Gogama Citizens Committee hires consultant representative for CN talks

A group of Gogama residents has retained a consultant to represent them in talks with CN Rail, following two train derailments, including one that spilled crude oil.
Crews are still working to clean up after two trains derailed near Gogama this year. (CBC)

A group of people in Gogama has retained a consultant to act as a representative in talks with CN Rail following two train derailments — including one that spilled crude oil.

The derailments happened on February 14 and March 7. In the second derailment, 39 tankers left the tracks and five of those cars went into the Makami River. CN has been in clean-up mode since.

The newly formed Gogama Citizens Committee has hired Clearlogic Consulting to be it's representative.

A member of the committee said she feels a consultant will more effectively represent the group's concerns to the rail giant.

"Everything is a slow process," Dawn Simoneau said.

"We'd like to see some conclusive answers in the very near future as opposed to the long term."

Simoneau said the group's top priority is the environment, followed by two others.

"Our safety and ensuring this doesn't happen again, or [making sure] he chances of it happening again are significantly diminished," she said.

"And thirdly, we need to rebuild our reputation as a community."

Real estate agent Marek Krasuski said the spills are clouding the perception of the area.

"In previous times, I could describe properties as being surrounded by a pristine environment," he said.

"It would be hard for me to make that claim today."

Simoneau said her group is not looking at legal action, but Timmins lawyer James Wallbridge said he has been retained by a few residents and has hired a spills expert.


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