The Harper Government Must Be Right On Track #cdnpoli

This morning, I dealt with indignant HarperCons on Twitter, while they didn’t take my advice about the validity of claims by a certain tweeter not shy of bending the truth a lot to fluff his dear leader.

Sorry for what you’re about to see, because if you drill down a little more into these timelines, you won’t get those minutes back in your life.

@NeilJEdmondson:”@saskboy Your not a quantitative data guy, more of a gay marriage guy, as evidenced by your blog. Typical low-info NDPer.”

Hmm, he knows me so well, and after reading my blog for 8 years (his claim), he thinks I support the NDP? LOL! The Grammar Fairy in me also stayed in check when responding to him, until now too. He also seems to think that equal marriage rights are a negative thing, the poor dear.

“@saskboy I’ve been reading your blog since 2005. No data, no research, just parroting the narrative the media tells you to parrot. Weak.” {Links added by me to make Neil’s erroneous claims more hilarious.}

While Neil is fluffing the amount of money spent on transportation safety, the results paint a very different picture. The brush strokes Neil uses, smudge both directions saying Harper thinks rail oil transport is more dangerous than pipeline oil transport, but also that rail transport is safer thanks to Harper.
“Sept 2012: Harper gov announces new funding for rail safety”
“May 2013: Harper takes shot at crude rail transport”

“Shipments of oil by rail in North America have surged more than 50-fold since 2009 investment firm Raymond James said recently.”

Yeah Tony, why doncha do that?

“The Canadian Railway Association recently estimated that as many as 140,000 carloads of crude oil are expected to rattle over the nation’s tracks this year, up from only 500 carloads in 2009.”

That estimate isn’t in the ballpark of the Raymond James investment firm. 280 times more, or 50 times more oil train cars? Both are huge increases. What Neil doesn’t answer is if the number of accidents and deaths, and dollars needed for spill clean-up and reparations to victims exceed the proportional increase in shipments. Why not?

3 and a half accidents do round up to 4.
“The Quebec disaster is the fourth freight-train accident under investigation involving crude-oil shipments since the beginning of the year, according to the federal Transportation Safety Board.”
“[recently] 91,000 litres of oil spilled from a CP Rail car near Jansen, Sask.” Remember too the Calgary bridge with “petroleum product” train nearly tipping off of it also, just two weeks ago. Hmm, that’s at least 6. Maybe Neil can explain to us how 6 is less than 3 and a half, by linking to a Harper Government website.

(Signed by the illustrious election fraud Peter Penashue, former President, Queen’s Privy Council for Canada.)

I think we know it’s easier to claim that Harper throwing a little money at “rail safety”, while Harper simultaneously badmouths its safety compared to his desired pipelines, is just how Neil rolls.

From TSB page Neil likes:
-Rail Investigations:
–Actual spending 2010–11 $4,598,000
–Actual spending 2011–12 $5,106,000
–Forecast spending 2012–13 $5,049,000
–Planned spending 2013–14 $4,894,000

Yes, hundreds of thousands of dollars less were planned to be spent on investigating the causes of rail disasters, by next year.
Rail investigations are efficient. Average time for completing investigation reports: 450 days by March 31, 2014“.
There’s about a 75% chance we’ll have a report available to tell railways how to avoid another Lac-Megantic catastrophe, by about October 2014. Is that efficient enough for all of the other lives/towns destroyed in the intervening months? At the current pace, there should be another ~7 reported incidents country wide by the time that report is written, never mind implemented.

[Lac Megantic’s] rail line was involved in another accident in the same area last month.
About 13,000 litres of diesel spilled from a train after it derailed in Frontenac, just east of Lac Megantic.
Greenpeace Canada said federal safety regulations haven’t kept up with the enormous growth in the shipment of oil by rail.
“Obviously this is a tragedy, but we also think it’s a scandal,” said Keith Stewart of Greenpeace Canada.

“The last budget has committed $72 million for regulatory development, oversight activities, and research & development, [Lebel’s rep] added.
How that compares to previous government spending in past years is not entirely clear from documents tabled in Parliament [notes CTV].” Yet Neil figures he knows more than opposition MP Peter Julian who said to CTV:
‘the Harper government has largely abandoned railway inspection, imposing as much as $3 million in cuts, and allowed the industry to monitor itself.’
‘[Lebel’s rep] did say that companies are taking more responsibility’.

They have more accidents and deaths to be responsible for now, don’t they?

Who do we believe? Neil who flogs the government’s line that they’ve not cut inspections, while they were planning on cutting investigations, or the opposition who’ve said there have been cuts to inspections, as the Can. Railway. Assoc. and media provide figures that show accidents have increased at a greater rate than expected as oil shipments have increased?


12 responses to “The Harper Government Must Be Right On Track #cdnpoli

  1. The underlying problem is the belief that economic growth is appropriate & sustainable. When ‘growth’ is the solution in a limited, global environment, then the result will be crashes, & not just of trains, but of entire ecosystems that we all rely on. ‘Free’ markets & ‘free’ trade do not self regulate because they encourage the worst human traits of greed and selfishness. Human society needs to think scientifically, with fact based data, to take a rational path into the future. Sadly I’m skeptical that our current fossil fuel corporate/government/financial masters could ever see beyond their bottom lines (and that’s a very ugly vision).

    • Indeed, the free market’s solution to hunting an endangered animal, is for the value of dead animals to go way up. Capitalism, as useful as it has been for developing humanity, is unable to respond to scientific research that we’re setting civilization, and life on Earth, up for a huge fall we cannot recover from.

  2. Pingback: 40 Years of Accidents in a Single Year | Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff

  3. Pingback: 40 Years of Accidents in a Single Year | Liblogs

  4. Pingback: Canada PetroState vs. United States of America | Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff

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