Transport Minister receives final investigation report on Queen of the North accident

    OTTAWA, March 12 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister
of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today acknowledged receipt of
the Transportation Safety Board of Canada's final report on the sinking of the
Queen of the North off the coast of British Columbia on March 22, 2006.
    "My officials and I recognize the important work of the Transportation
Safety Board during the investigation. The unfortunate events that led to the
sinking of the Queen of the North are regrettable and my thoughts remain with
the families," said Minister Cannon. "I can assure Canadians that our
government's priority is to help ensure the safety and security of the
transportation system, which is why Transport Canada officials are reviewing
the full content of the report and will respond to the Board within 90 days
concerning its recommendations to Transport Canada."
    Since 2006, Transport Canada has taken the following action to improve
ferry safety in Canada:

    - In July 2007, Marine Personnel Regulations came into force that include
      a phased-in requirement for officers and crew of passenger vessels to
      hold a passenger safety management certificate or endorsement.
    - In August 2007, the department issued a ship safety bulletin advising
      owners and masters of passenger vessels of Transport Canada's intent to
      adopt passenger count requirements, and encouraged owners and masters
      of passenger vessels to adopt this measure voluntarily before it became
    - In October 2007, new standards governing ferry stability that require
      domestic ferries to meet international standards came into effect.
    - In November 2007, with regard to drug use by ships crews, the Minister
      wrote to all ferry operators to remind operators and crews of their
      responsibilities with respect to the safe operation of vessels.
    - In April 2008, Transport Canada will audit BC Ferries' Passenger Safety
      Management Certificate course.
    - In spring 2008, Transport Canada will complete a feasibility study
      regarding potential regulatory requirements for voyage data recorders
      to be fitted on Canadian domestic vessels.

    Transport Canada continues to work with the RCMP investigating this
incident. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, action could be taken
under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (CSA 2001) or the Criminal Code of Canada.
    In addition, in July 2007, Transport Canada introduced the CSA 2001.
Through this Act, and as part of the CSA 2001 Regulatory Reform Project, the
department continues to review and modernize remaining regulations that apply
to ships, including ferries.

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 Subscribe to news releases and speeches at 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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