Canada Proposal Target Dangerous Goods Transport

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today tabled amendments to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992 in the House of Commons. The amendments would enhance security and safety in the transport of dangerous goods.

"Our government is committed to ensuring public safety and security when dangerous goods are imported, handled or transported in Canada," said Minister Cannon. "The proposed amendments would make it possible for Transport Canada to prevent and respond to security threats while still maintaining access to markets for Canadians involved in the cross-border transportation of dangerous goods."

The proposed amendments would introduce a number of changes, including the following:

  • They would reinforce the existing Emergency Response Assistance Program, which requires emergency response assistance plans to be in place in the event of safety incidents involving dangerous goods. It would also make it possible for Transport Canada to request the implementation of such plans in the case of a terrorist or other security incident.
  • The amendments would require security training and screening of personnel working with dangerous goods.
  • The changes would enable the drafting of regulations requiring that dangerous goods be tracked during transport and that incidents involving loss or theft be reported. The amendments would enable the use of security measures and interim orders, in accordance with the Public Safety Act and other legislation.
  • The proposed amendments would enable the development of a program to require a transportation security clearance for dangerous goods, including an appeals process that would operate like the existing Aeronautics Act clearance program.
  • The proposed changes would also amend the concept of "importer" to clarify who in Canada is subject to the requirements of the Act and its regulations with respect to the importing of dangerous goods.

The updated Act would remain focused on the prevention of incidents when dangerous goods are offered, handled, transported or imported. Following the coming into force of the amended legislation, Transport Canada would continue to consult the public, industry, first responders, and provincial and territorial governments as the department drafts the security regulations necessary to support its new authorities.

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