Editorial: Roll on Safely

Editorial comment looks at issues relating to local railroad safety

Accidents are an accepted part of life.

While increasing levels of time, effort and expense are devoted to reducing the liklihood of accidents – they will always occur, pretty much anywhere they can happen. Every day, every moment that goes by between the times of stress, confusion and sorrow caused by vehicular accidents is something to be grateful for.

Castlegar, like any community with a railway going through it, is suseptible to significant damage in the event of a derailment, especially with the toxic cargo so commonly carried on local trains.

Up until the catastrophy of several months ago in Quebec, how many would have been familiar with the small town of Lac Megantic? From now on it will be identified as the place practically blown off the map by exploding oil-filled rail cars. Many lives were lost and many years will go by before any kind of recovery is possible for the town.

The stark truth is that trains can’t be guaranteed to stay on rails any more than cars can be guananteed to stay on roads. It’s an issue of the public interest that rises and falls according to the location and severity of the latest incident.

Steps that can boost public confidence in our rail system are to make sure maintenance is up to date, and for authorities, when questioned on the matter, to be forthcoming and informative. After all, a citizen walking along the tracks is hardly qualified to assess the condition/safety of the railway.

In matters like this it’s somewhat reassuring to hear from fire chief Gerry Rempel about the good relationship the city has with CP Rail.

Just Posted

Good fencing makes good neighbours— especially when your neighbours are bears

Workshop in Pass Creek this weekend to promote benefits of proper protection for livestock

Castlegar daycare selected for universal childcare pilot program

MLA Katrine Conroy presents letter of acceptance to the program to the Children’s Centre at Selkirk College

Trail police release image of liquor store robber

The video surveillance image shows the robber aiming a black gun at the store’s clerk

Columbia Avenue paving scheduled for weekend

Paving on Castlegar’s main thoroughfare will take place in a few days, weather permitting.

Kootenay region posts 10-per-cent return rate on electoral reform ballots

As of Nov. 13, only 5.3 per cent of ballots had been returned province-wide

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Baloney Meter: Will tougher penalties for gang members make Canada safer?

Since 2013, gang-related homicides in Canada’s largest cities have almost doubled

Early data suggests no spike in pot-impaired driving after legalization: police

Some departments said it’s too early to provide data, others said initial numbers suggest stoned driving isn’t on the rise

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Most Read