Minister Raitt acts on recommendations in Auditor General’s report on rail safety oversight

Published on : Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Transport-Canada-LogoThe Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, today agreed with the recommendations outlined in the Auditor General of Canada’s fall 2013 report and issued the following statement:

“The Auditor General’s report, which examined Transport Canada’s oversight of the Safety Management Systems (SMS) of federal railways for the 2011-2012 period, provides a valuable review of our Safety Management Systems oversight program.

“My department has developed an accelerated plan to respond to all the recommendations and has already begun working to implement most of them.

“In response to the Auditor General’s findings and recommendations, the department is
improving processes, procedures and tools inspectors use to assess risk;
reviewing inspection tools and continuing to improve them as necessary;
ensuring timely and mandatory training for inspectors and managers;
determining whether the current workforce has the required skills and competencies; and
adopting a quality assurance plan that supports consistent oversight and inspection methodology.

“In addition, Transport Canada is accelerating the development and implementation of regulations stemming from the recent amendments to the Railway Safety Act.

“Last week, I announced a protective direction directing rail companies to share information with municipalities to further enhance safety in the transportation of dangerous goods and to facilitate an ongoing dialogue between railways and municipalities.

“Furthermore, the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities recently agreed to study the transportation of dangerous goods to ensure they are moved safely, including a review of the implementation of Safety Management Systems across air, marine and rail sectors. The Committee will also consult with industry and government stakeholders to get their perspectives and advice on what more should be done to further strengthen Canada’s transportation system.

“Transport Canada’s oversight role includes monitoring railway companies for compliance with the Railway Safety Act, its rules and regulations through audits and inspections.

“Transport Canada does not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action, as required.

“Railway companies are responsible for the safety of their rail line infrastructure, railway equipment and operations.

“This includes ongoing inspection, testing and maintenance programs in accordance with regulatory requirements, as well as any particular operating and environmental conditions.

“While Canada has one of the safest railway systems in the world – from 2007 to 2012, train accidents in Canada have gone down by 10 per cent and train derailments are down by 41 per cent, from the five-year average – the department always looks for ways to make the railway system safer for all Canadians.”

Source:- Transport Canada

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