Canada's railway safety record has been a problem for years. Successive waves of deregulation led to a virtual free-for-all and, while the number of accidents has decreased, much remains to be done.
In the tragedy of Lac-Mégantic, it seems that the little guy will pay once again. Within days of the derailment, the head of MM&A Ed Burkhard, threw the locomotive engineer under the bus, blaming the entire derailment on him. The investigation into the accident has yet to be concluded, so Burkhardt's accusations were very premature. The United Steelworkers (who represent two of the three MM&A employees recently arrested over the derailment) has set up a legal defence fund to attempt to match the power of corporate lawyers the men will face in court.
This very thorough article outlines the sheer number of people, technologies and institutions that are likely to blame for the accident. Whatever the actions of the crew, Lac-Mégantic is the product of lax regulation, a government that didn't care and an industry that needs to wake up.
>>>Lac-Mégantic: Suppressing the Truth Behind Regulatory Failure | National Newswatch<<<
Edit June 3: My original piece incorrectly stated that the United Steelworkers represented all three arrested MM&A employees. They only represent two (the third is management).