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Locomotive engineer Thomas Harding, manager of train operations Jean Demaitre,
and traffic controller Richard Labrie - Date unknown Ryan Remiorz.
2 October 2017
Are the Right People on Trial
for Lake Megantic Disaster?

Sherbrooke Quebec - Three men are currently on trial in the Lake Megantic train derailment that killed 47 people and destroyed much of the small Quebec town on 6 Jul 2013.
Former Montreal Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) locomotive engineer Tom Harding, railway traffic controller Richard Labrie, and manager of train operations Jean Demaitre, are charged with 47 charges of criminal negligence causing death.
"People have moved on," said Lake Megantic director-general Marie-Claude Arguin.
Residents from the small town say they just want to move on with their lives.
Jean Paradis told Global News on the night of the accident, he was inside the Musi-Cafe.
He still remembers hearing his friends' cries for help as they perished in the fire.
He says he doesn't want answers from the three men on trial, he isn't happy that MMA executives are "in the States. They're with their money" and not facing questions in Quebec.
"Transport Canada (TC) has let those cheap companies run railroads for less money, for making more money instead of acting for security for people," Paradis told Global News.
After analyzing the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) report, Jean-Paul Lacoursiere, a chemical engineer at the University of Sherbrooke, found that upper management should be involved in this trial, if at least to testify.
"It appears from the TSB report that the company has tolerated improper braking practices, did not provide appropriate braking practice, and did not ensure the employees were properly trained, and demonstrated that they understood the training," he told Global News.
Lacoursiere notes the TSB found that MMA lacked leadership by not effectively managing risks, implementing safety management systems, and providing ineffective training.
He argues leadership must come from the highest authority in a company through procedures and resources to make sure equipment and policies are up-to-date.
"Leadership is not only words, but a deep involvement of the leaders ensuring that what they stated is implemented," he told Global News.
"Leadership is not the flavour of the moment, but a deep and permanent involvement."
Lacoursiere points to a "weak safety culture" from TC that did not encourage MMA to train its employees properly.
He noted that the case holds some resemblance to the Westray Mine explosion in Nova Scotia, which led Parliament to adopt Bill C-45 in 2004.
"The Bill established new legal duties for workplace health and safety, and imposed serious penalties for violations that result in injuries or death," Lacoursiere explained.
"The Bill provided new rules for attributing criminal liability to organizations, including corporations, their representatives, and those who direct the work of others."
A Town on Fire
The incident happened at 01:15 when a runaway train with 72 oil tankers, owned and operated by the now bankrupt railway company MMA, barrelled into the town at over 100 kph.
The locomotive, and subsequently the air brakes, were shut down after a small fire on the train, causing the air to bleed off and the train to start rolling.
Dozens of homes and businesses were destroyed and about 2,000 residents were evacuated.
The bilingual trial is taking place in Sherbrooke about an hour and a half away from Lake Megantic.
A conviction on criminal negligence causing death can carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.
The trial is expected to last until 21 Dec 2017.
Rachel Lau.

Quoted under the provisions in Section 29
of the Canadian Copyright Modernization Act.
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