Safer Railways Act (Bill S-4) (C)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask my hon. friend from the riding of Edmonton—Strathcona to reflect more on the lessons learned from that really devastating toxic spill that occurred in Alberta near her home. If I recall, the hon. member had a cottage on that lake and experienced first hand some of the reasons for the derailment.

This legislation, while sound, in my mind will not sufficiently deal with systemic problems from the cutbacks to rail staff and cutbacks to safety regulations. I would like to ask my hon. friend if she would agree.

Linda Duncan: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands for her cogent question. I know she is a great defender of the environment as well.

Absolutely, I have witnessed first hand the devastation that can occur when we do not properly regulate, inspect, and enforce our rail laws. This is harm that should not happen to the environment. It is preventable. This is the disgrace of it. It is absolutely incumbent on the government to reverse its policy of turning over more and more of the responsibilities for inspection and the monitoring of critical laws like rail safety. I am looking forward to the government stepping up to the plate and saying that it realizes this law is important and showing good faith and actually bringing forward some cases, putting more inspectors out there and making sure that these lines are inspected more sufficiently, and also putting in place the proper technology so that it can actually detect the rail line errors.