Canada's Minister of Transportation, Lisa Raitt, introduced the Safe and Accountable Rail Act this week. This legislation will not only improve railway safety but will also make the rail industry and crude oil shippers more accountable for their actions in Canada. The Safe and Accountable Rail Act is going to make changes to the current Canada Transportation Act and Railway Safety Act.
Some of the proposed changes include requiring federal railway companies to obtain and maintain the minimum levels of insurance. The minimum level will be determined by the type and amount of dangerous goods they are shipping. Companies that are shipping crude oil are going to be required to pay a levy per ton of crude that is being shipped in order to build a supplementary fund that would be used to pay for damages in the event of an accident. The Minister will be given the authority to issue a Ministerial Order that would require companies to take corrective measures should it be determined that the implementation of the Railway Safety Management System (SMS) in a way that could potentially compromise railway safety.
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