Lessons Must Be Learned From Rail Tragedy

Charlie Angus says the horror of the last few days is giving way to profound sadness after an oil tanker train exploded in Lac Mégantic on Saturday. At least 20 people have been killed and dozens more are missing. This tragedy is one of the most serious rail catastrophes in the history ofCanada.

 

Angus says the thoughts of all New Democrats are with the victims, families and all those affected by this serious accident. “We are also tremendously thankful for the hard work of first responders and emergency personnel who have gone above and beyond the call of duty during this crisis. The coming weeks will be difficult. Fortunately, Canadians are showing their generous spirit once again as aid and well-wishes pour in from coast to coast to coast.”

 

Angus says the circumstances around this horrible tragedy leave many questions unanswered. “Once the victims have received the help they need, we will have to investigate—and ask the tough questions. It is the only way we can prevent such a catastrophe in the future.”

 

In light of this tragedy, Angus says the federal government must review its rail safety policies. New Democrats have long proposed measures to tighten railway safety rules inCanadawhich have been echoed by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. From automatic braking systems to risk mitigation in the transportation of dangerous goods—practical steps can be undertaken right now.

 

These practical solutions are overwhelmingly supported by Canadians who expect the federal government to keep their communities safe.  New Democrats are ready to work together with stakeholders and other parties to make sure they are implemented.

 

Angus says the best way to honour the memories of the victims in Lac-Mégantic is to understand how this tragedy happened—and make sure it never happens again.