The Union of Canadian Transportation Employees (UCTE) applauds the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) on the thoroughness of its final report on the July 6, 2013 rail disaster at Lac-Mégantic, Quebec.  In its report, TSB made significant recommendations with regards to the improvement of rail safety and safety management systems.

TSB identified the need for Transport Canada resources to be dedicated to continuous inspections and audits of safety management systems to ensure industry compliance with regulations.

Of great concern is the length of time it takes for TSB recommendations to be implemented.  Historically Transport Canada has taken years to implement some TSB recommendations while others have still not been implemented at all.  Even in the statement issued earlier today, Minister Raitt was quick to point the finger at others but failed to recognize TSB’s report laid responsibility directly at Transport Canada’s door.  In its statement, Transport Canada listed the action it had taken in response to TSB’s early advisories however failed to commit to implementing the final TSB recommendations.

“TSB needs to be given greater powers,” said Christine Collins, UCTE National President. “They determine the cause of accidents; they determine the faults and they make recommendations.  I believe we need to give TSB the authority to implement these recommendations when other government bodies fail to act.  Canadians need to know that their safety is the #1 priority.”