End Private Railway Police in Canada: Public Safety Over Corporate Profits.

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Did you know that Canadian railway companies can own and control private police forces? Did you know that these same police forces are only answerable to the railway companies that own them? Did you know that in 2018, according to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, there were 1170 railways accidents? Do you know who investigates all these accidents? The railway companies’ who own the private police forces, even when the accidents are the fault of the railway companies.

When Jamie Jijian went to work on January 12, 2013 at the Canadian Pacific Railway yard in Regina, he was worried about the safety of his workplace. However, he had no idea that he would be crushed to death between two rail cars. Jamie was unaware that his corporate employer owned and controlled the only police force with the power to investigate his death, even when that employer was responsible for the hazards that killed him. Unfortunately, Jamie had no idea that his wife, Tara, and their three sons, would spend years pleading with CP Rail, CP Rail Police, and Canada’s Minister of Transport, for details about how Jamie died, and who was responsible.

When Kevin Timmerman went to work on April 9, 2015 at the Canadian National Railway yard in Saskatoon, he didn’t know he wouldn’t come home again. Since his death, his daughter Kaity and her mother, Lori Desrochers, have struggled to learn who is responsible for Kevin’s death. CN Rail, CN Police, and Canada’s Minister of Transport have refused to provide that full picture to his grieving family. As with Jamie’s wife and kids, Kevin’s loved ones are still in the dark about why he died.

Canadians expect their federal government to value their lives over the ability of private corporations to police themselves. Please ask the Prime Minister, the Minister of Transport, and the Attorney General to work with Parliament to:

1.     Amend the Railway Safety Act so that Canadian railway companies cannot own and control their own private police forces. 

2.     Create a new, independent Public Railway Police of Canada (PRPC), still funded by the railway companies but fully controlled by an independent oversight commission with civilian, government, and worker representation.

3.     Create a team of independent railway safety experts to conduct criminal investigations into the railway-related deaths of Canadians in the past ten years, including Jamie Jijian and Kevin Timmerman.