Following a massive, deadly fire sparked by the derailment of a train in Quebec, questions are being asked about the safety of hazardous goods rail networks in British Columbia.
Early Saturday morning, a parked train carrying crude oil rolled away and crashed, sparking multiple explosions and a major fire in the community of Lac-Mégantic. Thirteen people have been confirmed dead and around 50 remain missing as of Monday.
The incident has shone the spotlight on the contentious political debate over oil transportation and Canada's rapidly expanding oil-by-rail industry.
I had originally intended to write this column about my trip to Washington, DC on February 7-8, when I met with United States Senators and Congresspersons about climate and the Keystone XL pipeline. In brief, the trip was very successful in making links with strong proponents of climate action. Things are moving. The US General Accountability Office had decided that as a threat to federal government finances, climate change is now classed ‘high risk’.
OTTAWA – This afternoon, President Obama gave what may turn out to be one of the most important speeches in American history - certainly the most important on the topic of climate change and the environment.
“President Obama denied the ‘deniers’ and inspired Americans and people around the world to address the most urgent crisis of our day: climate change,” said John Bennett, Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada.
On this Earth Day I am urging you to take a moment and help us fight for the protection of people living downstream of the Tar Sands. The health and well-being of these downstream communities, including Fort McMurray and Fort Chipewyan, has been sacrificed at the altar of economic-growth-at-all-costs.