Preventing the next disaster: Teamsters Canada campaigns for safer freight rail

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In July of last year, a runaway crude-oil freight train exploded in Lac-Mégantic, killing at least 42 people and devastating the town's centre. It was the deadliest rail disaster in Canada in nearly 150 years… but by no means the only one, with a freight rail accident happening every 60 hours.

In the aftermath of Lac-Mégantic, Canadians have been asking tough questions about rail safety and deregulation. And Teamsters Canada, whose 1250,000 members include more than 12,000 rail workers, is campaigning hard for safer rail transportation.

We’re proud to be helping them deliver their message calling for stronger safety regulation, more inspectors and more enforcement. Last week, the Teamsters released this TV ad.

Freight rail cuts through the heart of countless Canadian cities, towns and neighbourhoods; it crosses large tracts of farmland, irreplaceable wilderness areas and crucial waterways. This ad shows viewers just what’s at stake, and urges Ottawa to act now to protect it.

Underlining the urgency of federal action, the day before the ad began airing, a 26-car train derailed near Clair, Saskatchewan. The ensuing explosion of liquid petroleum products forced evacuations of nearby residents. Mercifully, nobody was killed in this incident — but it highlighted just how vulnerable Canadians are to the next rail disaster, unless Ottawa acts decisively to tighten regulation, inspection and enforcement.

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