Federal rules are making trains safer

MP Mark Strahl outlines the changes made to the railroad industry to ensure public safety.

Dear Editor

Re: “Tragedy could happen here” (Letters, July 8)

Our Conservative Government has always made public safety and the health and well-being of Canadian families a top priority.That’s why we’ve taken action to increase the safety of Canada’s railways.

Following the tragic accident last summer we invested over $100 million in our rail safety system. We passed tougher monetary and legal penalties for railways that break the law; and required railways to carry extra insurance so that they remain accountable.

Authorities have since laid 47 charges of criminal negligence against a train engineer, the rail company, and two others related to the July 2013 Lac-Mégantic tragedy. As we have always said, clearly the rules were not followed.

This spring Transport Minister Lisa Raitt announced measures to make our already strong regulations even stronger including: removing the least crash resistant cars from dangerous goods service; toughening standards for cars transporting crude oil; requiring Emergency Response Assistance Plans; creating a task force to bring municipalities, first responders and shippers together to strengthen emergency response; and reducing speeds for trains carrying dangerous goods.

While Canada maintains one of the safest rail systems in the world, our Government understands that even one accident is too many. That is why our Government will continue to work to make our railways safer.

Mark Strahl, MP

Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon

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