City councillor Jo-Anne Gignac is calling for more transparency when it comes to dangerous materials being transported through Windsor, especially after the derailment and explosion of a CP Rail train in Lac-Mégantic last summer.
Gignac, who chairs the Rail Issues Committee, wants to know why the city's emergency planning officer and fire chief Bruce Montone can't have earlier access to information about what dangerous goods travel through Windsor, and when.
"I find it a little difficult to believe that it's not possible for the shipper of these goods to identify an approximate time of when they would be passing through municipalities, because we all know that the rail lines are very carefully scrutinized in terms of traffic on those lines," said Gignac.
While Transport Canada has changed its policy, stating information about the goods will be available quarterly to each municipality's designated emergency coordinator, Gignac said it's not good enough.
She wants the information passed on to Montone ahead of time in order to better prepare for any potential accidents.
"I am sorry, but I do not believe that this is not possible, that we cannot communicate in a much quicker way to the municipalities when and where, to the emergency coordinators," she said.
Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley agrees.
"There should be full disclosure to the emergency officials," he said. "You can never go wrong by doing that. The emergency people and political people, if they need to be involved, they can make their own judgment."
There are 55 kilometres of track that runs through Windsor.
More than 11,000 homes are located close to a rail line.
Changes to level crossings
Transport Canada is also getting feedback on suggested upgrades to possibly 63 crossings in the city that would improve the visibility of signage at crossings.
City Engineer Mario Sonego told CBC News that, in theory, the improvements are positive, but he has questions.
"How is that going to impact us financially?" he said. "Is there going to be any funding for it?"
So far, Transport Canada only states the municipalities will incur some of the cost.
If the federal government goes ahead with the plan, cities will have five years to implement the changes.