Canada's new government funds transit security



    OTTAWA, April 3 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister
of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities today announced new projects to
enhance rail and transit security under Transit-Secure, the Government of
Canada's $80-million passenger rail and urban transit security contribution
program. Under the program's second round of funding, up to $2 million will be
provided to rail and urban transit operators outside Canada's six major urban
areas, as well as inter-city rail and bus companies.
    The following funding is being provided through this round: one operator
in Nova Scotia will receive up to $180,000; one operator in Quebec will
receive up to $187,500; eight operators in Ontario will receive up to
$967,500; one operator in Manitoba will receive up to $99,750; two operators
in Saskatchewan will receive up to $105,000; two operators in Alberta will
receive up to $86,250; and one operator in British Columbia will receive up to
$300,000.
    The two-year, $80-million application-based contribution program,
launched in July 2006, is one of the programs included in the $115 million in
funding announced by Prime Minister Harper for Initial Measures to Enhance the
Security of Canada's Passenger Rail and Urban Transit Operations. The program
provides direct assistance to passenger rail and urban transit operators to
further enhance their security measures and to be better equipped to address
potential threats of terrorism.
    "Canada's New Government continues to make investments in the security of
our transportation systems," said Minister Cannon. "The funding announced
today will help smaller operators, along with inter-city rail and bus
companies, develop the building blocks that will help them further enhance
their systems."
    Up to $37 million in funding for round one of this program was announced
in November 2006. The first round was open to operators in the six largest
urban areas in Canada - Montreal, the National Capital Region, Toronto,
Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. These operators, along with rail and transit
operators outside the six major urban areas who have not yet received funding,
will be eligible under future rounds of funding.
    Under the program, funding is provided on a cost-shared basis, with 75
per cent from the federal government and 25 per cent from the recipient. This
funding is part of $1.4 billion in national security funding committed in
Budget 2006 for a variety of security initiatives that will help protect
Canadians and their communities, including $254 million for transportation
security.

    Details of the contribution program are available at
    www.tc.gc.ca/vigilance/sep/rail/Contribution_Program/menu.htm.

    Backgrounders listing round two funding recipients and describing the
Initial Measures to Enhance the Security of Canada's Passenger Rail and Urban
Transit Operations are attached.


    
                                 Backgrounder
                                 ------------
                                 ------------

               FUNDING RECIPIENTS - ROUND TWO OF TRANSIT-SECURE
               ------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Province        City/Operator         Funding       Types of projects
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nova Scotia     Halifax              $180,000       Risk assessments and
                                                        security plans
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec          Laval                $187,500       Risk assessments and
                                                        security plans
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario         Brampton             $150,000       Risk assessments and
                                                        security plans
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Greyhound Canada     $285,000       Risk assessments and
                                                        security plans
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Hamilton              $75,000       Risk assessments and
                                                        security plans
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Mississauga           $75,000       Risk assessments and
                                                        security plans
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Sarnia               $120,000       Risk assessments and
                                                        security plans
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Waterloo              $75,000       Risk assessments and
                                                        security plans
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Windsor               $75,000       Risk assessments and
                                                        security plans
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    York                 $112,500       Risk assessments and
                                                        security plans
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Manitoba        Winnipeg              $99,750       Risk assessments and
                                                        security plans
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saskatchewan    Regina                $30,000       Risk assessments and
                                                        security plans
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Saskatoon             $75,000       Risk assessments and
                                                        security plans
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Alberta         Lethbridge            $30,000       Risk assessments and
                                                        security plans
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Red Deer              $56,250       Risk assessments and
                                                        security plans
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    British         B.C. Transit         $300,000       Risk assessments and
     Columbia                                           security plans
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             TOTAL     $1,926,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                 Backgrounder
                                 ------------
                                 ------------

    INITIAL MEASURES TO ENHANCE THE SECURITY OF CANADA'S PASSENGER RAIL AND
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                           URBAN TRANSIT OPERATIONS
                           ------------------------

    Budget 2006 announced $1.4 billion in national security funding to protect
Canadian families and communities, to secure our borders and to increase
emergency preparedness, including over $250 million to continue to improve
transportation security in Canada.
    In the past six years, the Government of Canada has committed more than
$10 billion towards national security, of which nearly $2.4 billion has been
allocated to strengthen aviation security and $930 million to strengthen
marine security - each focusing on areas of highest risk.
    The March 2004 bombings in Madrid, Spain, and the July 2005 bombings in
London, England, led Canada to focus on transportation security in high-volume
passenger transportation sectors. The passenger rail and urban transit sector
presents unique security challenges because it consists of extensive, open
systems that move high volumes of passengers daily.
    Although Transport Canada has the lead responsibility for national
transportation security, other partners play key roles with respect to
emergency management, including preparedness and response. Therefore, the
Government of Canada works together with other levels of government, as well
as industry, to create an effective and efficient security system.
    Up to $115 million was set aside in the fiscal framework for Initial
Measures to Enhance the Security of Canada's Passenger Rail and Urban Transit
Operations, of which $95 million was announced in Budget 2006. The initial
measures were designed to address security priorities that have been
identified by the Government of Canada, in collaboration with its partners, to
enhance security for this sector through five complementary components:

    Transit-Secure - An application-based passenger rail and urban transit
    security contribution program

    Up to $80 million will be provided over two years for an application-based
passenger rail and urban transit security contribution program, targeted
towards the high volume passenger areas of commuter rail and public transit,
with a primary focus on major urban transit systems.
    Round one of the contribution program provided financial assistance to
high-volume commuter rail and public transit operators in six urban areas -
Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, the National Capital Region, and
Montreal - to accelerate the implementation of new and enhanced security
measures based on a targeted, risk-management approach.
    The first round of funding supported the development of risk assessments
and security plans; the acquisition of security equipment to enhance emergency
communications, access control, and lighting; as well as employee training and
public awareness.
    The second round of funding supported the development of risk assessments
and security plans for operators in other communities, as well as operators of
inter-city passenger rail and bus systems.
    Funding is provided on a cost-shared basis, with 75 per cent from the
federal government and 25 per cent from the recipient. Passenger rail and
transit operators are required to apply for the funding.

    For more information on Transit-Secure, please visit
    www.tc.gc.ca/vigilance/sep/rail/Contribution_Program/menu.htm

    Enhanced Transport Canada leadership, expertise and coordination

    Up to $24 million over five years will be provided to strengthen Transport
Canada's capacity to provide passenger rail and urban transit security
leadership and expert assistance in the development of security assessments
and plans, best practices and guidelines; enhance information sharing
networks; strengthen incident tracking and trend analysis; conduct technology
research and development programs; and coordinate international and
intergovernmental efforts on passenger rail and urban transit security.

    Eligibility of domestic ferries under Transport Canada's Marine Security
    Contribution Program

    Canada's domestic ferry operators, including those that are part of public
transit systems, will be eligible to apply for funding to enhance the security
of their facilities and vessels under the existing Marine Security
Contribution Program.
    For more information about the program please visit:
www.tc.gc.ca/MarineSecurity/ContributionSpecialPrograms/contribution/menu.htm

    Urban transit emergency preparedness exercises

    These measures include up to $8 million over four years to improve the
readiness of Canada's urban transit sector to respond to emergencies and to
develop effective contingency plans. This funding will allow Public Safety
Canada, in cooperation with Transport Canada, to partner with key
jurisdictions and stakeholders to carry out complex inter-jurisdictional
exercises in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. They will help prepare officials
at all levels of government, as well as infrastructure owner-operators, first
responders and law enforcement, for their roles in emergencies.

    Public Safety Portfolio Task Force

    Up to $3 million will be allocated to Public Safety Canada to set up a
two-year task force, which will work closely with Transport Canada. The Public
Safety Portfolio Task Force will work towards enhancing regional and national
capacity in critical infrastructure intelligence and enhance ongoing regional
risk analysis. Furthermore, it will provide technology support and advice on
law enforcement and emergency management and develop local security
coordination protocols.
    Through close consultation with various levels of government and law
enforcement agencies, the task force will assess intelligence and policing
technology needs, identify necessary infrastructure support, strengthen
security awareness activities, and increase international engagement on urban
transit security issues. This will contribute to strategic, longer-term
integrated solutions to rail and urban transit security issues.

                                                                 April 2007
    




For further information:

For further information: Natalie Sarafian, Press Secretary, Office of
the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613)
991-0700; Nicole McNeely, Communications, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613)
993-0055; Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news
releases and speeches at www.tc.gc.ca/listserv/ and keep up-to-date on the
latest from Transport Canada. This news release may be made available in
alternative formats for persons with visual disabilities.


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