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Politicians react to derailment recommendations

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Nickel Belt MP Marc Serre says the federal government remains committed to rail safety across Canada.  The Liberal MP was reacting to recommendations from the Transportation Safety Board after the 2015 derailment in Gogama.  Serre says the feds will review and respond to the safety board’s recommendations within 90 days.

Meanwhile the provincial member for Nickel Belt, France Gelinas  expressed relief that the safety board has finally released its recommendations.  Gelinas makes a point of saying the board’s report blames the derailment on CN for not properly repairing a section of damaged track.  Gelinas says the residents of Gogama and the Mattagami First Nation still believe the provincial government didn’t do enough to hold CN accountable for remediation work at the accident site.  The derailment saw 39 cars leave the track and spill 2.6 million litres of crude oil.  The oil caught fire and also exploded.  In addition, the spill ended up contaminating the nearby Makami River.   The derailment also destroyed a CN bridge and tore up about 1,000 feet of track.   Despite the devastation, no one was hurt.

Although Gelinas was critical of the cleanup in the aftermath, Serre has a different opinion.  He says a positive aftermath materialized following a roundtable he organized that included government representatives, CN, the Mattagami First Nation and community leaders from Gogama.

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