Inside Politics

NDP calls for special summer committee meeting on rail safety

NDP transport critic Olivia Chow has filed a formal request for a special transport committee meeting to examine rail safety -- and, specifically, the implementation of past recommendations from the Auditor General and Transportation Safety Board -- "in the wake of the disastrous derailment in Lac-Megantic." 

Under the Standing Orders upon receipt of a letter signed by at least four committee members, the chair -- in this case, Conservative MP Larry Miller -- is obliged to convene a meeting within five days, which, given the need to provide at least 48 hours notice, would likely push it until late next week at the earliest. 

There is, of course, no requirement that it be held in public, which means that without first ensuring that Conservative members are on side, the motion to actually proceed with a study would likely be defeated behind closed doors, with no explanation or, indeed, official record of what was said in support or against the proposal. 

In any case, here's the full text of the letter, which was sent to the clerk of the transport committee yesterday:

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