16 October 2013
Harper Government Pledges New Railway Safety Measures in Throne Speech
Ottawa Ontario - The mayor of Lake Megantic was a special guest of the Harper government Wednesday as it pledged to introduce new federal rail safety measures, in response to the summer runaway train disaster in the Quebec town, that would include more stringent insurance requirements for railways.
"As efforts to clean up and rebuild Lake Megantic demonstrate, railway companies must be able to bear the cost of their actions," said Gov. Gen. David Johnston in the speech.
"Our government will require shippers and railways to carry additional insurance so they are held accountable."
The speech also pledged "targeted action" to increase safety of the transportation of dangerous goods.
Safety risks have long been flagged in internal government reports and audits in recent years.
But Transport Canada missed its own key deadlines to improve its oversight in the years that led up to the disaster that killed dozens of people and destroyed buildings in the town of Mayor Colette Roy-Laroche.
Johnston praised first responders and others who came together to confront the two events in Alberta and Quebec, adding that the government would continue to support their recovery, while taking steps to prevent future disasters with a new national disaster mitigation program.
Mike De Souza.
Editor's Note: Article abridged, non-railway related data removed.