Safe Rail Communities
Every day, the movement of dangerous goods by rail through our communities puts thousands of Canadians at risk. Safe Rail Communities is a non-partisan initiative that advocates for safe, transparent, and regulated rail. We are concerned citizens working to prevent rail accidents, and to reduce the impact of dangerous goods derailments. We advocate for increased government regulation and enforcement to ensure that Canadian rail safety meets the highest international standards.
Safe Rail Communities is a national, community-based initiative established in March 2014 by a few concerned neighbours in the west end of Toronto.
In response to increasing numbers of black DOT 111 tank cars marked with the 1267 red diamond plaque (indicating petroleum crude), we created our first federal petition. We began our campaign of awareness on this issue, canvassing in our neighbourhood and attending farmer’s markets and other community events.
We have written many letters to our government representatives and any organization that we thought could respond to our requests for action (Transport Canada, Transportation Safety Board, Federation of Canadian Municipalities, CN, CP). While we received replies from most, the responses were generally insufficient.
In our research and work on this issue, we have connected with many like-minded groups at home, across the country, and from the U.S. Many have provided us with tremendous support.
In December 2014, we submitted our recommendations to the review panel of the Canada Transportation Act. We looked forward to the panel’s final report due December 2015.
In January 2015, we submitted an environmental petition through the Auditor General’s office. We expect a response in June 2015.
With our second federal petition in hand, we continue to accept invitations to speak to community and resident groups about this issue. We continue to share our knowledge with the media, and follow updates on this issue in the House of Commons.