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e-3984 (Transportation)

Initiated by Pamela Fraser from High River, Alberta

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

  • Sections 44 and 44.1 of the Railway Safety Act (RSA) authorize Canada’s for-profit railway companies to own police forces;
  • Corporate railway police officers wield criminal law powers, but the constables are corporate employees who answer solely to the companies’ civilian management;
  • Through their private police forces, railway companies have investigated and exonerated themselves of criminal liability in deaths and serious injuries under their watch;
  • Protecting shareholder value conflicts with the companies’ duty to enforce the criminal law solely in the public interest;
  • Allowing private corporations to investigate themselves criminally violates the rule of law;
  • CP Railway and CN Railway operate their police forces across the Canada-U.S. border, which endows them with state-like powers over cross-border criminal law enforcement, customs, immigration, and national security;
  • From their Canadian headquarters, CP’s and CN’s chiefs of police command and discipline their company’s U.S. police officers, even though neither chief is an authorized police officer in the U.S.;
  • Given the recent upheaval and public debate around police accountability in the U.S., Canada must reform outdated legislation that undermines the 21st century accountability standards the U.S. is working to institute; and
  • Police forces must be public institutions, not corporate assets to be bought and sold on the stock markets.
We, the undersigned, Canadian citizens, call on the Government of Canada to repeal sections 44 and 44.1 of the RSA and legislate a new, federal, independent public railway police of Canada that is funded by the railway companies but answerable to an independent civilian oversight commission.
Open for signature
May 10, 2022, at 8:44 a.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
July 9, 2022, at 8:44 a.m. (EDT)
Photo - Taylor Bachrach
Skeena—Bulkley Valley
New Democratic Party Caucus
British Columbia
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