A call has been put out for the government to charge CN over the latest train derailment. Nickel Belt’s MPP France (Frawnce) Gelinas and the NDP Energy Critic Peter Tabuns have written an open letter to the Minister of the Environment, Glen Murray. In it, they say there is extensive environmental damage, polluting the water in Gogama. They are also asking for the ministry to set up a system to have local’s file individual claims for compensation.

Read the full letter here:

Hon. Glen Murray
Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
11th Floor, Ferguson Block
77 Wellesley Street West
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 2T5

Mr. Minister,

We are writing to ask that you, as the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, order your Ministry to investigate and,  if justified,  lay charges against CN Rail and the owners of the oil which has recently spilled in Gogama in Northern Ontario.  Where environmental laws have been broken, CN and the owners of the oil should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. You should also ensure that containment and  cleanup are undertaken by CN and that this is overseen by your Ministry.

This is the third derailment in Northern Ontario in three weeks. This time it occurred just outside, and could have occurred within, the village of Gogama.  There is now extensive environmental damage that has polluted local water sources affecting the people and the wildlife of Gogama.  There needs to be a plan in place that will help area fishers and outfitters, and others, who depend on the area’s abundant natural resources for their livelihoods.

Under Ontario’s Environmental Protection Act, your ministry has broad powers to ensure compliance,  proper containment of a spill and remediation. You need to act now. Where there has been a violation, you have a responsibility to ensure that the appropriate charges are laid.  We insist that you use these powers to immediately issue control, stop and remediation orders. We also ask that the ministry set up a mechanism to help local people file individual claims for compensation against this polluter which has endangered the region’s future as hunting, fishing and outdoors destination. This means lost jobs in an already hard hit community.

Mr. Minister, it is fine that the Minister of Transportation is reaching out to his federal counterpart, but the people of Ontario need leadership now. Discussions with the federal government are not going to protect Ontario’s environment and people; directives, actions and prosecution from your ministry will.

Sincerely,

(Original signed)                                               (Original signed)

France Gélinas                                                  Peter Tabuns

MPP, Nickel Belt                                               NDP Energy Critic