For Immediate Release
Dylan Penner, Media Officer
Office: (613) 233-4487, ext. 249
Council of Canadians Calls for Immediate Halt to Crude Shipments After Derailments and Explosions Near Gogama, Ontario
ONTARIO - The Council of Canadians is calling on the federal government to immediately halt rail shipments of crude oil in Canada following a series of derailments and explosions. These incidents all involved new rail tank cars promoted by federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt as being safer than those that exploded in Lac Mégantic, killing 47 people.
“Clearly the new tank cars are not safe enough to transport such dangerous and explosive cargo as crude oil and diluted bitumen,” said Mark Calzavara, Ontario, Québec and Nunavut organizer for The Council of Canadians. "It's time to put people's lives ahead of profits, and for the government to stop allowing unsafe trains to travel through our communities, neighbourhoods and environment."
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
Never Miss a Beat.
Get our best delivered to your inbox.
Crude oil and diluted bitumen shipments by train have increased dramatically in the last few years with the glut of oil production in the tar sands of Alberta and the Bakken oil fields of Saskatchewan and North Dakota. In 2009, 500 carloads of crude oil were shipped by rail in Canada compared to 160,000 carloads in 2013. This drastic increase in volume has not been matched with increased inspection capacity or any other oversight.
“Is the federal government waiting for another Lac Megantic disaster before it takes real action? These shipments are going through major populated areas on a daily basis where emergency responders are unprepared for accidents. They need special training and equipment, including massive quantities of fire-fighting foam to put out crude oil fires,” said Calzavara. “There is no justification for putting so many lives at risk.”
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Won't Exist.
Please select a donation method:
Founded in 1985, the Council of Canadians is Canada’s leading social action organization, mobilizing a network of 60 chapters across the country.