New measures enhance transparency on rail safety and dangerous goods

News Release

New Protective Direction delivers on commitment to share more data with communities and first responders

April 28, 2016 – Ottawa, Ontario – Transport Canada

The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, today announced new measures to strengthen rail safety and the transportation of dangerous goods during a meeting with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Effective April 28, 2016, railways will be required to provide municipalities and first responders with even more data on dangerous goods to improve emergency planning, risk assessments, and training. The requirement, contained in Protective Direction 36, also provides that municipalities are given information that can be shared directly with the Canadian public.

As part of Rail Safety Week, the Minister also announced the release of the 2016 Emergency Responders Guidebook and a set of competency guidelines for first responders. These tools provide first responders with important safety information when they arrive at the scene of an incident, as well as training guidelines when they need to quickly respond to transportation incidents involving dangerous goods.

Starting today, Minister Garneau is also providing municipalities with additional information about the railway crossings in their communities through Canada’s new Open Government Portal.


“Openness and transparency are the hallmarks of the Government of Canada. The initiatives I’ve announced today further underline our commitment to working with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and all of our stakeholders to make Canada’s rail system safer for Canadians.”
The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport

“We welcome today’s announcement on the enhancements made to information sharing between railways and communities. This is an important step forward in supporting local emergency planning and responds directly to concerns raised by FCM. We will continue to work with the Minister and Transport Canada to ensure that the concerns of municipalities and our residents are taken into account in the development of new rail safety measures.”
Raymond Louie
President, Federation of Canadian Municipalities

Quick Facts

  • Protective Direction 36 replaces Protective Direction 32, which came into effect on November 20, 2013.
  • The 2016 Emergency Response Guidebook was developed for North America’s first responders by Transport Canada, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Secretariat of Transport and Communications of Mexico, with the collaboration of the Centro de Informaciòn Quìmica para Emergencias of Argentina.
  • Rail Safety Week, taking place from April 25th to May 1st, is a national celebration aimed at increasing awareness of safety around railway operations and highlighting the government and industry’s commitment to making the rail system safer for Canadians.

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Associated Links


Delphine Denis
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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