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Community Rail Safety Meeting

Safe Rail Communities (www.saferail.ca) is a community-based initiative advocating for more transparency and safeguards with respect to the transportation by rail of dangerous goods, particularly crude oil.

They are holding a public meeting:

  • Central YMCA, 20 Grosvenor
  • Friday, June 12th
  • 7 – 9:30 pm

 

This group has sent the following information about their initiatives and the meeting:

 

Since March 2014, we have been raising awareness on this issue, locally and across the country.  We have also been pressing government to take meaningful action on increasing public safety.  In the last year, we have:

 

  • Connected with over 100 communities locally and across the country
  • Delivered 9 presentations to resident/community groups
  • Attended 4 community meetings on rail safety
  • Participated in 10 community events
  • Provided commentary in 14 articles
  • Participated in 3 radio interviews
  • Submitted our recommendations to the review panel of the Canada Transportation Act
  • Submitted an environmental petition through the office of the Auditor General

 

Most recently, we were invited to appear before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transportation, Infrastructure, and Communities (TRAN).  On April 28th, we delivered to TRAN our statement on Bill C-52 (Safe and Accountable Rail Act), legislation that was announced by Minister Raitt on February 20th, between the first and second fiery derailments in northern Ontario.  Other witnesses that day included the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, the Freight Management Association of Canada, and the Canadian Transportation Agency.  Below is a link to the official audio recording of the TRAN meeting.  The entire session was almost two hours; we appear at about the 1:04 mark.  Each group had 10 minutes to speak.  It was a privilege for us to speak on behalf of all Canadians.

 

http://parlvu.parl.gc.ca/parlvu/ContentEntityDetailView.aspx?contententityid=12866&date=20150428&lang=en

 

We wish to acknowledge the open letter sent to Minister Raitt on March 31st by Mayor Tory and 17 City Councillors with wards on the CP main line that runs through the city.  We are pleased with this demonstration of concern by Council, and would like to express our interest in the possibility of working collaboratively with Council on this important issue.  We agree that there should be more transparency and accountability from the government and the railways on the matter of dangerous goods traveling through our city.

 

To increase public knowledge on this issue, we are planning a town hall on rail safety at the Central YMCA on Friday, June 12th, 7 – 9:30 pm.  We have invited a panel of experts on this issue to provide solid information to the public.  Our panel will be able to speak to topics that include: the current Safety Management System, emergency management, environmental impact, tank car design, and crude oil volatility. 

They will invite the Minister of Transport as well as local MPs, Mayor Tory, and City Councillors to share their proposed solutions to the issue.  The cost of the clean-up and re-build in Lac-Mégantic is currently estimated to approach $3B.  However, no amount of compensation can bring back the 47 people lost in this national tragedy.  We must do everything we can to prevent another such disaster.

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100 Queen Street West,
Suite C45, Second Floor
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
Phone: 416-392-4032
Fax: 416-392-4123

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