Train derailment shows public safety failing of conservatives, says NDP

Saturday’s train derailment in Burnaby – the country’s second in one week week – is yet another reminder that more needs to be done to prevent these incidents from occurring on Canada’s railways, according to the NDP. The Conservative government has failed to ensure that Transport Canada is providing adequate safety oversight of Canada’s railways, and has done little to show that real changes are happening.

“Thankfully no one was injured in this incident, but public confidence in the safety of this country’s railways has been seriously compromised,” said NDP MP Kennedy Stewart (Burnaby—Douglas), who visited the site of the accident earlier today. “With the Auditor General’s report and the recent frequency of train derailments, the public needs reassurance that steps are being taken to improve rail safety. We are not seeing this action from the Conservative government.”

In the fall, the Auditor General reported that “significant weakness” has been found in Transport Canada’s oversight of federal railways, including a lack of knowledge of rail routes used to transport dangerous goods, a lack of safety auditors and problems with poorly trained inspectors. A House of Commons committee will be studying this report when parliament resumes later this month.

“New Democrats are committed to holding the government to account for its failings when it comes to keeping British Columbians and all Canadians safe,” said Stewart.