Vol. 148, No. 24 — November 19, 2014
SI/2014-101 November 19, 2014
SAFER RAILWAYS ACT
Order Fixing January 1, 2015 as the Day on which Certain Provisions of the Act Come into Force
P.C. 2014-1243 November 6, 2014
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Transport, pursuant to subsection 45(1) of the Safer Railways Act (“the Act”), chapter 7 of the Statutes of Canada, 2012, fixes January 1, 2015 as the day on which section 10, subsection 11(2) and section 12 of the Act, paragraph 41(2)(g) of the Railway Safety Act, as enacted by subsection 32(2) of the Act, paragraph 46(g) of the Railway Safety Act, as enacted by section 35 of the Act, and sections 43 and 44 of the Act come into force.
(This note is not part of the Order.)
The Order fixes January 1, 2015 as the day on which sections 10, 12, 43 and 44 and subsection 11(2) of An Act to amend the Railway Safety Act and to make consequential amendments to the Canada Transportation Act (the Act) and paragraphs 41(2)(g) and 46(g) of the Railway Safety Act [as enacted by subsection 32(2) and section 35 of the Act] come into force.
This Order will bring into force amendments to the Railway Safety Act (RSA) implementing aspects of the new railway operating certificate requirement to improve rail safety in Canada.
The Act received Royal Assent on May 17, 2012. The bulk of the amendments to the RSA came into effect on May 1, 2013. The coming into force of the sections implementing aspects of the new railway operating certificate requirement was delayed until related regulations were developed. These sections of the Act will come into force on January 1, 2015, and on the same day that the Railway Operating Certificate Regulations come into effect.
The sections being brought into force by this Order will make several changes to Canada’s federal rail safety regime, including
- requiring railway companies and local railway companies that fall under the authority of the Railway Safety Act to hold a railway operating certificate before they begin operations;
- requiring the Minister of Transport to issue railway operating certificates to companies that meet the conditions of issuance, and providing the Minister the authority to vary, suspend or cancel the certificates;
- expanding regulation-making authorities by enabling the Governor in Council to establish baseline safety requirements by regulation as conditions of issuance for a railway operating certificate;
- providing existing railway companies a period of two years from the coming into force of these amendments to meet the requirements for their railway operating certificates; and
- providing applicants with the right to appeal by requesting a review by the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada (TATC) in cases where a railway operating certificate is refused, suspended or cancelled.
These changes respond to recommendations in the independent RSA review panel report titled Stronger Ties: A Shared Commitment to Railway Safety, report of the Advisory Council, which was released in 2008.
The amendments will enable the Minister of Transport to issue railway operating certificates if the Minister is satisfied that the conditions of issuance have been met. Furthermore, the amendments will provide the Minister of Transport with the authority to cancel or suspend a railway operating certificate in cases of non-compliance with the Railway Safety Act and its rules, regulations, standards, orders or emergency directives. By bringing into force these amendments, the Government will further increase railway safety in Canada by enhancing railway companies’ accountability for safety and by strengthening Transport Canada’s oversight capacity.
The implementation of the Act is the result of wide consultations with relevant parties. Through the processes surrounding the RSA panel review, the 2008 study on rail safety by the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities (SCOTIC) and through fora such as the Advisory Council on Railway Safety, railway companies, industry associations, employees, unions, other affected federal departments, provincial, territorial and municipal governments, and other key stakeholders were consulted regarding the proposed legislative amendments. In addition, SCOTIC conducted two weeks of hearings concerning the Act and heard and received submissions from a number of witnesses and stakeholders, including industry and union representatives.
427 Laurier Avenue West