Dangerous Goods

Monday, March 22, 2004


Introductory Remarks By Chairperson

Mr. Jim Karygiannis, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport and MP for Scarborough-Agincourt, opened the first consultation session by welcoming participants to the meeting.

He stressed that this meeting marks the beginning of the consultation process and that there would be meetings in all regions of Canada in order to provide everyone with the opportunity to present their comments and issues on the Review of the TDG Act.

Presentation Of the TDG Act and the Review Process

Mr. Raymond Auclair, Director of Research Evaluation and Systems, Transport Dangerous Goods, opened the presentation period with an explanation of the TDG Act and the purpose and procedures of the review.

Here is a copy of the slide presentation on the Review and the Act used by Mr. Auclair.

Presentations by Participant

During the meeting, there was one presentation by Mr. Louis Laferrière, Senior Manager of Logistics, Technical Affairs, Canadian Chemical Producers' Association (CCPA).  He was talking on behalf of the Multi-Association Committee on the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (MACTDG).

Here is a copy of the presentation by the MACTDG.

Following the meeting, we received a presentation by the Chairman of Government Relations for the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, Chief Donald F. Warden.  This presentation raises a new issue, that of security efforts that may result in the removal of placards from vehicles transporting dangerous goods.  This will become issue A-7;  it may be expanded to include the impact of the use of new technology in TDG security issues, in light of recent legislative proposals in the USA.

Here is a copy of the comments from the Fire Chiefs.

Items Discussed

Following the presentations, there was time reserved for questions and answers.  We had questions about the TDG Act, the TDG Regulations, the program and the review process itself.  We have tried to capture the topics in this list:

1) Provisions for Appeal Mechanisms.  The TDG Act provides appeal mechanisms for most authorities that allow for refusal, revocation, interdictions and so on.

2) E-4: Alternative Instruments (IMDG, ICAO, and 49 CFR).  These documents can be referred to, in the regulations, “as amended from time to time.”  How about adding other alternative documents?  None have been identified so far;  the concept was relatively new in 1992.  We are open to suggestions.  Presently, the TDG Act does not allow to use “as amended from time to time” for any other document than the three listed;  furthermore, if what we impose from one (e.g., IMDG Code), is not an alternative, then we must put, in the Regulations, the actual words we want.

3) Expected duration of the review?  The public consultation will last until Fall 2004 (likely October).  Decision-making in late Fall or early Winter.  If modifications to the Act are necessary, a Memorandum to Cabinet may be ready in April 2005.  Under normal conditions, we don't expect a modified TDG Act before Fall 2005.  Things could be speeded up if an urgent issue is identified in the meantime.  Mr. Karygiannis reminded us that before Fall 2005, there will be a general election.

4) Communication on Security issues – In his presentation, Mr. Auclair had said that some of the discussions on security issues may be less public than discussions on more general safety issues.  Some concerns were raised by participants.  The concepts would be open for public discussion.  For example, we could discuss the need for levels of protection on vehicles.  What may be more discreet is the discussion about the means;  we would not want to broadcast the specific systems used on each vehicle, as such announcements would defeat the purpose of the measures.

4a) The fire departments (and other emergency responders) may still need access to that information in case of emergency?  Yes.  In the same way as CANUTEC currently provides privileged information to emergency responders.

5) We then talked a little about Privileged Information.  What is meant by the concept?  The answer was taken from the detailed consultation document (issue C-6)

6) F-5: Misleading Safety Marks.  A participant gave a real-life example that confirms the validity of F-5 as a concern for the transportation industry.  For the moment, we still feel that it remains a question of enforcement and of regulatory interpretation.  That status may change if we get more comments and suggestions on this issue.

7) Training and Trainer Certifications/Standards.  A participant pointed to the fact that there are no national standards for training in TDG matters.  The legislator wanted to establish the obligation for employers to train their employees and for employers to determine the standard to which they train.  This approach is compatible with Sections 38, 39 and 40, which makes the employers liable for the actions of their employees.

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