Today, Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, issued this statement about the Office of the Auditor General’s 2021 audit of Transport Canada’s rail safety oversight:
“I welcome the Auditor General’s follow-up audit of Transport Canada’s oversight of rail safety, which focused on select elements of its 2013 audit.
“Transport Canada has taken action to implement all of the recommendations from the 2013 audit to strengthen oversight and improve compliance and enforcement activity.
“The department has also made considerable overall improvements to further enhance rail safety in Canada.
“We have hired more inspectors and increased the number of annual inspections.
“In the last year alone, we have implemented regulations requiring video and voice recorders to be installed in locomotives, approved new rules to improve fatigue management, and ordered the industry to improve employee safety in yard operations.
“We have also instructed industry to improve their track maintenance and inspection procedures, and implemented speed restrictions on trains carrying large quantities of dangerous goods.
“Transport Canada acknowledges the findings of the report and is committed to the continuous improvement of its rail safety program. The department will launch consultations on strengthening safety management systems and look to better measure the effectiveness of its oversight program to identify further areas for improvement.
“As Minister of Transport, the safety and security of passengers and of the rail transportation system remains one of my top priorities.My department is already working to address all of the Auditor General’s recommendations to further improve the effectiveness of our safety oversight and is continuously looking for ways to make our railway system safer for Canadians.”