The following Press Conference took place in the Minister's Regional Office, Montreal, QC at 1 p.m. on Monday, July 25, 2016.
Remarks for Pauline Quinlan—Chair of Rail Safety Working Group—Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Good afternoon and thank you Minister for inviting FCM to join you here today.
Minister, we appreciate your commitment to working with us to move forward on improving rail safety in our communities, and for the people who live there. Rail safety and the safe transportation of dangerous goods remain critical concerns for cities and communities across the country.
As the Chair of FCM's National Municipal Rail Safety Working Group, I have had the pleasure of working with you and your department on new measures that improve the safety of Canada's railways. Many of these measures respond directly to FCM's call for urgent and concrete action by the federal government on rail safety.
And that includes today's announcement on Protective Direction 38, which is an important step forward in improving the safe transportation of dangerous goods by rail. A key element of this commitment responds directly to concerns raised by local governments across Canada.
The accelerated phase-out of jacketed and non-jacketed DOT-111 legacy cars transporting crude oil will reduce the safety risks with transporting crude oil by rail and enhance the safety of our communities.
The new DOT-117 tank cars and the accelerated phase-out of DOT-111 legacy cars are an important step forward. However, safer railway operation is just as important as tank car sturdiness for reducing derailment frequency and scale.
To that end, we look forward to continuing to work with you and your Department, to ensure that the concerns of municipalities, and our residents, are taken into account in the development of new measures that will enhance rail safety, transparency and improve emergency preparedness in our communities.
Minister Garneau, again, thank you for the initiatives that you announced today—this underscores the importance of the unprecedented level of collaboration and partnership between FCM and Transport Canada in developing new measures for rail safety.