I’m very pleased to report that Council has unanimously supported my motion that requests the federal government address local residents’ concerns regarding the significant increase in hazardous materials travelling by rail through Midtown in recent years. In particular, trains carrying crude oil have increased from 500 carloads in 2009 to an estimated 140,000 in 2013.
A significant number of these tank cars are using the Canadian Pacific rail line that runs through Toronto from the Junction neighbourhood along Dupont Street, right in the heart of Midtown, through Scarborough in the east. My motion requests that the federal government:
- require rail operators to publicly release information on dangerous goods being transported by rail;
- enact more stringent safety standards for tanker cars carrying crude oil through Toronto’s neighbourhoods; and
- require rail companies to engage in meaningful dialogue with local residents before shipping hazardous materials next to our homes, schools, hospitals and daycares