While the Minister of Transportation in Ottawa is claiming changes have been made to improve rail safety in Canada, Northern Ontarians are angry that the latest accident has impacted the Mattagami River, a major waterway.


“After two derailments near Gogama in under a month, it is clear rail safety standards are insufficient,” said NDP MP Claude Gravelle (Nickel Belt). “Both of these crashes involved the upgraded rail cars and the result was still devastating. The Minister must make rail safety a priority.”


On February 14, seven cars derailed and caught fire near Gogama. Less than a month later, 35 cars jumped the rails, caught fire and spilled crude oil into the Mattagami River.


“What has CN done to our river? We want answers. You just have to look at the lasting damage to the Kalamazoo River that after five years and 1.2 billion spent still isn't clean,” said Charlie Angus.  “We want honest answers about the damage done to water, wildlife and fish spawning. We want the Minister of Transport and CN to come clean with northerners."


New Democrats are also calling on CN Rail to participate in Transportation Committee hearings into rail safety, and to cooperate with Transportation Safety Board investigations into both derailments.