We would like to advise that the Minister of Transport, introduced Bill C-33, the Marine and Rail Transportation Modernization Act, in the House of Commons on November 17, 2022.
The Marine and Rail Transportation Modernization Act is the culmination of efforts undertaken over numerous years related to the Railway Safety Act Review, the Ports Modernization Review, and Transport Canada’s work in responding to audits and recommendations regarding the safe transportation of dangerous goods.
The legislation being put forward proposes a number of reforms to the Railway Safety Act, the Canada Marine Act, Canada Transportation Act, Marine Transportation Security Act, the Customs Act and the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992.
Amendments to the Railway Safety Act will seek to strengthen rail safety and security in Canada through an updated framework, in order to respond to the evolving demands of a complex transportation system and address risks to community safety. The proposed amendments will provide modern and flexible tools that will allow rail companies to remain competitive, efficient, and sustainable.
Amendments to the Canada Marine Act, Canada Transportation Act, Marine Transportation Security Act and the Customs Act would seek to advance the role of Canada Port Authorities as strategic enablers of supply chain resiliency and efficiency, and will seek to:
- Adjust port governance and financial management to provide ports with the tools to unlock greater performance, efficiency, and productivity in order to be effective instruments of public policy.
- Enable ports to reinforce their continued competitiveness and are positioned as strategic enablers of trade and traffic, given their central role as intermodal hubs that support supply chain performance and economic growth.
- Strengthen relationships with Indigenous Peoples and local communities through structured engagement to foster alignment of port development and operations, and advance reconciliation.
- Affirm that ports would assume a leadership role in advancing the greening of the marine sector, by promoting environmentally sustainable infrastructure and taking action on climate change.
- Further support marine security to protect the transportation system from threats and risks, while allowing goods to move efficiently through the supply chain.
Amendments to the Canada Transportation Act and the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992, will ensure the safe and secure multimodal movement of dangerous goods throughout Canada. These efforts will also address the shortcomings identified in the audits of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Program to clarify authorities, enhance the enforcement regime, and better inform Transport Canada’s policy making.
These measures will ensure these modes are better positioned to improve the competitiveness of Canada’s transportation system, and ensure that operations are safe, secure, efficient and reliable.