It was exactly one year ago that the worst rail disaster in Canadian history took place. A vast part of the community of Lac-Mégantic was destroyed and many lives were lost, and now countless victims suffer from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
As the town and its victims struggle to rebuild their lives, nothing has changed when it comes to shipping oil by rail. In my opinion, it’s obvious that the current Federal Government has used this disaster in its lobby for the Northern Gateway Pipeline and the Keystone XL.
By doing nothing to enhance rail safety, and probably aiding in the cause of allowing subsequent rail disasters of a similar nature, the Conservatives have used their own blunders to enhance their cause for the expansion of resource extraction, with no real plans for development other than pipelines for exporting raw materials.
In the long term not only is this poor economic policy, but it is also very dangerous and extremely risky, especially to communities like Ashcroft, Mission, Agassiz, and Lillooet where the rail lines run near the very heart of the communities.
If a rail disaster was to happen in one of these communities, the outcome would be no less than that of Lac-Mégantic. I believe it’s up to the Federal Government of Canada to secure the safety of these communities, whether the threat be terrorists or rail disasters. Anything less is a dereliction of duty.