Ottawa, ON – The members of the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees (UCTE) send their thoughts and wishes of support for the town of Lac-Mégantic, QC in the wake of the train derailment on July 6, 2013.

“This is a terrible tragedy”, says Christine Collins, UCTE National President. “Rightfully, at this time the focus needs to be on helping the community.”

UCTE represents inspectors for all modes of transportation, including the approximately 80 rail inspectors at Transport Canada.  In response to recommendations from the Union, the Transportation Safety Board, and various advisory and parliamentary reports, Transport Canada has allocated funds to rail safety.  Furthermore, despite all the government budgetary cuts, Transport Canada has not significantly cut rail safety whatsoever.  It should also be noted that only in rail safety is safety management system considered an additional layer of oversight including the government inspectorate.

UCTE members are concerned however that a lot of attention is placed examining reports about dangerous shipments by both rail and marine while more time needs to be invested in responding to the significant changes that have taken place in the transportation of dangerous goods.

UCTE knows that in the days to come there will be assessments and reviews of the tragedy.  “The community needs to get the facts about what happened and I hope that the government will engage our members, the experts in rail inspection, for input on how to prevent this tragedy from repeating,” said Collins. “In the meantime, the focus must remain on the community and its people.”