Letters

LETTERS: Rail safety comes down to hope

The waterfront in and around White Rock would be safer and more enjoyable without trains, writes Susan Potzold. - Tracy Holmes photo
The waterfront in and around White Rock would be safer and more enjoyable without trains, writes Susan Potzold.
— image credit: Tracy Holmes photo

Editor:

Summertime and the living is lovely, especially if you can go to the beach – and keep your fingers crossed, that we don’t have a train derailment while you are out there basking in the sun with your loved ones.

Whether you come from Cloverdale, Langley, Surrey or any other locale, and whether you are going to Crescent Beach or to White Rock, you are all welcome there – because it is your beach to enjoy.

But wouldn’t it be great if we could all enjoy this most wonderful part of Boundary Bay without thinking about those eight significant crude-oil train accidents that happened in Canada and the U.S. just this year.

Of course, the worst was Lac Mégantic with 47 lives lost.

Could it happen here? I hope not!

With U.S. freight trains, piloted by U.S. staff, carrying U.S. oil, coal and deadly Canadian chlorine gas around Boundary Bay at faster speeds than last week’s Lynchburg derailment, need you wonder?

They travel over a rail bridge, on First Nation land, that is in shocking disrepair, alongside the beaches where 19 people over the years have lost their lives being struck by a train, on a track that is 100 feet below an unstable mud bluff and inaccessible to first responders from land or sea and with no spillage containment, and across a 100-year-old swing bridge.

Worst of all, they travel this dangerous route that is home to one of the most densely populated municipalities in B.C. and one that provides rare access to spectacular public beaches south of the Fraser.

If you want a more positive outlook on this area’s potential, check out www.southfraserpark.ca and maybe even jump on the bandwagon – any bandwagon – and make the Semiahmoo Peninsula a safe, wonderful recreational location for one and all to enjoy, ‘sans’ trains.

If you care, you could write to Lisa Raitt, federal minister of transportation, or other politicians in your area. It would be nice to see a picture of her looking over our pristine beaches making an announcement that three levels of government have got together to assure that this area which has “the absolute highest environmental rating” will be protected forever for the use of all future Canadians and other visitors.

This could become the “South Fraser Seawall,” and you could have a part in making it happen!

Susan Potzold, White Rock

 

 

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