Lac-Mégantic report lacking: Saint John region officials
Transportation Safety Board report doesn't reflect enforcement of new rules, says Rothesay mayor
Municipal officials in New Brunswick say the Transportation Safety Board has not gone far enough to improve rail safety with recommendations released Tuesday in a report on the Lac-Mégantic disaster.
The final report made two recommendations, in addition to several made in an interim report: to add brakes and for Transport Canada to increase inspections and audits.
The train hauling oil that derailed in the small Quebec community last summer was bound for Saint John and several other communities in the province also see heavy rail traffic.
"They mentioned increases in frequency in audits, but nobody mentioned anything about enforcement," said Rothesay Deputy Mayor Nancy Grant.
Saint John City Councillor Gerry Lowe said it's a step in the right direction, but may be too little too late.
"More brakes on the cars — I mean, that makes sense. This was a runaway train, right? But the amount of cars — the amount of cars here is unbelievable," said Lowe.
Saint John fire Chief Kevin Clifford noted firefighters in Lac-Mégantic were not trained for the type of disaster they were responding to.
He's looking for recognition that getting the specialized training firefighters need will place a huge burden on the budgets of Canada's towns and smaller cities.
"That risk piece and that hazard is part of a national system and is part of the transportation of commodities across the country. I don't know that everything has to fall on the municipality," he said.
Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside is president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
"We expect the federal government to respond fully to today's report and recommendations, to ensure an event like this never happens again," Woodside said.