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Posted in Talking Politics

Published on July 11, 2014 with No Comments

Back in October of last year on Rogers community cable, I expressed my concern about the shipping of Bakkan oil from North Dakota on Canadian rail lines. I emphasized on a subsequent program two months later about the increase of shipments from 500 tanker cars annually to 140,000 cars. The volatility of the oil was demonstrated in the explosion in Lac Megantic. Over time, I was one of many expressing concern and the need for Ottawa (the Harper government) to act. Substandard tanker cars, cut backs in inspection by Transport Safety Board, cut backs in inspectors, and the uncontrolled increase in the sheer volume of these time bombs was putting the Canadian public at risk. The lack of notice to municipal services (first responders) of the shipment of such freight through their areas was adding to the danger.

In early March, the Transportation Safety Board said that the tests they performed on Bakken oil demonstrated it is as flammable as gasoline and has historically been mislabelled as a less dangerous product. On April 24 Transportation Minister Lisa Raitt announced effective next month, the thin walled (DOT-111) cars will be taken out of service for carrying dangerous goods such as crude oil, gasoline, ethanol and aviation fuels.

An additional 65,000 must be upgraded or replaced with the most secure model of tanker by May 1, 2017. There are a number of other delays in the announcement.

The delays are not acceptable and 65,000 underspecified cars are going to be on our rails, guaranteed. The will be carrying the volatile fuels and some of these cars will go through Brampton. A three year transition period rather than an immediate moratorium smells of political appeasement and by their own inadequate reporting and testing methods is a cause of concern and frustration. As a person that aspires to service, I am disappointed in this deception by our politicians in Ottawa.








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