WINNIPEG, Man—Despite universal demands from provincial transport ministers and municipalities for greater transparency, Ottawa isn’t ready to provide details about what hazardous materials trains are carrying through Canadian communities, said a CP report.
Ministers meeting in Winnipeg on Wednesday said they want the federal government to require rail companies to be more transparent about the goods they carry so local authorities know exactly what hazardous materials are being shipped.
Rail safety was expected to dominate the agenda of the annual meeting, the ministers’ first since the tragedy in Lac Megantic.
The issue has been under constant scrutiny with two train derailments in Calgary over the summer, as well as a collision earlier this month between an Ottawa transit bus and a VIA passenger train which killed six people and left more than 30 injured.
All provinces support tougher rail safety regulations and it’s up to the federal government now to respond immediately, said Quebec Transportation Minister Sylvain Gaudreault.
“The government of Canada should be inspired by what they’re doing in the United States. They are already taking steps to tighten up regulations. They accelerated the process after the tragedy in Lac Megantic. I hope the federal government will do the same thing,” he told reporters.
Gaudreault said Ottawa should at least divulge exactly what trains are carrying.
“It’s absolutely incredible that municipalities don’t know what is passing through their territory,” he said.
“Canadians are concerned because we have seen an increase in dangerous materials on railways for some years. It’s very important to address this problem.”