My question is for the official from the Department of Transport who indicated a few moments ago that his department's objective was to develop a safety culture and to determine what areas were high-risk in order to rectify the situation.
Please note that the Auditor General indicated the following in section 7.57:
...However, in almost all the files that we reviewed, inspectors did not follow up to verify that the railway had implemented adequate corrective actions. We recognize that it may not be practical to follow up on some findings. However, the Department did not document the rationale for not following up on findings and did not analyze the risks of not doing so.
In your answer, you said that you will have measures in place to correct the situation by mid-June 2014. However, how do you explain that there has been no follow-up mechanism to date to ensure that the companies have taken the necessary corrective actions?
For instance, according to your representative, MMA received 10 letters with concerns from your department stating that there was a problem. You established that the company posed a risk because it carried hazardous materials. That risk was clearly established.
More than that, you said earlier that you communicated with an American representative from the Federal Railway Administration, who also recognized that this company posed a risk, and that he also took action ensuring there was follow-up and imposing 28 fines amounting to $150,000.
The difference between the two countries is clearly attributable to Transport Canada's failure to follow up on irregularities. You say that you are going to determine the risks. However, what happened when you knew about the risks? You let 50 people burn alive. That does not work; there is a major problem.