B.C. seeks lessons from Quebec disaster

B.C. will incorporate lessons from the Lac Megantic rail disaster in its own effort to improve oil spill protection

B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak

VICTORIA – The B.C. government will incorporate lessons from the Lac Megantic rail disaster in its own effort to develop “world class” land-based oil spill protection, Environment Minister Mary Polak says.

Polak said Monday that while rail traffic is regulated by the federal government, the province’s target for proposed oil pipeline safety have led to discussion with Ottawa and railway operators.

The runaway train that destroyed part of Lac Megantic, Quebec in a huge explosion and fire Saturday night was carrying light crude from shale oil deposits in North Dakota to a refinery in New Brunswick. The oil industry across North America has increasingly looked to rail and barge transportation of crude as pipeline expansion has fallen behind increasing production.

“Whenever we see an event like this, our main concern is to learn from it and do everything we can to ensure that nothing like this would ever happen again,” Polak said. “So we will be watching the federal investigation very closely.”

Polak said there is no simple answer to the question of whether pipelines are safer than rail for transporting oil.

“There is differing opinion on either side, and much depends on what kind of topography you’re dealing with in a particular location,” she said.

Transport Canada increased restrictions on rail operations after two serious accidents in recent years. Train lengths were restricted on CN’s B.C. operations near Prince George after an August 2006 collision between two trains with a fire involving gasoline and lumber cars.

In 2005 a CN derailment in the Cheakamus Canyon resulted in a tank car loaded with caustic soda spilling in the river, killing thousands of fish.

In both incidents, the available locomotive and braking power were a key focus for investigators.

 

Just Posted

Sooke residents remember

Hundreds turn out for Remembrance Day ceremony

Team Canada athlete pens open letter to City of Victoria about Crystal Pool

Karmen McNamara says an extended closure of the recreation facility would be ‘devastating’

Bluegrass Christmas concert sparks season of giving

Tenth annual show and fundraiser held on Dec. 1 at Cordova Bay United Church

Victoria’s Wild ARC facility welcomes new roof thanks to a rush of donations

The animal rehabilitation centre was in desperate need of repairs after 21 years

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

VIDEO: Newcomer kids see first Canadian snowfall

Children arrived in Canada with their mother and two siblings last week from Eritrea

Calgary 2026 leader expects close vote in Winter Games plebiscite

Residents to choose in a non-binding vote on Tuesday whether they want city to bid on 2026 Olympics

Feds dropped ball with WWI anniversary tributes: historians

Wrote one historian: ‘Other than the Vimy Ridge celebration … I think they have done a very bad job’

Sides ‘far apart’ in Canada Post talks despite mediation, says union

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday

Feds’ appeal of solitary confinement decision in B.C. to be heard

Judge ruled in January that indefinite such confinement is unconstitutional, causes permanent harm

B.C. health care payroll tax approved, takes effect Jan. 1

Employers calculating cost, including property taxes increases

Nunavut urges new plan to deal with too many polar bears

Territory recommends a proposal that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking

Most Read