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Rail Safety

The Issue

In response to the tragic train derailment and explosion in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec and other serious rail incidents involving the transportation of dangerous goods, FCM formed the National Municipal Rail Safety Working Group in 2013. The mandate of the Working Group is to support and inform FCM's discussions with the federal government on rail safety.

Since 2013, a number of new measures have been announced that respond directly to FCM's call for urgent and concrete action by the federal government. In particular, key elements of federal legislation adopted in 2015 respond directly to concerns raised by FCM related to insurance and liability, information sharing and Transport Canada's oversight of federal railways. Further, the 2016 budget commitment of $143 million over three years to improve rail safety is an important step forward.

The steps taken to date are important and FCM continues to work closely with Transport Canada to deliver concrete reforms that improve the safety of Canada's railways and address the concerns of our cities and communities.

Our Position

Working closely with the municipal sector, the federal government must:

  • Equip and support municipal first responders to rail emergencies
  • Ensure federal and industry policies and regulations address the rail safety concerns of municipalities
  • Prevent downloading of rail safety and emergency response costs to municipal taxpayers

FCM Resources

External Resources

  • Transport Canada Grade Crossings Regulations for safety management of federally-regulated grade crossings.
  • The Transportation Safety Board of Canada final report of the derailment in Lac-Mégantic, Québec.
Page Updated: 02/06/2016