I recently joined many of my council colleagues and Mayor Tory in calling on the Federal Government to enhance safety protections for neighbourhoods adjacent to the Canadian Pacific rail corridor which runs across our city, and forms the northern boundary of Ward 18.
Between 2009 and 2013, the amount of crude oil being shipped grew from 500 to 140,000 estimated loads, increasing the risk to our communities. Following a 2013 letter sent on behalf of City Council to Transport Canada, enhanced safety measures were adopted in 2014. These measures and the recently released dangerous good regulations from February 2016 include increased inspections, enhanced braking requirements, and crew safety reforms.
This renewed call for action builds on our advocacy in partnership with residents and rail safety groups to ensure that our neighbourhoods are safe. Some of the items we are calling for include:
- Accelerating the removal of all DOT-111 and CPC-1232 tanks cars, that do not meet new safety standards, as 2025 is too long to wait for full implementation;
- Promoting better communication between the rail industry and local communities; particularly as contemplated by the Key Train Rules;
- Examining alternative routes for transporting dangerous goods that currently pass through high density areas, as recommended in the Canada Transportation Act Review
The Chief Planner will be reporting to Council later this year on the status of the "Missing Link" initiative that would divert freight traffic around Toronto and other urban areas.
To read our joint letter, please click here.
To add your name to the growing petition from Safe Rail Communities demanding further action from our federal leaders to improve the safety of neighbourhoods around rail corridors, click here