OTTAWA, Nov. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of
Transport, today met with the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs to
further discuss enhancing the safe transportation of dangerous goods
(TDG) as part of an ongoing dialogue with Canada's first responders.
"The safety of Canadians is Transport Canada's top priority," said
Minister Raitt. "The department continues to work closely with all
stakeholders, including first responders, to examine all means of
improving rail safety and the transportation of dangerous goods."
Following the tragic accident this summer at Lac-Mégantic, the
Government of Canada committed to bringing forward targeted action to
increase the safety of the transportation of dangerous goods. To this
end, Minister Raitt recently asked the Standing Committee on Transport,
Infrastructure and Communities (SCOTIC) to undertake a review of the
current TDG regime and examine progress made on Safety Management
Systems (SMS) implementation in all modes and make recommendations on
further areas for improvement.
Maintaining safe railway transportation is a shared responsibility
amongst international partners, provinces, territories, municipalities
and industry. As such, the department continues to work closely with
key transportation stakeholders in the sharing of information.
"Transport Canada recognizes the critical role first responders play in
an emergency," added Minister Raitt. "By working together with our
partners, by sharing information and providing tools and resources, we
can make Canada's railway system safer and more secure."
"Canada's fire chiefs welcome the government's commitment to strengthen
rail safety as expressed by Minister Raitt in our meeting today and in
the Prime Minister's Speech from the Throne," said Fire Chief Rob
Simonds, Past President of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs
(CAFC) and Chair of the CAFC Government Relations Committee. "We are
encouraged by the Minister's attention to the recommendations we've put
forward on behalf of the Fire Service to ensure emergency responders
have the information, training and emergency planning protocols to
protect Canadians and our communities when incidents do occur."
Transport Canada operates, at no cost to municipalities or first
responders, a 24/7 Canadian Transport Emergency Centre (CANUTEC) to
assist local emergency response personnel in handling dangerous goods
emergencies. CANUTEC is staffed by bilingual professional scientists
specialized in emergency response and experienced in interpreting
technical information and providing advice to first responders.
The CAFC is an in-dependent, non-profit organization with a voluntary
membership. Founded in 1909, CAFC was incorporated in 1965 under the Canadian Corporations Act with its head office in Ottawa, Canada. The CAFC is the national public
service association dedicated to reducing the loss of life and property
from fire, and advancing the science and technology of the Fire and
Emergency Service in Canada.
SOURCE: Transport Canada
For further information:
Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
Transport Canada, Ottawa
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