Independent agency’s demands to improve transport safety have been ignored for too long

OTTAWA – The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) slammed the Conservatives for repeatedly ignoring the independent agency’s calls for improved safety regulations. NDP Transport Critic Olivia Chow welcomes the long-needed wake-up call for the Harper government to protect the safety of Canadians after years of Conservative inaction.

“In its annual review, the TSB noted that more than 80% of its aviation safety recommendations were not addressed by the Conservative government last year. That is completely unacceptable,” Chow charges. Instead of acting, the Conservatives decided to slash transport safety programs in the new budget.

Crucial demands to reduce airplane take-off and landing incidents and make approaches in adverse weather have not been acted upon. Likewise, a series of TSB recommendations to reduce fatalities from railway crossing accidents have essentially been ignored. The TSB experts also reiterated their call for voice recorders on locomotive cabs and the need for automatic safety backup systems – which the US is working on with Positive Train Control.

“The TSB is crystal clear that much more needs to be done for transport safety. This is something that affects all Canadians, but the Conservative cuts reveal that the priorities of the Harper government are completely skewed,” said Deputy Transport Critic Robert Aubin.