This weeks column for 24HRS Vancouver: Boosting rail safety a better option than adding pipelines.
THE DUEL Sunday, July 14, 2013
Columnists Laila Yuile and Brent Stafford battle over the issues of the day. The winner of last week’s duel on Canada’s secret surveillance program was Laila Yuile with 55%.
This week’s question:
In light of the Quebec disaster, should we transport more Canadian oil by railway or pipeline here in B.C.?
Sadly, it didn’t even take two days after the tragic accident in Lac-Mégantic before pipeline proponents were shamefully using the disaster as a means to bolster their arguments. In fact, the incident in Quebec does nothing to bolster the increased movement of crude oil or bitumen across the country at all. The oil on the train in this tragedy wasn’t Canadian, it was a type of shale oil from North Dakota that doesn’t normally get transported by pipelines. Oil transport will continue regardless of new pipelines, so to use it as an argument for building more is redundant.
Both pipelines and rail transport hold their own environmental concerns and impact the health and safety of the communities they travel through when something goes wrong.
The truth is many hazardous goods that are too dangerous to transport by truck have been making their way by train through communities across Canada and here in B.C. for decades. Lethal chlorine gas, highly explosive propane and other materials, including crude oil, have been winding their way across our province successfully via cargo trains. According to Transport Canada, train accidents have dropped 23% since 2007.
Does this recent tragedy mean we should be transporting more oil in B.C. via pipelines? No…
Read the rest of this weeks column, and don’t forget to vote for who you think should win this duel at: http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2013/07/14/boosting-rail-safety-a-better-answer-than-adding-pipelines
And if you prefer flipping the pages, you can do so at the E-edition of todays paper, by clicking on todays date at this link, we are always on page 4 : http://eedition.vancouver.24hrs.ca/epaper/viewer.aspx