NDP Leader Tom Mulcair attempted to link the rail disaster that caused 47 lives in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic last month with years of industry deregulation. During a speech to the members of the United Food and Commercial Workers International union in Chicago, Mulcair indicated that the Conservatives are to be held responsible for the mishap, attacking their policies signifying that organized labour is a thing of the past and that the economy is best served when left to its own devices.
Speaking at the home city of Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway‘s parent company and board chairman, Ed Burkhardt, Mr. Mulcair highlighted that the cuts to food safety led to the “largest beef recall in Canadian history” last year, and “years of loosening environmental protections” led to a massive oil spill from a Michigan pipeline into the Kalamazoo River. He explained that “across the board, conservative governments are gutting the rules meant to protect the public and imposing industry self-regulation instead.” He added that “experts from the Transportation Safety Board and Transport Canada are still investigating the role decades of deregulation played in the tragedy of Lac-Megantic.”
This was not the first time Mulcair tried to find a connection between government cuts and the deadly train explosion, due to which he is often criticized of using disasters to score political points. During his Tuesday’s speech, Mulcair stated that by “dismantling” health, safety and environmental protections as a “path to prosperity,” pro-deregulation governments have “sacrificed our long-term prosperity for their short-sighted political gain.”
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