Friday, October 21, 2022

Calls to abolish private rail police being led by NDP MP's Bachrach, Coulerice

The Federal NDP is calling on the Liberal Government to abolish the role
for private Railway Police and create an Independent Rail Police Force to
investigate incidents on Railway property

Skeena Bulkley-Valley MP Taylor Bachrach was putting a focus on the safety of workers on Thursday as he and fellow New Democrat MP Alexandre Boulerice called on the Liberal government to abolish the role of Private Rail Police, as well as to stop allowing the railway corporations to investigate themselves when workers are injured or killed on the job. 

The pair hosted an information session on October 20th and were joined by individuals who have lost loved ones as a result of rail accidents.

“No worker should have to worry about their wellbeing while they’re on the job. But rail workers have been severely injured, and some have been killed, while working because of unsafe working conditions. And instead of having impartial investigations when there are deadly incidents, rail companies’ own private police forces are the ones investigating. History has shown these corporations prioritize profits over people. Allowing them to investigate themselves creates an egregious conflict of interest.” -- Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach

The Two NDP MP's noted how the Liberals have had the cbance over the last seven years to stand up to the railway corporations and press for more federal oversight on rail safety systems, but have yet to do so.

As part of their information release from the gathering the pair of MP's noted that: 

Last spring, a report from the Transportation Committee recommended changes to Canada's Railway Safety Act to address the conflict of interest that exists when rail corporations use private police to conduct investigations. 

The NDP is calling for the creation of an independent rail police force, which would be funded by rail corporations and accountable to a civilian oversight commission.

The NDP MP's vowed to keep the pressure on the Federal Government when it comes to Rail Safety, with Bachrach noting of the impact on families and the lack of answers to their questions on past incidents.

“I’ve spoken with loved ones who have been devastated by the loss of family members and friends in rail incidents. They’ve never gotten the answers they deserve because there is little accountability for rail companies. 

New Democrats know the safety of workers is more important than the profits of huge rail companies. We will keep fighting to hold big railway corporations accountable."

More notes on Rail operations in the Northwest can be examined here.

Items of interest from the House of Commons can be reviewed here.

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