Musings —07.08.2013 09:49 AM—
The photos, and the stories, coming out of that Quebec town are truly astonishing. We should pray for the people there, and collectively push for a comprehensive investigation of the cause.
But after doing some research, I’ve formed some of my own conclusions. A taste of tomorrow’s Sun column:
Given the immensity of the destruction in Lac-Megantic, however – and given the possibility that as many as four dozen people may have been killed when crude oil on board detonated – it is too soon to start guessing about what did, and what didn’t, cause the catastrophe. A sad procession of probes, inquests and commissions of inquiry will determine who, and what, is culpable. Rushing to judgment serves no one in Lac-Megantic.
But of the many railway disasters that have taken place in this country in recent years, we need not be so patient. In those thousands of documented cases, from coast to coast, one thing emerges – again and again – as a cause. It is cited a reason for hundreds of deaths, injuries and accidents, no matter who is in power, and no matter where the railway disasters take place.
Over the past two decades or so, government has systematically withdrawn from overseeing what happens on our 50,000 kilometres of rail tracks in Canada. The result has been death for citizens and railway workers, damage to the environment, and billions in lost property.