AFL echos call for an independent investigation of the CP Rail worker deaths – AFL

Minister Garneau must ensure an independent criminal investigation be conducted into the death of three Alberta workers

Edmonton – On Feb. 4, 2019, the brakes of a 99-car grain train failed and the train suddenly started rolling on its own, gradually picking up speed until it eventually crashed. Engineer Andrew Dockrell died instantly, conductor Dylan Paradis was crushed to death, and trainee Daniel Waldenberger-Bulmer died on the scene after being thrown from the wreck into a nearby frozen river.

“As we come upon the two-year mark, we reiterate the urgent need for an independent criminal investigation into the tragic deaths of three CP Rail workers,” said Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour. “It is a horrible experience to suffer the death of a loved one but the families of these three workers have continued to suffer as there has been no independent investigation.”

The Alberta Federation of Labour joined the calls from families of these workers by writing another letter to Marc Garneau, the Minister of Transport, calling on the federal government to launch a full and independent criminal investigation.

“The previous investigation done by the CP Rail’s own police service is beyond inadequate. This CP Rail investigation has been mired with issues including direct influence by CP Rail to limit the scope of the investigation,” said McGowan. “Further, CP Rail has attempted to smear the reputation of their own investor after firing him for drawing attention to CP Rails attempts to prevent anything that would remotely be adequate for an investigation. The fact that CP Rail’s own police force is responsible for investigating themselves for any wrongdoing is appalling and presents a glaring conflict of interest.”

The AFL is once again calling on the federal government to instruct the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to undertake an investigation into the events from February 2019 that resulted in the deaths of three hard-working Albertans. This echoes the calls of Petition e-3204 which is currently open for signatures.

“We owe it to the families of Andrew Dockrell, Dylan Paradis, and Daniel Waldenberger-Bulmer to fully investigate their deaths. We owe it to railway workers, who have been operating as essential workers throughout this pandemic, to ensure their safety. We owe it to all Canadians to make sure our worksites, such as CP Rail tracks, are safe for workers and the surrounding public,” said McGowan. “We can only achieve these aims with fully functional legal and criminal investigation systems that are independent and able to properly fulfill their mandates, including enforcement of the Westray Act.”

“We once again demand an independent criminal investigation be conducted into these tragic events,” concluded McGowan.


Ramona Franson
Director of Communications, AFL