Rail Safety: Ottawa must give teeth to Transport Canada

The federal government must give teeth to Transport Canada and enforce its own laws by the railway companies.
P eter-Luc Dusseault, NDP MP for Sherbrooke, attacked the government in response to Justin Trudeau derailment weekend in Nantes, near Lac-Megantic.

“Unfortunately, it brings back painful memories for everyone, especially the people of the Lac-Mégantic region,” says the MP.

“This event confirms the apprehensions that we and these people had. ”

The derailment occurred at a level crossing on Route 161 at the entrance to Lac-Mégantic on Saturday morning around 9 am in the territory of Nantes.

The event occurred a few days after it was learned that the number of defective rails reported by ultrasound vehicle has more than doubled since 2015 on the railway between Farnham and Lac-Mégantic. There were 115 in 2015 while this number had risen to 253 in 2018.

This is a 110% increase, according to an official Transport Canada document sent to Central Maine and Quebec Railway Canada (CMQR) last May.

Mr. Dusseault obviously does not want it, but he wonders if it will take another tragedy to actually act.

“When we mention the number of deficiencies reported by Transport Canada, the government tells us that it works, because we are able to identify,” says the MP in an interview with La Tribune.

“Since the tragedy of Lac-Mégantic, we realize that it’s the same thing. Transport Canada has no teeth to enforce the laws. The government is dragging its feet and is not able to enforce Transport Canada’s recommendations. It was written in heaven that it was going to happen. People are asking for action with reason. ”

Pierre-Luc Dusseault and Transport MP Spokesman Robert Aubin (Trois-Rivières), as well as candidates Sylvie Jetté (Brome-Missisquoi) and Raymonde Plamondon (Shefford), sign an open letter responding to alarming statistics on defects found on the Estrie section of the CMQR railway line.

It points out that for all the municipalities crossed by this railway, the concerns are palpable. It is also noted that the increase in rail traffic is exponential and the transportation of hazardous materials is following this growth.

The federal government favors “corporate self-regulation and the risk-based approach to rail safety,” but “it does not bear fruit,” it says.

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