Major Cities Don’t Want Dangerous Goods on Railways
Toronto and Mississauga want to end the transportation of dangerous goods by rail through the two cities, in the most densely populated part of Ontario (Toronto Star).
Toronto Mayor John Tory recently told reporters, “I said during the campaign and I’ll repeat it now, that I think we should be moving in the direction, in negotiation with the railways and the federal government, to stop movement of toxic and dangerous substances through the city at all”. Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said, the “right solution” is to stop the transportation of dangerous goods through her city.
Regarding the fact that railway companies refuse to provide real-time information on what dangerous goods they are moving through cities, towns and villages, Mayor Tory said, “I am far from satisfied with the transparency that we don’t see today. I think it’s time to let the sun shine in on this, and it’s not just a matter of some principle of transparency. It’s a matter of people being adequately informed, in a big city like this, of what is traveling through the city, and when and how much.”
Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens recently added, “It just seems to be in a lot of ways patently unfair that we can be stonewalled for this information…The more municipalities that come forward and stand firm it’s going to attract more attention from the federal government and the decision-makers at the federal government for sure.” (Windsor Star)
Municipalities across Canada have been putting pressure on the two big rail companies, Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway, to release real-time dangerous goods data, so they are better able to protect their citizens during derailments, spills, fires and explosions. Transport Canada, which is legislatively responsible for overall rail safety, refuses to force rail companies to hand over the real-time data to municipalities.