Government improves rail safety and the transportation of dangerous goods
The Protective Direction issued by Transport Canada introduces the following requirements which respond directly to FCM's call for action on rail safety:
- All Canadian railway operators will be required to provide municipal emergency planners and first responders with annual information on the nature and volume of dangerous goods being transported through their communities;
- Large Canadian railway companies, such as Canadian National (CN) and Canadian Pacific (CP), will be required to include in their annual reports a quarterly breakdown of the nature and volume of dangerous goods shipped through Canadian communities;
- Smaller railways will be required to notify municipalities of any significant changes to the information provided in their annual reporting.
- Municipalities wishing to receive this information will need to inform Transport Canada and assign a designate to receive the information. It will be possible for municipalities to designate to regional emergency management officials if appropriate.
These measures represent important improvements in rail safety in our cities and communities. They also demonstrate how governments can and should work together in partnership to respond to emerging challenges, improve public services and save taxpayer dollars.