We'd like to share with you some details of our efforts over the past month!
In our last update, we told you about a Joint Community Town Hall meeting that happened during Rail Safety Week (April 25-29). Our participation at the closed roundtable discussion led to a direct invitation from Minister Garneau for us to meet with the Directors General of both Rail Safety, and Transportation of Dangerous Goods departments. In this 90-minute meeting, we were able to share more personally with the Directorates our concerns and recommendations regarding rail safety. We feel very positively about Transport Canada's commitment to move forward with continued open dialogue, and look forward to another meeting in a couple of months.
A bit earlier in the month, we submitted a brief to the House ofto the House of Commons' Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure, and Communities. In this brief, we shared our disappointment in the narrow scope of the Committee’s current mandate, and again our concerns and recommendations.
On Wednesday, May 18th, we delivered a presentation on Transport and Communication to the Senate Standing Committee. The mandate of this Committee is to examine and report on a strategy to get crude to refineries on the east and west coasts while sharing risks and benefits as broadly as possible across the country. We chose to focus on the risks involved, and what can be done immediately to make the transport by rail of dangerous goods safer.
Let's steam ahead!
Thank you to all who have signed either of our previous paper petitions, presented in the House of Commons! Since the federal implementation of e-petitions late last year, we now have Safe Rail Communities’ first electronic petition, sponsored by our MP, Arif Virani. This petition has been open for signatures since February, and will remain open until June 18th, when Arif will be able to present it in the House of Commons. Please help us continue to send a strong message to Parliament on this important issue of rail safety, sign our petition and feel free to invite your friends to do so too!
You can always contact your MP and let him/her know of your concern on this issue which falls under federal jurisdiction.
Hoop for Safe Rail!
Finally, we are happy to share that our second annual Family Fun Fair will take place on Sunday, June 12th, from 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm at Vine Park, in the west end of Toronto. We'll have a BBQ, free activities for children, a hoop-a-thon, and a silent auction with awesome items generously donated by local businesses - including a vintage-style Cruiser donated by 3030 and Amsterdam Brewery! Please come out and join us if you’re in Toronto!
Remember, we're here to support you and work as a community. Please always feel free to contact us with any question, comment or suggestion.
Keep it safe,
Safe Rail Communities' Team