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Calls for more pipelines intensify after train carrying oil derails and catches fire

“How many more incidents like this do we need to prove that rail is the most dangerous way to transport oil?"

A Canadian Pacific train carrying oil ignited into fire and smoke after it derailed about 100 kilometres southeast of Saskatoon in the early hours of Monday morning. 

Emergency services closed down Highway 16 for most of the day due to a “complete lack of visibility” caused by smoke, according to the RCMP. 

A video of the derailment’s aftermath shows flames blazing in the distance and smoke being carried by the wind. 

Local residents were woken up by emergency crews warning they may have to evacuate their homes, although authorities later confirmed that no evacuations had taken place.

Conservative MP for Moose Jaw-Lake Centre-Lanigan, Tom Lukiwski, commented on the situation, stating that it highlighted the need for increased pipeline capacity and the risks associated with transporting oil by train.

“Pipelines are also the safest way to transport oil, period,” Lukiwski told the Saskatoon Star Phoenix. 

“How many more incidents like this do we need to prove that rail is the most dangerous way to transport oil? How many more environmental disasters? How many more lives put at risk?”

Lukiwski pointed to the fatal 2013 Lac-Mégantic disaster which claimed the lives of 47 people and completely destroyed or damaged over 60 buildings after a freight train derailed in the Eastern Quebec Township. 

During their last term, the Liberals implemented several pieces of legislation that hurt the development of Canadian energy. 

Bill C-69, which has been termed the “no more pipelines bill,” creates additional red tape that will make approval for future pipeline projects next to impossible. 

No injuries have been reported in the train derailment. Investigators are currently looking into what caused the derailment.

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