Question Period – Rail Transportation

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, Irving Oil is to be congratulated for taking voluntary action to convert its own rail car fleet to get rid of the dangerous DOT-111 rail cars.


The U.S. safety regulator and the Canadian safety board have both said that these cars are unsafe, but they are still allowed. There are still tens of thousands of these cars rattling through Canadian cities carrying bitumen crude and Bakken crude.

After the Lac-Mégantic disaster we must not continue to see these cars used. We need to learn those lessons. Will the Minister of Transport commit to regulate so that we do not have to rely on voluntary actions? Get the cars off the tracks now.

Jeff Watson: Mr. Speaker, the member will know that the DOT-111 tanker cars built under the older standard will be phased out. Given the integration of the Canadian and U.S. rail networks, with cars crossing the border every day, she should know that the minister has been working with her American counterpart on additional standards to strengthen the safety of tanker cars within Canada.

There has also been an advisory council that has been tasked to report back. It has reported back on this, and the report is being studied on an expedited and urgent basis.