Where were you 30 years ago this day?
It was a Saturday night when that train derailed sending the residents of Mississauga out of their homes. I know, our house was one of them.
I was a volunteer with St. John Ambulance then and we were called out at 06:30 on Remembrance Day. I was away from home for the duration helping to evacuate the hospital, nursing homes, old age homes and manning evacuation centres. One of the amazing things during that evacuation was that there was no instant communication like we have today, yet between the police, fire, ambulance and volunteer agencies, things got done.
As a result of this derailment, we now have the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act and Regulations.
Are we safer today? What would the result be with a population over three times greater and increased land development? Why was it called the "Mississauga Miracle"?
There has been some media attention of the railways in regard to safety, and in particular to dangerous goods rolling through residential areas. Not too long ago there was a derailment in Oshawa – what if that had been dangerous goods similar to Mississauga? What would have been the results?
Others write about the congestion of our highways and the routing of dangerous goods. Some provinces, like Alberta and Quebec have dangerous goods routes. This shows that these provinces are being proactive when it comes to dangerous goods.
We were extremely lucky 30 years ago. Will TDG prevent a repeat of Mississauga? Can we go another 30 years?
Here’s to the things we learned from the Mississauga Miracle.