FCM and RAC Work Together To Improve Community Relations

    OTTAWA, March 23 /CNW/ - The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM)
and the Railway Association of Canada (RAC) have signed a new two-year
agreement to work together to improve community relations between the FCM
members and railways.
    Jean-François Trepanier, acting CEO of the 1,400-member FCM, and Cliff
Mackay, President and CEO of RAC, which represents 56 freight and passenger
railways operating in Canada, announced the agreement today on behalf of their
    "Our communities are growing, and so are our transportation needs. We
will continue to work with the railways under this agreement to improve
communications and to develop benchmarks and guidelines to resolve disputes.
We all know we can achieve more," said Mr. Trepanier.
    "Rail currently hauls 65 per cent of surface freight and moves 63 million
passengers annually," said Mr. Mackay. "We can help reduce road congestion,
fuel consumption and pollution by building on our solid track record of
environmental performance and working more closely with our community
    During the life of their previous agreement, FCM and RAC established a
website (www.proximityissues.ca) with a wide range of information and
contacts. The partnership also established several Community Advisory Panels,
published the first comprehensive Proximity Guidelines and Best Management
Practices resource, and developed and tested a formal dispute-settlement
    The new agreement is designed in part to deal with amendments to the
federal Canada Transportation Act, expected to be approved during the current
session of Parliament. These amendments will likely confirm that regulating
railway noise is a federal responsibility and will require railways and
municipalities to undertake a robust consultation and dispute-settlement
process before federal regulatory agencies intervene in a dispute.
    The agreement will also continue to build on previous work to improve
municipal planning, develop new techniques for mitigating noise and
vibrations, and further enhance public safety around railway operations.

    The Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA), representing
city managers and administrators, has also joined the initiative's steering

For further information:

For further information: FCM: Maurice Gingues, (613) 907-6395,
www.fcm.ca; Railway Association of Canada: Roger Cameron, (613) 564-8097,

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Railway Association of Canada

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