April 23, 2014

OTTAWA - Municipalities welcomed new rail safety measures announced today by the federal government which respond directly to calls for action on issues raised by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).

FCM's National Municipal Rail Safety Working Group met today to discuss rail safety issues, progress to date, and meet with Transport Minister Lisa Raitt about the federal government's response to FCM's concerns and recommendations made by the Transportation Safety Board (TSB).

"The new safety measures announced today respond directly to our call for concrete action and are another major step forward in improving the safety of Canada's railways and the communities around them," said FCM President Claude Dauphin. "Rail safety and the safe transportation of dangerous goods through our communities remain a priority for municipalities and this must be an ongoing conversation with the federal government."

Transport Canada has been working with the FCM and its working group on rail safety issues, including recommendations made by the TSB related to the tragic events last summer in Lac Mégantic, Quebec.

"Many of the issues identified by the TSB were ones that municipalities also identified as immediate priorities for urgent and concrete federal action," added Dauphin. "We are pleased that Minister Raitt has acted on these recommendations and we look forward to continue working together to keep Canadians safe."

FCM has been leading the call for railway companies and Transport Canada to conduct a comprehensive review of all possible safety risks to our cities and communities posed by the transportation of dangerous goods by rail. 

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