Statement by FCM President Following National Municipal Rail Safety Working Group meeting with Transport Minister (22/01/2014)
OTTAWA - The following statement was released by Claude Dauphin, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), following a meeting of the National Municipal Rail Safety Working Group, who also met with Transport minister Lisa Raitt:
"Municipal leaders were in Ottawa today to discuss progress on the rail safety priorities we identified to the federal government in the wake of several rail derailments across the country, including the tragedy in Lac Megantic. We were pleased to receive an update from Minister Raitt on the federal government's response and to have a productive discussion on the work that needs to continue.
There has been significant progress in emergency planning and response and we look forward to continuing our dialogue with the federal government on the outstanding safety priorities. As a next step, FCM is calling on the federal government to reduce safety risks related to the transportation of dangerous goods by rail, for example, by closing gaps in the Emergency Response Assistance Plans (ERAP) system which currently does not require ERAP for crude and ethanol. The government must also take concrete action to ensure that emergency response costs are not downloaded to local taxpayers.Our partnership has been productive thus far and we are hopeful that we will soon see significant action on the remaining safety issues FCM has identified. Canadians deserve to know that governments will continue to work together to make our rail system and surrounding communities as safe as possible."