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Paying CN's Dues

To say Wesley MacDonald is happy lately might be one of the greater understatements of the year.

Of course he's happy, and with good reason.

Wes MacDonald has had his name in good standing with Canadian National cleared after spending most of this year suspended from a job he gave 40 years of his life

He's retired now, with a full pension, retroactive pay back, and no bad feelings. He rode a runaway train from Brunswick Mines for 15 minutes at speeds reaching 70 miles an hour, and crashed it on a turn, causing a million dollars damage and sustaining a bump on the head. WOrse, though, came after when CN and the Canadian transport Commission suspended Mr. MacDonald for failing to follow shunting guidelines.

Details of the appeal -- lodged by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers -- that had the suspension overturned are not readily available, but one can be sure the arbitration board's decision was based on a number of things, not the least of which was Mr. MacDonald's bravery in riding the runaway to warn of the impending danger at level crossings.

Another factor may have been that, although, the practices in shunting cars at the mines were against regulations, it was the accepted norm, and carried out in front of CN officials reportedly on a number of occasions.

It was a sad blow for Wes MacDonald when he was suspended instead of lauded for his efforts. Now, though, one must heap praise on a arbitration board for recognizing and righting the wrong.