Railways hike security at U.S. border

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread


October 13, 2001

Railways hike security at U.S. border

Pesticides also targeted

Alan Toulin Financial Post OTTAWA - Canada's railways are increasing the security focus on U.S. border crossings, particularly bridges and tunnels that are owned and operated by the railroads.

The measures are part of an upgrade in the security activities of Canadian National and Canadian Pacific railways since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Security is crucial because of the large volume of cargo that flows between the two countries. CN gets 52% of its revenue from its cross-border freight operations.

Although security officials don't think Canada is a terrorist target, they believe that installations and facilities that are important to the functioning of the U.S. economy may draw the attention of potential terrorist activity.

CN said a key crossing point in Minnesota, which takes goods on to Chicago, is responsible for 25% of the railroad's cross-border cargo.

"We have our own police force in Canada and the U.S. and their role is to ensure the safety and security of our operations and facilities," said a CN spokesperson.

"We are working closely with Canadian and U.S. law enforcement organizations and customs agencies and with the various government levels to share information that we think would be relevant.

"We've increased CN police presence and patrols at key locations and there is increased vigilance by all CN employees aimed at reporting any unusual occurrences, including all trespassers."

CN and CP are also working with the Railway Association of Canada and the Association of American Railroads in the United States.

Canada has already tightened security at oilfields, pipelines, nuclear and hydroelectric installations.

Yesterday, CropLife Canada took steps to keep pesticides secure at agri-businesses and during transport and on the farm.

"Our industry already follows certain steps to keep crop protection products secure during manufacturing, storing, marketing, transporting and application," said Lorne Hepworth, president of CropLife Canada, a trade association representing manufacturers, developers and distributors of plant science products.

"And it's normal good practice for farmers to keep pesticides locked up securely, but right now, it's probably more important for them to be checking those things. We're just sending our members and their customers a message to be aware."

The trade association is also cautioning agri-retailers to keep an eye out for customers who request large quantities of a particular product, especially if it's out of season. Paying with cash and requests for immediate possession should send up warning signals to chemical dealers, the association said.

"With the possibility of bioterrorism on everyone's mind, maintaining our constant vigilance with regard to the security of pesticides is absolutely critical and our industry understands that," Mr. Hepworth said.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), October 13, 2001

Moderation questions? read the FAQ