In the News April 18
Human-Centred Solutions Are Urgently Required
Rail Workers’ Families Continue to Demand Accountability
Following the March 31 release of the Transportation Safety Board(TSB) report into the February 4, 2019 derailment of a Canadian Pacific (CP) Railway Company freight train near Field, BC, family members of the rail workers who lost their lives spoke to the press about the findings in the report. Three CP workers died in that derailment; Dylan Paradis, Andrew Dockrell, and Daniel Waldenberger-Bulmer. Dylan Paradis’ mother, Pam Fraser said: “Now we are learning that there is an incredible history of braking problems on that hill. It is a common occurrence. I do not believe that the recommendations that come out of this report will prevent a single thing and the reason is, they are all good recommendations, they look very good on paper and that’s where they are going to stay until CP Rail or possibly Transport Canada or our Prime Minister, in fact, his government enforces action.”
The families and their supporters continue to demand accountability from CP Rail and the federal government and for action to be taken to end railway self-regulation and ensure rail safety to protect workers and the public. Due to the persistence of the families and their supporters the RCMP launched a criminal investigation into the derailment in December 2020.
As part of their work to demand justice for their loved ones, the families gathered the signatures of thousands of Canadians on two petitions addressed to the Canadian government. One called for an inquiry into rail policing, as railway companies have their own police forces that carry out policing and investigations for them. The other petition called for protection of TSB whistleblowers, employees of the TSB who uncover potential criminal wrongdoing during their investigations. These two petitions were never presented to Parliament because, like all petitions in process before Parliament was prorogued when the 2021 election was called, they ceased to exist.
The Paradis and Dockrell families have also launched two separate lawsuits alleging that the workers were not provided with a safe work environment and that CP failed to follow safety procedures. The civil lawsuits also allege collusion between CP’s police force and the TSB in probes of the derailment.
Through their fight for justice and accountability for the loss of their loved ones the families have made it clear that their aim is to eliminate the severe safety risks faced by rail workers and the risks faced every day by people all over Canada and Quebec from spills, derailments and other incidents. The families refuse to accept that anyone or any community should suffer because private corporations treat human beings as an impediment to their private interests and the law allows them to self-regulate and are demanding the changes necessary so that such a tragedy never happens again.
Workers’ Forum, posted April 18, 2022.