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Who stands up for railways when oil spills off the tracks?

The big news: Pipelines once again touted as solution in wake of prairie derailment


 

Liam Richards/CP

“We need pipelines. We need them and we need to be unequivocal that pipelines are still certainly the best way.”—Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall

Railways may still offer patriotic sightseers a romantic trip across the country, but parallel tracks don’t have a lot of friends when trains fly off the rails. When the cargo is oil, all the worse.

Yesterday, a train carrying petroleum, ethanol and other chemicals derailed less than a kilometre from Landis, Sask., a small town about 90 minutes west of Saskatoon. Afterwards, Premier Brad Wall cautiously defended the railways that cross his province. “We are going to be railing more oil out of this province, that’s just the fact of the matter,” he said. “We’re doing it now and frankly doing it efficiently and safely for the most part, again from a statistical standpoint.” Not exactly a categorical defence, that.

Wall went on to promote pipelines as “the best way” to transport oil, a view shared by his federal Conservative cousins.

Meanwhile, in the land of federal Conservatives, a government memo unearthed earlier this week revealed that Canadian National Railway officials spoke with the feds about railing oil through British Columbia as an alternative to pipelines, including the controversial Northern Gateway proposal. The memo called railways “an increasingly viable option” for the transport of oil, and added that the potential for growth is “theoretically unlimited.” Just wait for an oil spill in the B.C. interior, when opposition parties parade this kind of memo around the nation’s capital.

Oil will travel on railways, a perfectly viable option until something spills off the tracks. Then, like clockwork, everybody starts talking about pipelines. What if they never come?

 

What’s above the fold

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National Post Google-owned Motorola is opening an engineering hub in Waterloo, Ont.
Toronto Star A member of the Toronto 18 terror group was reportedly killed in Syria.
Ottawa Citizen A peacekeeping centre in Ottawa could close soon due to lack of funding.
CBC News  The cheque paid to Nicolo Rizzuto raised red flags at Revenue Canada.
CTV News  Al-Shabaab militants attacked a Kenyan border town.
National Newswatch  A Conservative MP was surprised a PBO report became public.

What you might have missed

THE NATIONAL Fundraising. The Conservative Party is asking its members to donate funds to help it fight Health Canada’s ability to approve medically administered heroin to addicts. The department recently provided the drug to 16 addicts thanks to a “special access program.” Health Minister Rona Ambrose says heroin should never have been part of the program.
THE GLOBAL Iraq. The northern province of Kirkuk saw 14 people die, including seven civilians, when militants attacked Hawijah’s city hall, police station and courthouse. The attack involved a car bomb and shelling. Elsewhere in Iraq, attacks in Baghdad, Al Miqdadiya and Al Tayi led to at least 10 deaths, including children, farmers and soldiers.
THE QUIRKY Gay marriage. George H.W. Bush was spotted as a witness at a same-sex wedding service in Kennebunkport, Maine. Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsen, long-time friends of the former president, were wed at a ceremony over the weekend. Bush’s son, former president George Bush, supported a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in 2004.


 

Who stands up for railways when oil spills off the tracks?

  1. That Royal Galipeau story is hilarious. “I never would have asked for cost estimates on those tax credits if I’d known the cost estimates would be made public!” Openness and transparency is actually a good thing, Mr. Galipeau. Even Stephen Harper thought so, at least way back in 1995.

  2. Those poor, downtrodden multi-million dollar corporations. Where do I send the money from my bake sale?

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