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Hear students discuss under-reported news on CJTR's Human Rights Radio

Transport Canada has ordered Canadian Pacific Railways to correct safety violations involving the testing of brakes on some of its trains in western Canada.

According to a short Reuters news item being circulated by Teamsters Canada, the orders were given in a letter to CP on Sept. 3, 2015. The letter stated a safety inspector had confirmed that the company was not carrying out legally required emergency brake tests on trains originating in Moose Jaw, Sask., a busy train yard on CP’s main line.

News of these recent violations comes on the heels of claims that CP did not properly apply the brakes of train that was sitting on mountain slope in British Columbia.

These incidents failed to generate major media play, despite the potential consequences. In 2013 a runaway train derailed and exploded in the town of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, killing 47. The disaster was caused in part by the failure of the train operator to properly apply the brakes of a train owned and operated by Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway.   

In its letter Transport Canada asked the company to respond in a minimum of 14 days with corrective actions it plans to take. The letter specified, “This information has been confirmed by conversations with Moose Jaw mechanical supervisors and staff that this is the current process.”

The safety violations have received limited coverage beyond some stories by CBC and Reuters. The Teamsters Union, which represents workers at CP Rail, has tried to spread the news via its website.

 

Sources:

Allison Martell,“CP Ordered to Correct Alleged Safety Violations,” Reuters, Aug. 1, 2015, http://www.teamstersrail.ca/150910.htm

CBC News, “CP Rail in probe of hand-brake use,” July 22, 2015. http://www.cbc.ca/news/cp-rail-in-probe-of-hand-brake-use-1.3123517

 

Student researcher: Michael Joel-Hansen (University of Regina)

Faculty evaluator: Patricia W. Elliott (University of Regina)

 

About this project

“Project Censored is one of the organizations that we should listen to, to be assured that our newspapers and our broadcasting outlets are practicing thorough and ethical journalism.”
—Walter Cronkite

The School of Journalism's Top 25 Under-Reported Stories was developed in partnership with Project Censored. Project Censored was founded in 1976 as part of a media literacy course in Sonoma, California. Today it is operated by the Media Freedom Foundation. Hundreds of students across the U.S. and around the world contribute information about under-reported stories. Every year, the Media Freedom Foundation picks 25 to publish in their annual book. Project Censored on the Web.