Minister Garneau marks Rail Safety Week with new funding for railway crossing improvements

News Release

Improving safety for Canadians at rail crossings across the country

April 27, 2016 – Toronto, Ontario – Transport Canada

The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, today marked Rail Safety Week by announcing new funding for railway crossing improvements. This year, Transport Canada will provide more than $10.9 million to upgrade over 400 railway crossings across the country through its Grade Crossing Improvement Program (GCIP). Under the GCIP, eligible railway crossings are upgraded based on factors such as traffic volume and accident history.

Transport Canada also provides funding through its Grade Crossing Closure Program (GCCP) to encourage the closure of certain grade crossings that are under federal jurisdiction. This year, under the GCCP, Transport Canada is providing $125,000 in funding to close seven crossings, in addition to $50,000 approved last year to close seven crossings.

Later today, Minister Garneau will address the Economic Club of Canada, where he will discuss the future of Canada’s transportation system. He will also discuss how Budget 2016 investments, including funding of $143 million over three years to enhance rail safety and the transportation of dangerous goods, will help protect communities and build a safer, more efficient and sustainable transportation system.

Following his Economic Club speech, Minister Garneau will also participate in a Town Hall meeting on rail safety. The Town Hall is being hosted by the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade and Member of Parliament for University–Rosedale and the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs and Member of Parliament for Toronto–St. Paul’s, and will bring together rail and community stakeholders.

Quote

“A safe and secure national rail transportation system is important to local communities and to Canada’s economic well-being. Budget 2016 provides $143 million over the next three years to address railway safety. Through the Grade Crossing Improvement Program, the Government of Canada is helping to enhance safety for pedestrians and motorists at over 400 railway crossings across the country.”
The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport

Quick Facts

  • Rail Safety Week, taking place this year from April 25 to May 1, is a national celebration aimed at increasing awareness of safety around railway operations and highlighting government’s and industry’s commitment to making the rail system safer for Canadians.
  • Since 1980, the number of crossing collisions in Canada has fallen dramatically from over 800 per year to 164 in 2015. However, there still remains unnecessary loss of life and injury with 47 fatalities and 36 serious injuries occurring in 2015 as a result of crossing collisions and trespassing on rail property.
  • The Government of Canada also supports other initiatives to improve safety at railway crossings, such as Operation Lifesaver – a national public education program whose goal is to reduce the needless loss of life, injuries and damages caused by highway/railway crossing collisions and train/pedestrian incidents. Transport Canada provides Operation Lifesaver with $300,000 per year to support their safety outreach and education campaigns.

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Contacts

Delphine Denis
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
613-991-0700

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
613-993-0055
media@tc.gc.ca

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