November 20, 2013 6:11 pm
Updated: November 20, 2013 8:55 pm

Railway safety announcement doesn’t protect first responders: Nenshi


CALGARY- Mayor Naheed Nenshi is blasting a move by the federal government to make rail companies provide information about the dangerous goods they’re transporting, saying it doesn’t go far enough to protect first responders.

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Just months after the rail disaster in Lac-Megantic, Quebec that killed dozens of people, Transport Minister Lisa Raitt issued an order that will require that Canadian Class 1 railway companies that transport dangerous goods provide municipalities with detailed dangerous goods information every three months.

However, that means the information doesn’t need to be passed on in advance—which Nenshi says doesn’t help in an emergency situation.

“For our first responders, they can look at trends and say, ‘if X material is coming through the city, we should make sure to we have the equipment on hand.’ So it’s helpful for planning, but not for emergency response.”

The situation hit home in September, when eight cars carrying a diluting agent used in oil pipelines jumped the tracks in Inglewood. 142 homes were evacuated, and it took hours for CP to tell city officials what was in the cars.

Wednesday’s order is effective immediately.

With files from the Canadian Press and Bindu Suri.

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