Government of Canada funds new projects through another round of Transit-Secure



    MONTREAL, Jan. 21 /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 round four of Transit-Secure, up to $19,882,745 will be provided to
rail and urban transit operators in some of Canada's largest urban centres.
    "This latest round of funding demonstrates that the Government of Canada
remains committed to building upon the progress we have made toward making
Canada's transit systems among the safest and most secure in the world, to
help protect Canadians and their families," said Minister Cannon. "Through
ongoing strategic partnerships with operators across the country, we are well
on our way to meeting that goal."
    The following funding is being provided through this round: four
operators in Quebec will receive up to $6,537,920; six operators and other
eligible funding recipients in Ontario will receive up to $5,256,075; two
operators in Alberta will receive up to $946,500; and one operator in British
Columbia will receive up to $7,142,250.

    This funding will make various projects possible, such as:
    
    - the development of training and awareness programs;
    - the upgrade of access control measures, security technology and
      communication equipment; and
    - the development of risk assessments and security plans.

    The application-based contribution program, launched in June 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 implement
immediate enhancements to the security of their operations and to be better
equipped to address potential threats of terrorism. In May 2007, Minister
Cannon announced the extension of the Transit-Secure program until March 31,
2009.
    Under the program, funding is provided on a cost-shared basis, with up to
75 per cent from the federal government and 25 per cent from the recipient.

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

    Backgrounders listing round four 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 FOUR OF TRANSIT-SECURE
              -------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    City/Province      Operator                 Funding    Types of projects
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Montreal, Quebec   Agence métropolitaine    $11,550    Communication
                       de transport (AMT)                  Equipment
                                             --------------------------------
                                                $28,050    Infrastructure
                                             --------------------------------
                                               $120,000    Internal
                                                           Assessments
                                             --------------------------------
                                               $120,000    Access Control
                                                           Measures
                                             --------------------------------
                                             $1,680,116    Surveillance
                                                           Technologies
                       ------------------------------------------------------
                       Société de transports   $423,041    Internal
                       de Montréal (STM)                   Assessments
                                             --------------------------------
                                             $3,797,282    Surveillance
                                                           Technologies
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gatineau, Quebec   Société de transports   $137,595    Communication
                       de l'Outaouais (STO)                Equipment
                                             --------------------------------
                                               $145,286    Internal
                                                           Assessments
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sherbrooke,        Société de transports    $75,000    Internal
    Quebec             de Sherbrooke (STS)                 Assessments
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa, Ontario    OC Transpo              $369,000    Communication
                                                           Equipment
                                             --------------------------------
                                               $896,625    Infrastructure
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Toronto, Ontario   GO Transit              $195,000    Security Centre
                                             --------------------------------
                                               $300,000    Training
                       ------------------------------------------------------
                       Toronto Transit          $75,000    Internal
                       Commission                          Assessments
                                             --------------------------------
                                               $795,000    Access Control
                                                           Measures
                       ------------------------------------------------------
                       Union Station            $75,000    Training
                                             --------------------------------
                                               $637,500    Communication
                                                           Equipment
                                             --------------------------------
                                              $1,125,450   Access Control
                                                           Measures
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    North Bay,         Ontario Northland        $187,500   Internal
    Ontario            Transportation                      Assessments
                       Commission
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Toronto, Ontario   Canadian Urban           $600,000   Internal
                       Transit Association                 Assessments
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Vancouver,         TransLink                $842,250   Access Control
    British Columbia                                       Measures
                                             --------------------------------
                                              $5,244,000   Communication
                                                           Equipment
                                             --------------------------------
                                                $330,750   Security Centre
                                             --------------------------------
                                                $126,000   Training
                                             --------------------------------
                                                $393,000   Infrastructure
                                             --------------------------------
                                                $206,250   Internal
                                                           Assessments
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Calgary, Alberta   Calgary Transit           $60,000   Public Awareness
                                             --------------------------------
                                                $239,250   Infrastructure
                                             --------------------------------
                                                $385,500   Access Control
                                                           Measures
                                             --------------------------------
                                                $224,250   Surveillance
                                                           Technologies
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sherwood Park,     Strathcona County         $37,500   Internal
    Alberta            Transit                             Assessments
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------



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

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

    World events, including terrorist attacks over the last several years, 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.
    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 $254 million to continue to improve
transportation security in Canada.
    Up to $115 million was set aside 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 three 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.
    Rounds one, two and three 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. Rounds one,
three and four supported the acquisition of security equipment to enhance
emergency communications, access control and lighting, as well as employee
training and public awareness. For those operators, the first round of funding
also supported the development of risk assessments and security plans.
    For areas other than those in the six urban areas above, the second, third
and fourth rounds of funding supported the development of risk assessments and
security plans for other operators, including inter-city passenger rail and
bus systems.
    Funding is provided on a cost-shared basis, with up to 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, are 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 $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 allows 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. These exercises will prepare officials at all levels of
government, as well as infrastructure owner-operators, law enforcement and
other first responders, to take action in response to a terrorist incident in
the rail and urban transit sector.

    Public Safety Portfolio Task Force

    A total of $3 million was allocated to Public Safety Canada to set up a
two-year task force to work closely with Transport Canada on four priorities.
Through close consultation with various levels of government and law
enforcement agencies, the Public Safety Portfolio Task Force has:
    - assessed intelligence and policing technology needs;
    - identified necessary infrastructure support;
    - strengthened security awareness activities; and
    - increased international engagement on urban transit security issues.

    The task force has developed an information and intelligence-sharing
framework to enhance regional and national capacity in critical infrastructure
intelligence and enhance ongoing regional risk analysis. A needs assessment
has identified the technology gaps to facilitate communication between law
enforcement and other first responders and transit operators. The task force
has also developed a draft training and awareness framework and visual
awareness prototypes, which will form the basis of strategic, longer-term
integrated solutions for the rail and urban transit sector.


                                                                January 2008
    

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For further information:

For further information: Karine White, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613) 991-0700;
Media Relations, 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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