OTTAWA, Nov. 7, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, marked National Railway Day, which commemorates the day the last spike was driven into the Canadian Pacific Railway at Craigellachie, British Columbia in 1885 - a major milestone for the railways and for Canada.
Since before Confederation, Canada has relied on railways for the movement of goods and passengers. It is no different today. New economic opportunities still require rail to link Canadian goods to waiting markets. These opportunities depend on a safe and dependable rail system.
"Our government understands the continued importance of Canada's rail system," said Minister Raitt. "That's why we are taking strong actions to ensure its safety and security and why we are working with stakeholders in the transportation sector to make Canada's rail system a model of world class safety."
As the Speech from the Throne stated, the Government of Canada is committed to taking further targeted action to increase the safety of the transportation of dangerous goods by rail, and to require shippers and railways to carry additional insurance so they can be held accountable.
Following the tragic accident in Lac-Mégantic, Transport Canada took immediate action by:
- Issuing an emergency directive to railway companies under the Railway Safety Act, 1985;
- Issuing a Ministerial Order obligating railway companies to develop rules to comply with the emergency directive requirements permanently; and
- Issuing a protective direction on the classification of dangerous goods under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992.
Minister Raitt continues to meet with stakeholders to discuss ways to further strengthen railway safety standards.
Further information on rail safety programs and funding:
- Grade Crossing Improvement Program: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/mediaroom/backgrounders-grade-crossing-7150.html;
- Operation Lifesaver: http://www.operationlifesaver.ca/.
SOURCE: Transport Canada
For further information:
Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
Transport Canada, Ottawa
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