Premiers call for action in wake of Lac-Megantic

by The Canadian Press

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ontario—Canada’s provincial and territorial leaders want Ottawa to set up a system to monitor trains carrying hazardous materials in the wake of the deadly disaster in Lac Megantic, Quebec.

During a meeting held in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Quebec premier Pauline Marois said such a system could have helped prevent the derailment that decimated the town and killed at least 47 people.

British Columbia premier Christy Clark said a system providing real-time data on the location and content of the trains would help provinces protect themselves.

Marois said having that information would also allow the provinces to demand better regulations regarding rail transportation to the federal government.

The premiers say they also want the federal government to ensure that the safety and liability insurance requirements for railroads are sufficient to cover damages.

Manitoba premier Greg Selinger says it will provide an incentive to railroad companies to transport their goods safely, because they’ll be on the hook for any damages. And if they don’t do it safely, they’ll go broke, he said.