Monday, August 5, 2013

Rail Safety on the mind of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities

In the aftermath of the Lac Megantic rail disaster, communities across Canada are re-visiting the relationship between cities and towns across the nation and the railways that bring the country together.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities recently wrapped up a meeting with federal government representatives to discuss rail safety issues, items of note that one imagines would be of interest to all of the communities along the Northern railway from Prince George to Prince Rupert.

Among those discussions came three guiding principles to address rail safety concerns:

Ensuring the safety of Canada's rail transportation system must be a national priority and a clear federal responsibility.

The government must respond to safety recommendations made by the Transportation Safety Board, and address previously identified safety deficiencies.

Federal-Municipal partnership is essential to ensuring rail safety.

The working group of Federal and Municipal officials will meet again in a few weeks to review the progress made with the federal government on the issue and to  begin the process of identifying specific rail safety recommendations.

You can examine more of the Working Group's review and their future plans here.

The FCM declaration of support for the people of Lac-Megantic and background on that support can be found here.

Prince George Television station CKPG offered up the following reports on the discussions and the prospects for the future.

CKPG TV-- Rail Safety in Spotlight for Municipalities (video)
CKPG TV-- FCM Concerned About Rail Safety

1 comment:

  1. Thanks very much for posting about FCM’s National Municipal Rail Safety Working Group and for sharing the group’s three guiding principles, which were adopted at the group’s inaugural meeting.

    As you mention, the group will continue to meet and work, providing strategic input on rail safety issues that directly impact municipalities and providing a mechanism for the coordination of national concerns and perspectives. Yes, the safety of Canada's rail system is a federal responsibility, but the federal government must work in close partnership with municipalities to address rail safety effectively.

    Please also know that we’ll publish updates on the work of the group, as they arise, at:

    Daniel Rubinstein
    Policy Analyst
    T. 613-907-6294