Posts Tagged ‘Lac Megantic’

Lac-Mégantic: Life Loss Legacy, Apr 30

April 17, 2017

Great news. Maine’s award-winning folksinger, Ruth Hill, will join the bill on Apr. 30, 7 PM at the Atwater Library in Westmount, Quebec.

In this one-time public event poetry, photography, song, and critical policy analysis come together to explore the elements faced by the citizens of the town devastated by Canada’s worst train disaster, as they continue their struggle to get the rail line moved from their community.

The evening will include a reading from Jacques Rancourt’s book Quarante-sept stations pour une ville dévastée, translated into English as Forty-seven Stations for a Ravaged Town by three time Governor General’s award winner for translation Donald Winkler. Winkler will read sections from his translation.

Photo by Ben Welland.

Bruce Campbell, Lac-Mégantic: Public Betrayal, Corporate Negligence, Justice Denied. Campbell has studied the political failures that allowed the train disaster to occur. Awarded a fellowship in 2016 at the University of Ottawa’s faculty of law, Campbell is currently writing a book on the disaster.
The photographs of Montreal’s internationally-recognized photographer Michel Huneault will be shown. Huneault rushed to Lac-Mégantic within twenty hours after the train explosion. He continued visiting the community fourteen times over the first year, documenting the trauma of the community. Schilt Publishing has produced a book of Huneault’s work, The Long Night of Mégantic/La longue nuit de Mégantic.

The state of Maine’s acclaimed folksinger Ruth Hill will travel to Westmount to perform various songs, including Lac Megantic. Ms. Hill has been writing songs for decades and was the 2016 winner of the Maine Songwriter’s Association songwriting contest.

A special poem by Canada’s current Poet Laureate, George Elliott Clarke, will be read at this event.

Various people from Lac-Mégantic have been invited to share their stories.

The event begins at 7:00 PM, Sunday April 30, 2017, at the Atwater Library Auditorium, 1200 Atwater Avenue, Westmount. The event is free to the public and people should enter through the side door.

The event has received financial support from the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees.

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Globe and Mail & Railway Safety

March 11, 2015

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.

Canada: The Global Train Wreck Capital

March 7, 2015

AET7TrainWreck1CLICK HERE for story, Transport Minister Lisa Raitt Should Resign

Cover it up Conservatives*

September 27, 2014

*This story has been updated at Not a Cover-Up, But a Cover Over, to correct a small detail.

by Jack Locke

They are artists in the art of cover ups.

When three Montreal-area teens were struck and killed by a VIA Rail train on October 31, 2010, there were no charges laid against the train operator. As reported in The Turcot Train Tragedy, questions were raised about whether the train was speeding and whether it was being driven in a safe and legal manner. Despite these questions, the federal government and three successive Conservative Party transport ministers refused to investigate deeper. All my pleas to Lisa Raitt, Denis Lebel, and Chuck Strahl were given short shrift.

Chuck Strahl, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities

Chuck Strahl, former Minister of Transport.

lebel

Former Transport Minister Denis Lebel.

Current Transport Minister Lisa Raitt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nearly a year after the Lac Megantic train tragedy killed 47 people, Minister Raitt appointed a Transportation Act Review. Amongst other things, the review will hear submissions on all aspects of transportation in Canada, including, “how safety and well-being concerns related to rail transportation (including the movement of dangerous goods) through communities can be addressed.”

According to the review secretariat, 1,800 people and organizations were invited to make submissions.

“The Secretariat has over 1,800 stakeholders with interests in the Canada Transportation Act Review,” wrote the government in an email. However, people like myself, who have expressed concerns over the past three years were not invited to make submissions.

When I requested a list of those 1,800 invitees, the government responded that I would not receive a list.

“Our webiste(sic) has all the pertinent information from the Mandate of the Review to the Discussion Paper to how to send in a Submission.

“As such, our communication media is our website,” wrote the government secretariat.

It leads me to conclude that those who have been invited are those who are agreeable to the government, and moreover that the government has no interest in protecting the safety and security of Canadians.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Explaining the Lac Megantic Tragedy

April 5, 2014

The Railway Safety Act was changed in 2012. Can you see why the Lac Megantic tragedy occurred?

CURRENT RAILWAY SAFETY ACT

Objectives

3. The objectives of this Act are to

  • (a) promote and provide for the safety and security of the public and personnel, and the protection of property and the environment, in railway operations;

  • (b) encourage the collaboration and participation of interested parties in improving railway safety and security;

  • (c) recognize the responsibility of companies to demonstrate, by using safety management systems and other means at their disposal, that they continuously manage risks related to safety matters; and

  • (d) facilitate a modern, flexible and efficient regulatory scheme that will ensure the continuing enhancement of railway safety and security.

PREVIOUS RAILWAY SAFETY ACT

Objectives

3. The objectives of this Act are to

  • (a) promote and provide for the safety of the public and personnel, and the protection of property and the environment, in the operation of railways;

  • (b) encourage the collaboration and participation of interested parties in improving railway safety;

  • (c) recognize the responsibility of railway companies in ensuring the safety of their operations; and

  • (d) facilitate a modern, flexible and efficient regulatory scheme that will ensure the continuing enhancement of railway safety.

 

Safer Railways Act – Ha!

July 10, 2013

I was in Lac-Megantic today. It reminded me that Harper’s Safer Railways Act received royal assent May 17, 2012. They removed, deleted, gutted the following from the law: “To recognize the responsibility of railway companies in ensuring the safety of their operations.”
You got your wish Stephen.