Rail Safety Policy Regarding Publication of Non-Corporate (Individuals) Offences and S.31 Notices and Orders Pursuant to the Railway Safety Act

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Table of Contents

  1. Background
  2. Objective
  3. Scope
  4. Non-Corporate (Individuals) Offences
  5. Notices and Orders
  6. Responsibilities
  7. Inquiries


1. Background

In August 2006, as part of its Federal Accountability Action Plan commitments, the Treasury Board of Canada amended the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada.  Under this policy, the Government is required to provide the public with open access to information about policies, programs, services and initiatives.

In March 2008, the Railway Safety Act Review Advisory Panel published its report, Stronger Ties:  A Shared Commitment to Railway Safety, which made 56 recommendations to improve rail safety in Canada.  One of these recommendations stated that the Government should publish information on railway safety enforcement actions, as is done in other transportation modes.

Transport Canada Rail Safety has therefore developed a policy regarding the publication of non-corporate (individuals) offences, which will support and reinforce Rail Safety’s enforcement and monitoring activities, including its inspection and audit work.  The policy will encourage accountability and will increase public confidence that the department is taking enforcement action, as appropriate, as well as other safety action to protect public safety.

2. Objective

The objective of this policy is to inform the public of enforcement actions taken by Transport Canada Rail Safety in response to contraventions of provisions of the Railway Safety Act (RSA) by non-corporate bodies, as well as other safety actions taken to mitigate immediate threats to safety.

3. Scope

Transport Canada Rail Safety will publish the names of non-corporate (individuals) offences on its Internet site, along with a summary of the contravention of the RSA and the resulting enforcement actions.

The policy will also include the identification of safety action taken in response to immediate threats to safety.  Relevant extracts of Notices and Orders issued under section 31 of the RSA will be posted, once the 30-day filing period for review by the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada is complete.

The policy will not result in the release of information outside the scope of the Privacy Act.

The information will be updated regularly.

4. Non-Corporate (Individuals) Offences

Non-corporate (individuals) offences will be published in accordance with the following criteria:

  • Upon a court decision, and only after all appeal rights have been exhausted and the information is in the public domain:
    • Transport Canada Rail Safety will acknowledge that the department successfully took enforcement action(s) against the individual, but cannot under the Privacy Act provide the specifics of the enforcement action(s).  However, the department will provide information that is in the public domain by indicating that the RSA allows for a fine or fines as outlined within section 41.
  • When a fine is paid and the name of the individual is not in the public domain:
    • Under the Privacy Act, Transport Canada would not confirm the name of the individual or information that would enable the media to identify an individual.  Rail Safety would provide only general information relating to the actions taken by the department.  This would include, as appropriate, general information on the type of contravention(s), the number of counts, and the enforcement action taken by the department.

5. Notices and Orders

Extracts of Notices and Orders issued since January 2009 under section 31 of the Railway Safety Act, including the immediate threat and the order, will be posted on Rail Safety’s Internet site.

Notices of revocation of the Notices of Orders will also be posted, as they are issued.

6. Responsibilities

The Regulatory Affairs is responsible for this policy and all related information.

The department’s Communications and Marketing Group is responsible for any media releases.

7. Inquiries

Inquiries regarding this policy may be addressed to Regulatory Affairs, Rail Safety Directorate.

Contacts:

Susan Archer
Director, Regulatory Affairs
Susan.Archer@tc.gc.ca
Telephone: 613-990-8690
Suzanne Madaire-Poisson
A/Chief, Regulations, Rules and Standards
suzanne.madaire-poisson@tc.gc.ca
Telephone: 613-949-3817

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