For the second time in less than two months, Safe Rail Communities has been invited to Ottawa to speak about Bill C-52 (Safe and Accountable Rail Act). Today, we delivered a five-minute statement to the Senate Committee on Transport and Communications about our recommendations for this recently introduced legislation. Following all presentations in our session, we took our turn answering questions as requested by Liberal and Conservative Senators. We hope that our recommendations have given the Senators some food for thought on the transportation by rail of crude oil. While Bill C-52 is a good start in strengthening rail safety and accountability, we feel it could go further to protect Canadians.
We were again the only community group invited to speak on behalf of ordinary Canadians like ourselves. The other witnesses included:
- Bob Ballantyne, President (Freight Management Association of Canada)
- Liz Barker, General Counsel, Legal, Secretariat and Registrar Services Branch (Canadian Transportation Agency)
- James Beardsley, President, Global Rail Practice (Marsh and McLennan Companies)
- Phil Benson, Lobbyist (Teamsters Canada)
- Terry Berthiaume, President and Chief Operating Officer, Essex Terminal Railway Company (Railway Association of Canada)
- Michael Bourque, President and Chief Executive Officer (Railway Association of Canada)
- Nina Frid, Director General, Dispute Resolution Branch (Canadian Transportation Agency)
- Éric Harvey, Senior Counsel, Regulatory Affairs (Canadian National Railway Company)
- Robert Taylor, Assistant Vice President, North American Advocacy (Canadian Pacific Railway)
Below is a link to the official video-cast of the two one-hour sessions. Our statement was part of the second session, and starts at about the 1:15 mark. We later took turns with our co-presenters (Phil Benson and Bob Ballantyne) answering questions from various Senators.
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