Canada proposes security rules for Rail Safety

Canada is proposing more stringent security regulations for rail transport of dangerous goods to better protect the public, railway workers and to align with U.S. rules. The draft regulations would require railways to provide security awareness training for all workers, implement security plans to address potential risks, and provide security plan training for employees, the government said. They are projected to cost rail carriers about C$3.4 million ($2.6 million) and consignors about C$6.19 million ($4.8 million) over a 10-year period after final regulations are adopted and implemented.

The proposed regulations also address security risks from deliberate misuse or sabotage, Transport Canada said in a regulatory impact analysis accompanying the draft rules in the Canada Gazette, Part I. “Though there have been no successful attacks in Canada, terrorist groups have committed numerous deadly attacks using dangerous goods in other parts of the world, which have highlighted the vulnerability of the system,” the department said.

Security is the focus of the proposed regulations, but the safety of transportation workers is of “utmost importance” and the regulations would make a positive contribution, Transport Canada spokeswoman Natasha Gauthier said. The Railway Association of Canada is reviewing the draft regulations and doesn’t yet have detailed comment, Alex Paterson, a spokesman for the railway industry group, said. “Nothing is more important to Canada’s railways than safety. This includes the safety of our employees and the communities through which we operate,” Paterson said.