Globe and Mail & Railway Safety

by Jack Locke

I am sorry, but The Globe and Mail’s editorial, Lac-Mégantic: By no means the last explosion of its kind, contained a serious factual error.

The editorial applauds the federal government, when they should be condemned.

“The federal government can’t be charged with inaction – Ms. Raitt and her department have worked diligently – but that doesn’t mean there has been sufficient action,” stated the editorial.

In 2012, the federal government amended the Railway Safety Act by taking out a basic, and fundamental principle of corporate responsibility. They removed the following objective:

“To recognize the responsibility of railway companies in ensuring the safety of their operations.”

In its place came a milquetoast replacement.

On the subject of milquetoast, I have written letters to three successive ministers of Transport calling for an inquiry into railway safety, following the deaths of three Montreal-area teens killed by a VIA Rail train in 2010. All the replies are pasty, and deliberate denials that there exists a problem.

Thus, to hear the Globe and Mail express platitudes over the “diligent” actions of Raitt, I strongly beg to differ.

Diligence would require fixing the Railway Safety Act, amongst other things.

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