Government of Canada announces investment to make railways safer while reducing the impacts of climate change
July 4, 2023 Port-Daniel-Gascons, Québec Transport Canada
The Government of Canada is committed to keeping Canadians safe and building a green economy while creating good middle-class jobs. This is why we are improving rail safety, particularly in the face of climate change.
Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, and the Minister of National Revenue and Member of Parliament for Gaspésie—Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, announced a multi-year investment of more than $10 million for a rail infrastructure project in Port-Daniel-Gascons, Québec.
The project will involve:
- installing a large retaining wall to protect the cliffs along the coastline against further erosion and possibly collapsing;
- With an expected lifespan of 75 years, the wall will be designed to withstand the forces of waves and tides expected in the future, based on climate change predictions up to the year 2050.
- repairing the train tracks;
- installing a water drainage system beneath the tracks (on the side of the retaining wall);
- building a ditch between the adjacent road and the tracks.
The nearby roads and a portion of the Gaspésie Railway are vulnerable to waves, storms, and flooding during severe weather events. With climate change, water levels will rise and ice cover in winter will decrease, making the impact on coastal areas and infrastructure even more significant. This project will therefore increase rail safety in the area.
Including this project, a total of 39 projects across Canada have been approved under the new Climate Change and Adaptation to Extreme Weather Infrastructure component of the Rail Safety Improvement Program (RSIP), for a total investment of over $29 million over the next three years.
“Through strategic partnerships and investments, we will continue to adapt rail infrastructure to the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events, ensuring the safe movement of goods and people while safeguarding our communities. Together, we will build a stronger, safer and more resilient rail transportation system, setting the stage for a brighter future for all Canadians."
The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport
"As we all know, with repeated and increasingly severe sea storms and the resulting accelerated erosion of shorelines, the Gaspé Peninsula and the Magdalen Islands have a front-row seat to climate change. With today's announcement, our government is taking concrete steps to adapt our rail infrastructure, strengthen our supply chains and thus continue to build a strong economy that benefits our beautiful region."
The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier
Minister of National Revenue and Member of Parliament for Gaspésie—Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine
Funding through the Rail Safety Improvement Program enables recipients to improve rail infrastructure, explore innovative solutions, and educate Canadians on railway safety.
The Rail Safety Improvement Program funds projects and initiatives that contribute to increasing safety at grade crossings and along rail lines and increase public confidence in Canada's rail system.
Since the inception of the Rail Safety Improvement Program in 2016, approximately 800 projects have been funded across Canada for a total investment of over $160 million.
The Rail Safety Improvement Program provides funding to provinces, territories, municipalities and local governments, road and transit authorities, crown corporations, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, academia, Indigenous groups, communities and organizations, and individuals/private landowners to help improve rail safety and reduce injuries and fatalities related to rail transportation.
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
Transport Canada, Ottawa
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