Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Library of Parliament Legislative Summary of Safer Railways Act

The Library of Parliament has published a legislative summary of Bill S-4: Safer Railways Act:
"Bill S-4 is virtually identical to Bill C-33, which was introduced in the House of Commons during the 3rd Session of the 40th Parliament. Bill C-33 was studied by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and was reported back to the House of Commons with amendments on 11 March 2011. It died on the Order Paper when the general election was called on 26 March 2011."

"The text of Bill S-4 incorporates the amendments adopted by the Standing Committee and otherwise differs from Bill C-33 only in the addition of one new paragraph and in some minor wording changes included for clarification."

"The Railway Safety Act was implemented in 1989. It sets out a regulatory framework to address, for railways under federal jurisdiction, matters of safety, security and environmental impact. Transport Canada notes ... that the Canadian rail industry has changed significantly since the Act was amended in 1999: operations have become increasingly complex, and traffic is growing rapidly."

"The department points out that, in February 2007, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities launched a full review of the operation and efficiency of the Railway Safety Act through an independent advisory panel. According to the department, the findings indicated that although the Railway Safety Act is fundamentally sound and efforts have been made to improve rail safety, more needs to be done. The advisory panel’s final report, Stronger Ties: A Shared Commitment to Railway Safety, published in November 2007, included 56 recommendations for the improvement of rail safety, some of which require legislative changes to the Railway Safety Act."

"A study of rail safety was also carried out by the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, which issued its own report in May 2008. It included 14 additional recommendations, many building on the recommendations from the Railway Safety Act review."

"In a backgrounder on Bill S-4, the department notes: 'The Government of Canada agrees with the findings of both reports, and is implementing the recommendations and amending the Railway Safety Act to further improve rail safety in Canada'. "
It is possible to follow the progress of the bill in Parliament via the LEGISinfo website.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:56 pm


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this information. I responded to the Senate Committee to express my deepest concerns over the removal of the objective "To recognize the responsibility of railway companies in ensuring the safety of their operations," from the legislation.

Jack Locke

5:48 pm  

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