Bruce Campbell, a visiting fellow at the University of Ottawa's law department, said the government has a responsibility to be more transparent about the disaster and the settlement.
Campbell, who has studied and written about the derailment, noted that Ottawa was open about its $60-million commitment to the town a couple of weeks after the crash.
"This is the taxpayers of Canada that are paying the shot here, but I think, perhaps, the greater obligation is to the people of Lac-Megantic," said Campbell, who's on leave from his role as executive director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives think tank.
"Whatever (the government) contributed, it's disinclined to admit any role in this, even though I think the Transportation Safety Board did say it played a role, that there was causality there."
The TSB's 2014 report on the accident said Transport Canada failed to recognize MM&A had urgent safety problems and was not following the rules."
Note : Transport Canada actually gave MM&A special (and apparently unique) permission to skirt normal operating rules in an effort to help save it money, including running trains with just one crew member.
And in a continuing saga of painting railways as "bad guys", the government completely ignored the recommendations of a well respected former minister tasked with reviewing the country's insane grain shipping regulations.
The Canuckistan government's boy king proudly proclaimed yesterday that it will never pay any ransom for Canadians held hostage. What a marvelous thing, being guided so strictly by deeply held "principles"!
But here's a CTV news story from today:
"The federal government used taxpayer money to shield itself from lawsuits related to the deadly Lac-Megantic rail disaster -- but it's refusing to say how much it paid.
Ottawa denies any legal responsibility for the fiery 2013 oil-train derailment that killed 47 people, even though it was released from liability by contributing to a $460-million settlement fund for victims and creditors affected by the crash.
At least two of the other 24 other settling parties accused of wrongdoing connected to the accident have disclosed how much it cost them to avoid potential damages and legal fees.
So far, the Liberal government is staying mum.
"That's a classified amount, but we made a contribution because we felt that it was important," Transport Minister Marc Garneau said Wednesday in Toronto when asked about the settlement.
"We don't acknowledge that we had any responsibility; however, we did want to make a contribution because of the impact of this terrible tragedy in Lac-Megantic."........
An interesting stance, being such a government of principle. The Canadian government was a complicit, major actor in the Lac Megantic debacle, and has spent the past 4years, and everyone else's money, buying their way out of their culpability.
So : No ransom money for the lives of unlucky people who get kidnapped......but endless pots of 'hush money' to save our sorry RRRSSes if we're the ones who get innocent people killed..
Disgusting hypocrites and incompetents.
You're not allowed to say that stuff here.
Besides, after the merger shi+show I just witnessed, I would more likely bet on the feds kicking the can down the road by completely flip flopping on this issue, and subsidizing the extraction of coal for another decade. It has been show to be a completely gutless, corrupt, vote-buying pile of flaccid BSers.
Grain famrers continue to hold off selling their 'precious' from last Fall...waiting for the market to somehow wake up and start paying giant prices for the newest toxic sludge: gluten.
And as trains continue to roll across the prairies every few minutes with oodles of capacity going uncontracted by these economic geniuses, the federal government -- in its transparently pandering and destructive wisdom ---- just extended its draconian grain shipping rules to continue supporting farmer idiocy.
What a gong show.
A monopoly!? Why, whatever are you talking about?
In the past 6 months, I've heard from every corner of American politics and industry how NSC and CSX must each be preserved 'as is' to maintain the wonderfully competitive rail environment that serves the American economy with such superior efficacy.
......bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
there's no freight. Whether you have the guts to say it (like CN just did) or you don't, and instead kick the can down the road ((like others have decided to do) makes no difference. There's still no freight.
This is when being low cost provider makes the most impact...as both CN and CP configured themselves years ago. But the railcos of the "great America" dithered, procrastinated, and avoided the hard decisions.
And they continue to do so. Reminds me of American auto companies facing the Japanese....competing with superior engineering with sun roofs and electric windows. But I digress....
A special "good luck!" to the maroonic CSX and NSC crowd, waiting to greet dozens of empty super tankers that DON'T arrive through the new Panama Canal.
Ken Hoexter of BofA Merrill Lynch
"....is there a master plan of different buckets that, when you look at this  OR target, that you can tell us and walk us through it, at some point, whether it's train length, what you need to do on sightings, reduction on employees or locomotives that you feel needs to be done to get there?...
.....is there something master that you can kind of set targets on a little more specifically?"
After Squires did not answer his question, he followed up with:
"....is that something you are going to share with us, kind of targets and goals, so we can kind of watch you along the way?"
Squires: "We will certainly update you as we move along...."
There is no plan. Just targets, picked out of the air.
Installing new strategic plans requires very intricate modelling, interactive feedback loops, contingencies, sensitivities and simulations.
And anyone who completes one is rightly proud and anxious to discuss their hard work with anyone who's interested.....not waffle and dodge and evade.
Jim Squires doesn't have a plan. He's as pleasantly shocked as everyone that laying people off and idling locomotives had so much impact.
And he's very relieved that he's now bought himself a lot more time as CEO...which is really all that matters.
New to his Transport job, Marc Garneau decided that his first decision would be a popular one: keep up the baseless persecution of the hands-down best rail system in North America.
Lisa Raitt, aka the Lac Megantic Chameleon, would be proud.
David Vernon, Bernstein
".....Obviously, Jim, this is a pretty amazing sort of inflection point in the sequential productivity. And I guess as you think about kind of the outlook, obviously you are going to be delivering more. But should we be thinking this first quarter is the -- like you said, a running start and is going to be kind of the peak for the rate of change in productivity going forward? Or are you also holding some things back for later in the year?
Jim Squires, CEO
...No, I think that's a fair assumption. We frontloaded some of the productivity gains.....we had a very fast start to the year with a lot of momentum and energy....
I suspect that 'some' will eventually be shown to mean 'virtually all', and 'momentum and energy' is corporate double-speak for 'scared so stiff we all woke up and started working.'
But anyone with a clue, and who might remember the Fred Green / John Cleghorn show, knows that this is deja vu....identical to the "shareholder candy" advanced right before the CP 2012 AGM,
Exactly what NSC expected this was coming down to....until last week.
The "hail mary, put lipstick on the kitchen sink" strategy
Thank gord we didn't fall for that BS.
So 8% more op profit was that easy.
Just lying on the ground, waiting for someone to bother picking it up.
Gloating ,Tex? Really?
I'd think it more a reason to thank Harrison and CP than Jim Squires. He should be fired for cause.
"Hey! I did my time, and crawled up that ladder to this corner office, stepping over bodies all along the way. Now I expect my time in the sun. I earned it."
And I don't want no "railway expert" screwing that up for me, you hear me?! You can do whatever you want when I'm done...let the next guy deal with it and fight to keep his job.|
And, oh yeah....shareholder value!"
When freight volumes go down, all management can do is control costs. Which UP proudly reports it is doing.
But if you have really, really capable management, you already have low costs...because that's just a good thing to work on all the time. And then, if you know what you're doing, you can report an OR that goes DOWN a few percent, despite the headwinds --- instead of going up "because life is just not fair right now".
Like CP just did.
So maybe instead of sticking his nose in Hunter Harrison's (exceptionally better run) business, Herr Fritz might do his own job better. Or let someone else do it.
But I wouldn't be shocked if Hunter were to now lead CSX or NSC very soon....either of those CEOs will simply shuffle up to Executive Chairman titles to save face. A two year contract at $30+ million per would be an absolute bargain for either one.
Or Bill Ackman, who could really use a turnaround slam dunk, takes one of them private with Hunter as his closer.
In any event, 'thank you' is ridiculously inadequate, Hunter. You made investors like me comfortably wealthy, and Canada a better place to do business. Keith will make you proud and do a fine job.
"Reeling from failed bid, CP hikes buyback, dividend"
---- Ronald Orol, The Street
If only America had more companies that "reeled" like this one....bwa ha ha ha ha hah a
This is from the press release for LAST year's Q1 ( Q1, 2015 dated Apr 14/15):
" .....the benefit of lower fuel prices and cost-saving initiatives more than offset higher inflation and volume-related costs in the quarter. As a result, operating income increased by 14 percent to $843 million and the operating ratio improved 330 basis points to 72.2 percent..."
So the OR went down a full 3.30%, due to lower fuel and cost savings initiatives. (...Please, hold your appaluse and take your seats. We're not heroes, we're just doing our job....)
Not a peep about a materially deceptive accounting adjustment.....which they NOW disclose a year later to deflect from THIS year's management failure.
...and CSX, your "twin victim in coal", just reported a Q1 operating margin of 26.9...making the forecast of 30 for the year very unlikely.
But good luck. Seems like lawyer Jim Squires really knows his stuff.