an alternative mode of transport. The ACFEM brings together all the mayors of cities and municipalities located along the railway corridor from Sherbrooke to Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. It does not say that this alliance could not one day serve to unite these municipalities in other areas,