Transport Canada’s 2020 Emergency Response Guidebook improves initial emergency response

News release

September 15, 2020    Ottawa    Transport Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to the safety of first responders and the communities they serve. Transport Canada has taken concrete action to support first responders and enhance response capabilities and the Emergency Response Guidebook (Guidebook) is a significant tool to assist first responders in quickly identifying the hazards of the materials when an accident involving dangerous goods occurs, and also to determine the best approach to address the situation.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau released the 2020 edition of the Guidebook which is a joint publication by Transport Canada, the United States Department of Transportation, the Secretariat of Transport and Communications of Mexico and the CIQUIME (Centro de Informaciòn Quìmica para Emergencias) of Argentina. It is updated every four years.

The 2020 edition includes updates such as:

  • information on how to use the safety recommendations and emergency response guides;
  • a comprehensive review of the guides for products and additional cautionary advice
  • an expansion of the glossary of new terms and definitions;
  • new sections on decontamination and heat induced tears on tank cars, and
  • new visual identifiers for quicker access to information.

In addition to the guidebook, Transport Canada supports emergency response and first responders through the Canadian Transport Emergency Centre, more commonly known as CANUTEC. It is one of the major safety programs Transport Canada delivers to promote the safe movement of people and goods throughout Canada, by providing a 24/7 service that assists first responders in handling dangerous goods emergencies.

The Guidebook is available for free to certain groups such as municipal first responders, Transportation of Dangerous Goods inspectors, remedial measures specialists, and provincial inspectors. Requests can be made through Transport Canada’s web site.


“Safety during an incident involving dangerous goods is our utmost priority. That is why we are continuously working to improve safety for Canadians and first responders who play a critical role in an emergency. This revised guidebook is another step to ensure that first responders are well equipped to protect Canadians during the initial response phase.”

The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport

Quick facts

  • The Emergency Response Guidebook is available as paper copies and in various electronic formats on the CANUTEC’s website ( A mobile application is also available for IOS and Androids.

  • The Emergency Response Guidebook is used in several countries around the world and has been translated in other languages such as Hungarian, Dutch, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Russian, Italian, Polish, Korean, Chinese, Turkish, Portuguese, and Thai.

  • In the event of an emergency involving dangerous goods, first responders are encouraged to always call CANUTEC at 1-888-CAN-UTEC (226-8832), 613-996-6666 or *666 on a cellular phone.

Associated links


Livia Belcea
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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