Ouellette Reiterates Case for Winnipeg Rail Relocation

Robert-Falcon Ouellette
Robert-Falcon Ouellette (HANDOUT)

Winnipeg mayoral candidate Robert-Falcon Ouellette is again calling for railway lines in the city to be relocated after Tuesday’s chemical derailment near Wadena, Saskatchewan.

A CN train derailed, spilling petroleum distillates and other hazardous chemicals that caught fire, resulting in the evacuation of Clair, SK about one kilometre away.

“The time to get moving on rail relocation is not five, 10 or 20 years after we’ve already spent hundreds of millions or billions on a bus rapid transit system,” said Ouellette. “The time is now. The freight has changed, the risk has changed and this accident shows that everyone — from citizens to rail companies — have an interest in making sure an accident like this never happens next to thousands of homes.”

In September, Ouellette said his plan would be to cancel the next phase of BRT and replace it with a lower-cost Metrobus system, move heavy trail traffic and rail yards outside of the city, and use the vacant lines for a LRT-style system instead.