The opposition MLA for the Fraser Canyon riding where a train derailed this week is raising fresh concerns about the prospects of increased shipments of oil or bitumen by rail.
Fraser-Nicola BC Liberal MLA Jackie Tegart says the 19-car derailment near Boston Bar and its proximity to the Fraser River not only brings to mind safety concerns, but economic ones as well.
She says with higher volumes of rail traffic already running through the corridor, farmers and other producers of goods are having problems not being able to ship their products.
“Oil being shipped by rail takes up more capacity within the rail line. So we really need to think about what the impact of that is on the economy as a whole. So if there is a safer way to ship it, we should be looking at that.”
Limited rail capacity has recently helped push lumber prices to highs not seen in a long time.
Tegart says the effect of increased oil shipments on overall rail capacity isn’t well understood.
“What impact does that have on other commodities that would like to get an opportunity to get on the rails but there’s no capacity for them?”
There were no spills or injuries in Thursday’s derailment.