Feds Can Do More For Rail Safety

Hamilton, ON, Canada / AM900 CHML

The Transportation Safety Board’s report on the Lac-Megantic derailment disaster is out and, not surprisingly, they’ve identified 18 areas of concern that led to the tragedy.

It’s everyone’s hope that the recommendations resulting from this report will make rail transportation more safe, but that might not be so easy.

Already, the Federal Transportation Minister, Lisa Raitt, is insisting that the Harper government did all they could for rail safety by enacting tough regulations.

But the Transportation Safety Board takes a different view.

They say it isn’t enough to draft regulations ; the government needs to carry out regular inspections to ensure that  the rules are being followed, and this government doesn’t do a very good job of that.

Here we go again with that old argument from austerity driven  governments who cut back on inspections as a way to save a few bucks.

But, as we’ve seen, when industries don’t police themselves properly or try to cut corners , and there is no government oversight to catch that kind of behavior, well, people die.

Whether it’s  food inspection or water treatment plants or rail safety, the government must enforce it’s own regulations.

Instead of suggesting that this tragedy is not the government’s fault, the Minister should acknowledge that it’s everyone’s fault, and if we don’t learn from this and correct the problems, it’s going to happen again.

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