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Minister Raitt announces new monetary penalties to strengthen railway safety enforcement

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SOURCE Transport Canada

Introducing stronger enforcement tools to improve the safety of Canadians

OTTAWA, May 16, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, is proposing regulations that will provide Transport Canada with new enforcement tools for railway companies that violate the Railway Safety Act.

The proposed Railway Safety Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations, which introduce fines of up to $250,000, will further enhance Transport Canada's ability to quickly enforce safety requirements. These types of administrative penalties-already used in the marine and aviation sectors-provide a faster alternative to prosecution.

The proposed regulations will be published in Canada Gazette, Part I, on May 17, 2014. Stakeholders and the public have 30 days to provide comments, which will be considered before the regulations are finalized and published in Canada Gazette, Part II.

Quick Facts

  • If an inspection reveals that a company is not following the rules, Transport Canada does not hesitate to take appropriate action, which is based on the severity of the safety issue and can involve one or more of several compliance and enforcement tools.
  • The Minister of Transport will be able to fine railway companies for violating the Railway Safety Act and its associated rules and regulations.
  • Proposed penalties are based on the severity of the violation. The maximum amount will be $50,000 for an individual and $250,000 for a corporation.

Quote

The proposed regulations introduce penalties as an additional enforcement tool to improve railway safety.  These monetary penalties will help crack down on rule-breakers and improve the safety of the Canadian railway system."
The Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport

Related Product

Other Regulatory Initiatives

 

Backgrounder

Proposed Railway Safety Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations
Strengthening the enforcement of the Railway Safety Act

Transport Canada has a robust railway regulatory regime and continuously looks for ways to make the railway system safer. In 2013, changes to the Railway Safety Act provided Transport Canada with new regulation making powers.

The proposed Railway Safety Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations-part of a series of new Government of Canada railway safety regulations and amendments-introduce penalties as an additional enforcement tool to improve railway safety.

Administrative monetary penalties

Once the proposed Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations come into effect, Transport Canada will be able to fine railway companies for violations to the Railway Safety Act. The amount of a penalty is based on the severity of the act and its consequences.

The proposed penalties are as follows:

 

Violation

Individual

(Maximum amount payable)

Corporation

(Maximum amount payable)

Example of violation

Low-level risk

$5,000

$25,000

Failing to submit required safety management system information to the Minister

Medium-level risk

$25,000

$125,000

Failing to provide proper notice prior before conducting certain types of railway work

High-level risk

$50,000

$250,000

Failing to have railway work approved by a professional engineer

 

Railway safety oversight

Under the Railway Safety Act, railway companies are responsible for the safety of their infrastructure, equipment and operations. Transport Canada's oversight role includes monitoring railway companies for compliance with rules, regulations and standards through audits and inspections and taking appropriate action as required.

The department considers several factors when deciding on the appropriate enforcement or corrective action, such as the harm to life, health, property and the environment.

Examples of existing enforcement and compliance tools under the Railway Safety Act include:

  • Notices
  • Notices and Orders
  • Ministerial Orders
  • Emergency Directives
  • Prosecutions under Section 41 of the Railway Safety Act
  • Orders of the Court

May 2014

 

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