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Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP calls for abolition of private railway police

Allowing rail companies to investigate themselves is an ‘egregious conflict of interest’: Bachrach
Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach speaks in the House of Commons during Question Period on 11 February, 2022. (Photo: Bernard Thibodeau, House of Commons Photo Services)

Federal NDP transport critic, Taylor Bachrach, and labour critic, Alexandre Boulerice, have called on the Liberal government to abolish private rail police and stop allowing big rail corporations to investigate themselves when workers are injured or killed on the job.

The two MPs were joined in the House of Commons by individuals who have lost loved ones in rail accidents.

“No worker should have to worry about their well-being while they’re on the job. But rail workers have been severely injured, and some have been killed while working because of unsafe working conditions,” said Bachrach.

READ MORE: Government’s ‘hands-off approach’ to rail safety criticized by NDP transportation critic

“And instead of having impartial investigations when there are deadly incidents, rail companies’ own private police forces are the ones investigating. History has shown these corporations prioritize profits over people. Allowing them to investigate themselves creates an egregious conflict of interest.” Bachrach said

Last spring, a report from the Transportation Committee recommended changes to Canada’s Railway Safety Act to address the conflict of interest that exists when rail corporations use private police to conduct investigations.

The NDP is calling for the creation of an independent rail police force, funded by rail corporations and accountable to a civilian oversight commission.

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