"Five years ago, the community of Lac-Mégantic was devastated by a rail disaster. Forty-seven people were killed and a small town was torn apart. All across Canada, in communities of all sizes, our collective sense of security was shaken.
For the past five years, the FCM has worked closely with the federal government and all partners to improve rail safety. The goals of this partnership have extended to all levels of government and rail companies.
In response to our calls for concrete action, the federal government announced new measures on liability, information sharing and the monitoring of federally regulated railways. While improvements have been made, safety concerns remain and there is still more to do.
Grade crossing safety and the proximity of railways to where our citizens live and work remain top concerns for municipalities. Working with Transport Canada, municipalities are looking to find permanent information-sharing solutions and ensure front-line municipal workers are prepared in the event of a rail emergency. We also continue to press the federal government to ensure that federal rail policies and regulations include input from local governments.
Today, as we reflect on the Lac-Mégantic tragedy, municipalities remain steadfast in our commitment to improve the safety and security of all Canadians-we continue our work to ensure a tragedy like this is never repeated."
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is the national voice of municipal governments, with nearly 2,000 members representing more than 90 per cent of the Canadian population.