Conservatives make big spending cuts to transport safety while touting safety

The Harper government has made dramatic cuts in spending on aviation, marine and rail transport safety over the past five years, even as it touted new safety measures in the transportation sector.

OTTAWA — The Harper government has made dramatic cuts in spending on aviation, marine and rail transport safety over the past five years, even as it touted new safety measures in the transportation sector.

The latest figures from the public accounts of the government of Canada reveal that actual spending by Transport Canada on marine safety has plunged 27 per cent since 2010, while aviation and rail safety spending are both down 20 per cent or more.

Budget cuts to marine and rail safety have come over a particularly sensitive period, during which oil-by-rail shipments increased exponentially and the government spent millions promoting the safe transport of oil by tankers on Canada’s coasts in order to bolster pipeline approvals.

Last month, Transport Minister Lisa Raitt announced that 10 additional rail safety auditors would be hired across Canada in response to the horrific oil train crash last year in Lac Megantic, Que., that claimed 47 lives.

Raitt says Transport Canada has plenty of budget room to handle the new hires without additional funding.

Transport Canada officials say that “core services” remain properly funded and that savings have come from cuts in overhead and administration.

That’s precisely the claim that the independent parliamentary budget office wants to test, but has been repeatedly stonewalled by multiple government departments that refuse to disclose how and where they are slashing their budgets.

Just Posted

Heat warning in effect for Central Alberta

Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for Central Alberta. Residents in… Continue reading

Red Deer Royals place second at Calgary Stampede parade

Royals depicted life in forest and portrayed destruction by human beings

Westerner Days parade set for Wednesday in downtown Red Deer

Over 30,000 people are expected to line up the streets of downtown… Continue reading

Storm rips through Central Alberta

Hail pelts region causing damage to farmland, plus communities in Ponoka, Bashaw and Stettler

France wins 2nd World Cup title, beats Croatia 4-2

MOSCOW — France won its second World Cup title by beating Croatia… Continue reading

CFIA inspects after video shows pigs crammed into B.C. transport truck

The video shows pigs piled on top of one another in a transport truck on a “sweltering” hot day last week

Man killed by Chicago police ran away, reached for waist

CHICAGO — A man killed by Chicago police had a gun in… Continue reading

Chicago police: Man killed by police appeared to be armed

CHICAGO — Footage from body-worn cameras and surveillance cameras shows that a… Continue reading

New Mexico passenger bus crash kills 3, injures 24 others

BERNALILLO, N.M. — A crash involving a commercial passenger bus and three… Continue reading

Police officer, bystander die from gunshot wounds

BOSTON — A Massachusetts police officer and bystander died Sunday from wounds… Continue reading

Trump names EU a global foe, raps media before Putin summit

HELSINKI — President Donald Trump named the European Union as a top… Continue reading

Stolen firetruck stopped after wild chase in California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Police chased a stolen firetruck across four Northern California… Continue reading

Storm rips through Central Alberta

Hail pelts region causing damage to farmland, plus communities in Ponoka, Bashaw and Stettler

Activists protest outside Kinder Morgan terminal in kayaks, canoes in B.C.

Tsleil-Waututh elder Ta’ah Amy George led the water ceremony from a traditional Coast Salish canoe

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month