OTTAWA – NDP Transport critic Hoang Mai (Brossard – La Prairie) is concerned that the Conservatives are giving themselves more control over critical elements of rail safety while failing to address basic safety issues.

“Instead of taking steps to protect Canadians from another disaster like Lac-Mégantic, the Conservatives are dismantling safety regulations for the transport of dangerous goods and giving themselves the power to change railway engineering standards without notifying the public, preventing experts from giving input,” said Mai. “That makes absolutely no sense and will put Canadians’ lives in danger.”

The Transportation Safety Board has identified the usage of old DOT-111 tanker cars to transport flammable liquids as a significant factor in the Lac-Mégantic tragedy. The Conservatives have failed to include any measures in their latest omnibus bill to address this important safety gap and are also implementing measures to prevent the public from finding out about any future changes to railway safety.

“Canadians deserve to know if and what dangerous goods are being shipped through their neighbourhoods,” said NDP deputy Transport critic Matthew Kellway (Beaches – East York). “With more and more railway tankers filled with oil criss-crossing this country, it’s time for the Conservatives to put Canadians’ safety first.”