THE government of Canada has announced $C 100m ($US 79.35m) in funding over five years to further improve the safety and security of Canada’s rail network, especially in light of the impacts of climate change and severe weather on railway operations.

The minister of transport, Mr Omar Alghabra, says the funding will enable Transport Canada to:

  • invest in railway oversight to better address new and evolving risks to the safety and security of railway operation, which includes updating legislation, developing new approaches to improve railway safety data collection and analysis, evaluating new technologies for rail inspection and safety oversight, and supporting the safer transport of dangerous goods
  • meaningfully engage with Indigenous communities to allow for the inclusion of Indigenous voices to ensure our rail system operates as safely and securely as possible across Canada
  • undertake research and analysis to better identify risks and strategies to mitigate the impacts of climate change and severe weather on the integrity and safety of critical railway infrastructure; and
  • provide additional funding to the ongoing success of the Rail Safety Improvement Program.

“Today’s announcement will strengthen the safety and security of our rail system, protecting communities who use, live near, and work on our railways,” Alghabra says. “These investments are important to ensure that Canada’s rail system continues getting people and goods to their destinations safely and securely, for now and the future.”

The 41,711km Canadian network is one of the largest in the world. Transport Canada conducts more than 35,000 inspections every year as part of its oversight activities to ensure that rail companies and road authorities comply with the Railway Safety Act.