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Minister Lebel Issues A Statement On The Train Derailment In Lac-Mégantic

"I can tell you all here today, safety is Transport Canada's top priority.

"Our government has not cut any inspectors.

"We have taken concrete action to increase rail safety.

"In fact, we have invested over $100 million in rail safety since 2009.

"On May 1 of this year, our government toughened penalties for rule breakers.

"Railway companies are required by law to ensure the safe operations of their trains, and the new fines are 400 percent greater than before.

"We do not yet know the cause of this tragic derailment.

"But we do know that a Transport Canada inspector inspected the locomotive involved in this incident just the day before it happened, on July 5, and found no deficiencies.

"If anyone is found to have contravened any federal transportation regulations, we will take immediate steps to enforce those regulations.

"There is nothing more important than the safety and protection of Canadians.

"We will learn from this incident, and we will take action.

"I have directed Transport Canada to examine any other means of improving rail safety over the coming weeks, months and years.

"Again, our thoughts and prayers are with this community.

"I would like to thank the first responders, police force and all those assisting in mitigating the effects of this incident, and protecting the people of Lac-Mégantic."

SOURCE Transport Canada

Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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