David McGuinty

Your member of parliament for


Ottawa South

David McGuinty

Your member of parliament for


Ottawa South

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Government of Canada invests $20.7 million to improve rail safety

OTTAWAAug. 1, 2018 /CNW/ – With over 40,000 kilometres of track, the rail system connects Canadians by moving people and goods across the country every day. That’s why the Government of Canada supports projects that improve safety, the economy, and the movement of goods and people.

 Today, Member of Parliament for Ottawa South, the Honourable David McGuinty, on behalf of the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced 105 new projects and initiatives that will keep Canadians safe, contribute to increasing safety at grade crossings and along rail lines, and increase public confidence in Canada’s rail transportation system. Collectively, the projects will receive more than $20 million under the Government of Canada’s Rail Safety Improvement Program.

The Rail Safety Improvement Program builds on three previous rail safety programs with an increased overall funding level, an expanded list of eligible recipients and a broadened scope of projects that can be funded to enhance rail safety.

Today’s announcement includes funding for:

  • One hundred and three projects that focus on infrastructure, technology and research, including safety improvements on rail property, the use of innovative technologies; research and studies; as well as the closures of grade crossings that present safety concerns; and
  • Two rail safety education and awareness initiatives that focus on reducing injuries and fatalities in communities across Canada.

The Rail Safety Improvement Program is an essential component of the Government of Canada’s commitment to improving rail safety.

Quotes

“The Rail Safety Improvement Program is an important part of Transport Canada’s comprehensive approach to improving the safety of rail transportation across Canada. In funding these projects, we are reinforcing our commitment to enhance rail safety in urban and rural areas.”

The Honourable David McGuinty
Member of Parliament for Ottawa South

“Rail safety is my top priority. A safe and secure national rail transportation system is important to local communities and to Canada’s economic well-being. We are working closely with railway companies and road authorities to identify grade crossings that require safety improvements.”

The Honourable Marc Garneau,
Minister of Transport

Quick Facts

  • Almost half of all railway-related deaths and injuries result from accidents at crossings. The Government of Canada is committed to reducing the number of these accidents by taking appropriate action as required.
  • This year, Transport Canada is funding two public education and awareness activities, 103 infrastructure projects, including 98 grade-crossing improvements across the country and five technology and research projects.
  • Rail Safety Week, taking place this year from September 23 to 29, 2018, is a national event aimed at increasing awareness of safety around railway operations and highlighting government and industry commitment to making the rail system safer for Canadians.

Related Products

  • Backgrounder – Rail Safety Improvement Program

Associated Links

Backgrounder
Rail Safety Improvement Program

Transport Canada’s Rail Safety Improvement Program provides federal funding in the form of grants or contributions. This year, the department will be providing more than $20 million to fund 105 projects in 2018-2019. The program’s objectives are to improve rail safety, contribute to increasing safety at grade crossings and along rail lines, and increase public confidence in Canada’s rail transportation system.

The Rail Safety Improvement Program builds on three previous rail safety programs with an increased overall funding level, an expanded list of eligible recipients and a broadened scope of projects that can be funded to enhance rail safety.

The program provides a comprehensive approach to improving the safety of rail transportation across Canada, through two key components: 1) Public Education and Awareness; and 2) Infrastructure, Technology and Research.

1. Public Education and Awareness

Transport Canada believes that more can be done to improve rail safety through outreach, education and awareness. Building on the successful results and lessons learned from existing programs such as Operation Lifesaver, Transport Canada is making funding available to eligible recipients through a ‘two-stream’ approach, including:

  • a national public information and education campaign dedicated to contributing to the reduction of railway grade crossing collisions and trespassing incidents on railway property; and
  • targeted regional or municipal education and awareness initiatives to address high-risk areas. This component is also used to support research, studies and analyses that contribute to a better understanding of behaviour, attitudes and impact of rail safety issues including post-accident community trauma assessment.

This year, Transport Canada is funding two projects under the Public Education and Awareness component of the Rail Safety Improvement Program.

One will provide $400,000 in funding to the Canadian Owner-Operators’ Cooperative over two years to implement an outreach project aimed at reducing the number of deaths from accidents between commercial vehicles and trains. By targeting professional truck and bus drivers, the program aims to remind this community of the potential dangers at railway crossing grades and how to avoid them.

The second project will provide $200,000 in funding to VIA Rail Canada Inc. towards a one-year awareness project aimed at suicide prevention on the VIA Rail railways network, with a focus on high-risk and high-incidence areas identified using historical collision data from the last 10 years.

2. Infrastructure, Technology and Research

The Infrastructure, Technology and Research component has an enhanced focus on addressing the needs of communities by making more safety improvements eligible and increasing federal investment. This component focuses on supporting a wide range of eligible safety improvements, including improved lighting, upgraded rail crossing signals, pedestrian overpasses, and research into new safety technologies. Under the program, grant funding continues to be available to encourage the closure of high-risk crossings in addition to funding small-scale improvements.

This year, Transport Canada is funding 103 projects under the Infrastructure, Technology and Research component across Canada with the following provincial breakdown:

Province

Number of Approved Projects

Alberta

18

British Columbia

17

Manitoba

7

Nova Scotia

2

Ontario

36

Quebec

10

Saskatchewan

12

multiple-locations

1

Total

103

For 2018-19, approved projects total over $20 million in funding.

SOURCE Transport Canada