For Transport Canada, C$100MM to Advance Rail Safety, Security

Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra on Aug. 13 reported that the funding, to be provided over five years starting in 2021-22, would allow Transport Canada to:

• Invest in railway oversight “to better address new and evolving risks to the safety and security of railway operations, which includes updating legislation, developing new approaches to improve railway safety data collection and analysis, evaluating new technologies for rail inspection and safety oversight, and supporting the safer transportation of dangerous goods.”

• Engage with Indigenous communities as the government works “to ensure our rail system operates as safely and securely as possible across Canada.”

• Undertake research and analysis “to better identify risks and strategies to mitigate the impacts of climate change and severe weather on the integrity and safety of critical railway infrastructure.”

• Provide additional funding to the Rail Safety Improvement Program. (In May, Transport Canada reported that its Rail Safety Improvement Program for 2021-22 would distribute C$21 million to 135 projects covering public education and awareness as well as infrastructure, technology and research.)

Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra

“Today’s [Aug. 13] announcement will strengthen the safety and security of our rail system, protecting communities who use, live near, and work on our railways,” Alghabra said. “These investments are important to ensure that Canada’s rail system continues getting people and goods to their destinations safely and securely, for now and the future.”

In related news, Transport Canada updated Canadian rail operating rules on Aug. 2, and track safety rules on June 1.

In February, Canada’s Auditor General, the equivalent of the U.S. Government Accountability Office, released a report criticizing Transport Canada as to its overall effectiveness overseeing rail safety.

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