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Some time after the fire and explosion at Lake Megantic - Date/Photographer unknown.
4 November 2013
Feds May Prosecute Railway Over Lake Megantic Disaster Cabinet Briefing Says

Ottawa Ontario - Transport Canada has told its minister, Lisa Raitt, it's gathering evidence that could lead to federal prosecution against the Montreal Maine & Atlantic Railway company (MMA), the carrier involved in the Lake Megantic disaster, for allegedly failing to comply with existing safety regulations.
"Transport Canada's priority is to assess whether MMA complied with existing regulatory requirements," said an internal briefing binder prepared for Raitt after her appointment by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in July.
"Decisions around prosecution of non-compliance will be made by Public Prosecutions Service of Canada, based on the evidence collected."
The documents, marked "secret", but released to Postmedia News through access to information legislation, were heavily censored based on exemptions in the law that allow the government to protect internal advice, matters under deliberation, or third party information.
But sections that were released also mentioned that Transport Canada was continuing to review whether existing transportation safety rules are adequate.
"TC must also determine whether changes are needed to the existing regime within the following areas of action:  prevention, response, protections/liability," the briefing material said.
The documents also said Environment Canada was among the departments "investigating for possible infractions under its relevant legislation and regulation," alongside investigations by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, and a criminal investigation by the Surete du Quebec.
The department has already introduced some emergency safety measures, recommended in the briefing notes, to crack down on unattended trains and one-person crews, and also to require transportation companies to conduct new testing of dangerous products.
The government has also previously said that companies that mislabel dangerous products could face charges under those regulations.
MMA railway chairman Ed Burkhardt said he knew police had been questioning the company's employees, but he wasn't aware of any federal prosecution.
"I believe that we followed all of the regulatory compliance, so I'm not quite sure where this document might be headed," Burkhardt said Monday in an interview.
"We're aware that the criminal investigation is continuing, but beyond that the police keep their own counsel and they don't advise us as to where they are, and what they're doing."
The Lake Megantic disaster occurred when the unattended train crashed into the small Quebec town in a fiery explosion that left nearly 50 people dead, destroyed buildings, and spilled millions of litres of oil.
Burkhardt added that his company, which is at risk of bankruptcy in the wake of the incident, has ongoing contact with Transport Canada regarding railway tracks, rolling stock, and other issues.
A spokeswoman for the Public Prosecutions Service of Canada, Nathalie Houle, told Postmedia News in a statement that it provides advice and support in investigations by law enforcement agencies, including assistance in obtaining evidence or wiretap authorizations.
But she added that it would not "discuss the details or specifics of these cases."
Mike De Souza.