Editorials of / Editoriaux de Gilles Gervais
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Rail Tragedy: The Folly of Privatization!

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On behalf of the Committee for the Republic of Canada, I wish to convey our most sincere condolences to the grieving families of Lac Mégantic who have lost family members and neighbours. Throughout Canada citizens cannot help but feel empathy towards the courageous residents of Lac Mégantic who have suffered greatly throughout this ordeal.

Justice for all the victims of the murderous policies of privatization and deregulation, be they in Lac Mégantic, elsewhere in Canada, or in some faraway country, demands that such ’business methods’ come to an end. What we are putting forward at present is but the proverbial "first shot across the bow" against these criminal activities. We will soon feature a full bill of indictment against such empire-rooted brutish policies unbefitting of a nation like Canada. We expect our government to act, now belatedly, and legislate the necessary and deep policy changes required.

Rail Tragedy: The Folly of Privatization!

As a nation mourns its dead, and as we pledge to never let happen again a tragedy as murderous and heartbreaking as the one that as befallen the small Quebec community of Lac Mégantic, we must address a question that goes beyond the reach of the ongoing criminal investigations and beyond the borders of events situated in the north-eastern rail corridor of the now infamous MMA Railway.

We present here the case that was made by the award-winning British film director Ken Loach in his dramatic 2001 film on the criminal results of the privatization of British Rail in 1995 that brought in the “age of change” in Britain’s rail industry, with its numerous Health and Safety breaches. The docu-drama is entitled “The Navigators”. The film documents the high human cost of privatization and the lowering of safety standards that this entails.

It is noteworthy to mention that Edward A. Burkhardt of Montreal Maine and Atlantic had been President and CEO of English Welsh and Scottish Railway Ltd from the end of 1995 to mid-1999. He led a group of investors who purchased five railroad operations from the British Railway Board!

Canadians must mobilize their elected officials and demand that Canada build and utilize high-speed rail and maglev trains which are inherently safe technologies that can increase the productivity of the nation as a whole.

We invite Canadians to view the international Schiller Institute series on great projects of infrastructure along the World Land-Bridge, an exciting world economic recovery program that can become reality under a Glass-Steagal system of regulated productive public credit.