An Edmonton MP hopes to put rail safety in the spotlight again when Parliament resumes in September.
The fact that the Liberal government moved last week to retire older tanker cars sooner isn’t enough for the NDP’s Linda Duncan.
She is working on a private member’s bill, pushing for strengthened measures to regulate rail shipping of dangerous cargo.
“I am now the NDP transport critic and I persuaded my committee over the past year to do a study on rail safety, and we had a good number of witnesses. I’m increasingly concerned now having heard from inspectors and rail workers and community people about the depth of issues we have”
Duncan says she wants to address the “absurdity” that transporting dangerous cargo by pipeline requires an environmental assessment and public engagement, while for the most part rail shipping is exempt.
“Guess what is the only industrial sector that is not bound by environmental laws in this country? Our rail sector. And yet we’ve had this massive increase in the rail traffic of petroleum and other highly volatile products.”
Train shipments of oil have grown in recent years as pipeline projects have been delayed.
Duncan says her bill will address “regulatory gaps” in petroleum shipping.