Canada Moves To Tighten Dangerous Goods Rail Safety

Posted February 25, 2015 09:19 PM  

Legislation to tighten the regulatory environment for the transportation of dangerous goods by rail has been introduced to Canada’s House of Commons.

Canada’s Minister of Transport, Lisa Raitt, introduced Bill C-52, the Safe and Accountable Rail Act, late last week. The new bill proposes amendments to the Canada Transportation Act and Railway Safety Act.

Changes include a new liability and compensation regime for federally regulated railways, including minimum insurance requirements, a compensation fund financed by levies on crude oil shippers, increased information-sharing provisions and stronger oversight powers for the minister and Transport Canada inspectors.

“The government of Canada continues to make the safety and security of Canadians a top priority,” Raitt said in a statement. “This new legislation will improve railway safety and strengthen oversight while protecting taxpayers and making industry more accountable to communities.”

The issue of dangerous goods transportation safety has risen to a place of prominence in Canada since the Lac-Mégantic disaster in 2013 claimed the lives of 47 people, and exacerbated by the dramatically increasing volumes of crude oil transported across the country by rail.  

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