OTTAWA, Feb. 5, 2018 /CNW/ - Today, another important decision was reached following the July 6, 2013 derailment in Lac-Mégantic. This decision concerns the federal prosecution carried out under the Railway Safety Act.
Following the derailment, Transport Canada undertook a regulatory investigation to determine whether violations of the Railway Safety Act had occurred.
Charges were brought against a number of individuals, including senior officials of the Montreal Maine & Atlantic Canada Co. and the Montreal Maine & Atlantic Canada Railway Ltd, for violating obligations related to the application and testing of brakes under the Railway Safety Act.
The outcome of this federal prosecution is that six individuals pled guilty to contravening rule 112(b) of the Canadian Rail Operating Rules by failing to ensure that a sufficient retarding force was present to prevent equipment from moving after applying handbrakes, thereby committing an offence under the Railway Safety Act.
Five of the accused were fined $50,000 each, for a total of $250,000, which is the maximum fine provided under the Railway Safety Act, and one was sentenced to a conditional prison sentence of six months, the maximum sentence under the Act.
The total amount of fines will be directed to the community-based and locally run Fonds Avenir Lac-Mégantic to support the community.
Once again, our sympathies are extended to the families and friends of the 47 people who lost their lives, and to the many others whose lives were forever changed by this tragic event.
The safety and security of the public and the transportation system are top priorities for Transport Canada which continues to closely monitor the safety of rail operations, as well as the safe transportation of dangerous goods by all modes of transport across Canada.
"After my numerous meetings with residents of Lac-Mégantic, I am aware of the extent to which they have been marked by this tragedy and my thoughts remain with them. On an exceptional basis, we have taken measures to ensure that, instead of going to the Government of Canada, amounts garnered from these fines are redirected to the community-based and locally run Fonds Avenir Lac-Mégantic for the benefit of local residents.
The Honourable Marc Garneau,
Minister of Transport
- Transport Canada was also involved in a joint investigation with the RCMP that revealed that Irving Oil violated safety requirements under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, resulting in the company being charged and found guilty and being ordered to pay $400,320 in fines and $3,599,680 for the implementation of research programs in the field of safety standards.
- The Government of Canada will contribute a substantial sum toward the construction of a bypass railway line in Lac-Mégantic and we plan to announce the details before the fifth anniversary of the derailment.
- Transport Canada has taken many steps to strengthen rail safety and continues this important work.
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SOURCE Transport Canada
For further information: Delphine Denis, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, Ottawa, 613-991-0700, [email protected]; Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, 613-993-0055, [email protected]