Elizabeth May reacts to Transport Canada’s final report on Lac-Megantic

Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada issued the following statement regarding the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada release of its final report on the devastating train derailment in Lac-Megantic in 2013. The tragic events lead to the loss of 47 lives and destroyed a significant portion of the downtown. Over six million litres of crude oil were discharged into the area.

“I want to first begin by expressing my deepest sympathy to those who lost their loved ones to this terrible and senseless tragedy,” said Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. “My heart goes out to you as you look for a way to cope with this terrible loss. While nothing can bring them back, I hope we can learn from this to ensure that it never happens again.”

Since 2011, the Green Party has called for a Royal Commission into Railway Safety.

“With the release of the TSB final report, action must be immediately taken to minimize the risk posed to Canadians as transportation by rail of dangerous goods through our cities and towns continues to grow rapidly,” added Deputy Green party Leader Bruce Hyer. “The fact that very little has been done to improve rail safety following this tragedy, speaks to this Conservative Government’s belief that government should not play a significant role in safety – if it affects the bottom line of private sector companies.”

“I call for a public inquiry to satisfy Canadians that everything is being done to protect them,” concluded Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May. “The recommendations brought forward today by the TSB are a first step. However, despite improvements brought in by Transport Minister Lisa Raitt in removing some of the DOT 111 rail cars, much more needs to be done. We need to bring in a system that can stop or slow a train before certain accidents occur, such as positive train control technology, which is currently being implemented in the U.S.

“A full public inquiry is needed to demonstrate the weak safety culture that exists in Canada today at the expense of Canadians.”

(See attached backgrounder on findings from the Report.)