Emergency Response Task Force Terms of Reference


There has been a rise, in recent years, of crude oil shipments being transported in Canada. This growing number of shipments is expected to continue increasing. As a result, Transport Canada (TC) began assessing the need to adjust the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) program to align with industry trends. The July 2013 incident at Lac-Mégantic confirmed the need to put in place initiatives intended to adjust the TDG program.

The Minister of Transport struck a working group of the TDG General Policy Advisory Council (TDG-GPAC), following the incident at Lac-Mégantic, to examine expanding the requirements for Emergency Response Assistance Plans (ERAPs) to crude oil and other Class 3 Flammable Liquids. In January 2014, this working group tabled their report to the Minister of Transport containing a recommendation that ERAPs be "required for all Packing Group I and Packing Group II Class 3 Flammable Liquids in accordance with [Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations] Part 7" and that TC "conduct further study on the properties of different Class 3 Flammable Liquids to determine if ERAPs should be required for these products." As well, the Working Group recommended that "an ERAP working group on flammable liquids continue to work on all aspects that are required to implement a national flammable liquids Emergency Response capacity and that TC provide funding to support the work of those non-profit associations on this ERAP working group."

Prior to the release of the Working Group's Report, the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) issued an interim recommendation on January 23, 2014, which indicated that TC "at a minimum, require ERAPs for the transportation of large volumes of liquid hydrocarbons."

With these recommendations and the need to adjust the TDG program in mind, a TDG Emergency Response Task Force has been established to conduct further research, assess, evaluate and make recommendations to advance, and make improvements to the ERAP program. On April 23, 2014, the Minister issued Protective Direction 33 (PD33) requiring ERAPs for five Class 3 flammable liquids.


The Task Force will be focused primarily on the transport of flammable liquids by rail. The Task Force's objectives are to examine:

  • the effectiveness of the current ERAP regime; and
  • the inclusion of new requirements for flammable liquids beyond those identified in Protective Direction 33;

This examination will encompass the regime's structure, functionality and potential effectiveness when addressing an incident involving flammable liquids by rail. The Task Force will also provide recommendations on:

  • authorities in activating ERAPs;
  • on strengthening the Incident Command Systems (ICS) by identifying jurisdictional issues and possible conflicting priorities; and
  • defining TC's role, as well as the role of other stakeholders, when attending an incident.


A study of all aspects that are required to implement a national Class 3 flammable liquids emergency response for transport Class 3 flammable liquids by rail will be conducted. Consideration will be given to the required elements to address the specific hazards posed by all Class 3 flammable liquids including:

  • Product identification and classification;
  • Volume of products being transported; and
  • Identify categories of flammable liquids based on hazard and risk.

The Task Force will guide development and implementation, and recommend an infrastructure to monitor the effectiveness of new ERAPs.

Elements of the ERAP Program Examination


The Task Force will examine options for improving and expanding the existing program to encompass all or some Class 3 Flammable Liquids as defined by the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992, it will make recommendations on best practices and will offer guidelines for improvement to address the TDG-GPAC working group and TSB recommendations. The examination will include the following:

  • (1) Current ERAP program – examine the current ERAP program; determine the changes that have taken place; the current state of practice including authorities for ERAP activation; the emergency response provided by TC Remedial Measures Specialists (RMS) and CANUTEC; response provided by other public and private agencies (including environmental issues); and opportunities for improvements that could be integrated into the current ERAP regime to provide a better service to Canadians. The examination may include:
    • (i) Build on requirements identified in PD 33 for the transportation of flammable liquids by rail:
      • Classification volumes and transportation corridors (rail lines) of dangerous goods being moved;
      • Identification of flammable liquid firefighting and other resources by geographic area;
      • Identification of gaps that exist and additional resources required;
      • Time from notification to arrival for ERAP responders;
      • Clarification and expansion of the authority to activate an ERAP within TC as well as carrier responsibilities at the time of an incident and the carrier's duty to notify TC and consignors;
      • Assessment/verification of capacity; and
      • Awareness and involvement of municipalities in the development of ERAP.
    • (ii) Industry's approach to ERAPs – work together with industry and provide a forum for industry in examining how a cooperative assistance approach could be implemented for managing the ERAP requirements for flammable liquids similar to existing models in other industries.
      • Potential delivery models to improve effectiveness and efficiency for industry and government (e.g. collective delivery models, individual ERAPs and contractor assessment guidelines); and
      • Other means to effectively mitigate these types of incidents based on established and proven systems or approaches (best practices).
  • (2) Expansion and improvement of the ERAP program
    • (i) Expansion of the program – using a risk-based approach, examine and asses options for the potential expansion of the ERAP program to include Class 3 – Flammable Liquids, specifically, whether to extend the requirement beyond those listed in PD 33 (i.e. UN1170 ETHANOL; UN1202 DIESEL FUEL; UN1203 GASOLINE; UN1267 PETROLEUM CRUDE OIL; UN1268 PETROLEUM DISTILLATES, N.O.S.; UN1863 FUEL, AVIATION, TURBINE ENGINE; UN1993 FLAMMABLE LIQUID. N.O.S.; UN3295 HYDROCARBONS, LIQUID, N.O.S.; or UN3475 ETHANOL AND GASOLINE MIXTURE).
    • (ii) Effectiveness and improvement of the program – identify the ERAP program's data needs and data gaps to continually monitor its effectiveness and provide the necessary information to ensure ongoing improvement of the program. Elements which may be considered include:
      • ERAP content;
      • Activation data;
      • Communities at risk; and
      • Local capacity.


The Task Force will examine current Incident Command Structure (ICS), encourage development of consensus changes amongst all stakeholders and make recommendations regarding a TC response model for TDG command structures. Recommendations would be made to clarify roles and responsibilities across jurisdictions for planning and response in emergency situations. Elements of this review would include:

  • (1) Roles, responsibilities and resources
    • (i) Clarifying roles and responsibilities – including a comparison of approved ICS models and developing a consistent definition of the roles, responsibilities and authorities of all agencies attending an incident (municipal, territorial, provincial, federal, fire, police, railway, industry [including contractors], environment, labour [Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S)], TC, etc.); and
    • (ii) Equipment and support to First Responders – working with First Responders and industry to identify the expertise and equipment required to support First Responders attending a flammable liquids incident and identify the role of shippers, importers, carriers and response organisations in the provision of equipment and expertise in the event of an incident .
  • (2) Incident management protocols – working with stakeholders and industry to develop standard incident command protocols. These could include templates, checklists and best practices for incident command, accounting for response differences in urban, rural and Aboriginal communities, and remote locations.
  • (3) Communications, improved information sharing and outreach strategy, including:
    • ERAP program awareness and identifying outreach solutions in order to better convey the roles and responsibilities of TC personnel to First Responders, municipalities and industry;
    • Timely access to the train consist by CANUTEC and First Responders;
    • First Responder training;
    • Availability of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) related to goods listed in the train consist to First Responders; and
    • RMS availability for information (including industry ERAP) and attendance at TDG rail incidents.

Stakeholder Engagement

The Task Force will meet with provincial, territorial and municipal governments; industry stakeholders (including response organisations); and other federal departments. The Task Force will also meet with Aboriginal organisations and will seek input from First Nations. The Task Force may conduct a limited number of targeted engagement sessions with individuals or organisations. Stakeholder engagement will be solicited to validate recommendations and ensure they would address stakeholder concerns raised in various fora.


The Task Force will submit their findings and recommendations, addressing all items identified in the scope, in quarterly reports as well as a final report to the Director General, TDG, by June 15, 2015.

Task Force Composition

Annex A includes a membership list. The following criteria were used to identify individuals/organisations as potential Task Force members:

  • Expert knowledge of the transportation of flammable liquids by rail;
  • Availability and willingness to serve; and
  • Ability to work with team members.

Membership will be reviewed periodically to ensure sufficient representation in accordance with areas of discussion. The Chairperson can modify the membership list and member status as required.

Roles and Responsibilities


The Chairperson will:

  • Have ultimate accountability;
  • Be responsible for management of the Task Force, including, scheduling meetings, preparing the agenda (after consultation with members), presiding over meetings and approving decision records;
  • Ensure that the views of all participating members are considered;
  • Support an open, transparent and inclusive communication through the project;
  • Render decisions taken (consensus basis);
  • Establish and chair sub-working groups, if needed;
  • Convey Task Force recommendations and advice to the Director General, TDG;
  • Work part-time, although may be required to work full-time during certain phases of the project; and
  • Provide monthly reports and updates at each Task Force meeting and will bring forward any issues requiring resolution or decision.


The Vice-chairperson will:

  • Lead working groups or sub-groups on assigned projects or items for review;
  • Represent the Task Force at stakeholder engagements or meetings as required from time to time
  • In the absence of the Chair:
    • Be responsible for management of the Task Force, including, scheduling meetings, preparing the agenda (after consultation with members), presiding over meetings and approving decision records;
    • Ensure that the views of all participating members are considered;
    • Support an open, transparent and inclusive communication throughout the project;
    • Render decisions taken (consensus basis);
  • Work part-time, although may be required to work full-time during certain phases of the project.


The Emergency Response Task Force Members will:

  • Actively participate in order to advance the objectives of the Task Force, including attending monthly meetings and working in sub-groups;
  • Offer guidance and make recommendations with respect to any problems or issues;
  • Support an open, transparent and inclusive communication throughout the project;
  • Maintain the momentum of the project;
  • Propose items to be included on forward agendas;
  • Provide their findings and recommendations in quarterly reports as well as a final report to the Director General, TDG for consideration;
  • While a commitment to more than just a monthly meeting is expected, most members should be able to participate effectively without significant impact on their usual job duties; and
  • Recommendations put forward by the Task Force are not binding on members.


The Emergency Response Task Force Observers will:

  • Attend meetings to learn about the issues or the Task Force process;
  • Participate in meeting discussions, but not in decision-making; and
  • Provide comments on proposals of interest.


Advisors are drawn from the TDG Directorate and will support the Task Force by providing subject matter expertise and advice, as required. Regional Directors General and Regional Directors can select their respective RMS to act as advisors.


The TDG Emergency Response Task Force Secretariat branch of the TDG Directorate will provide administration services, including:

  • Administrative arrangements and coordination
    • Implementing and maintaining systems required for the functioning of the Task Force;
    • Establishing and maintaining a quality control function (e.g. translation, quality assurance, plain language review) for material being prepared for submission to the Task Force to ensure it meets Government of Canada standards;
      • Quality control function does not apply to products submitted by members for presentation to the Task Force;
    • Preparing programming and document approval concerning the Task Force's resource or contractual needs;
    • Monitoring and administering the Task Force activities, including preparing policy considerations for oversight on the implementation of the Task Force's recommendations, or until such time as the Director General, TDG and the Task Force Chairs are satisfied that the intent of the assigned tasks have been met;
    • Authorizing project expenditures and carrying out project-related cost management functions;
    • Liaising between the Task Force and TC, other government departments and central agencies;
    • Coordinating with TDG Directorate for technical support from subject matter experts; and
    • Announcing the formation of any sub-working groups.
  • Meeting facilitation and management:
    • Scheduling meetings in accordance with the Chair's direction and arranging teleconference or videoconference facilities;
    • Preparing meeting agendas and any associated background material;
    • Recording decisions, dissents and action items taken by the Task Force and distributing to members for comments 15 days following the meeting.
    • Facilitating policy decisions and direction from TC senior officials, as required; and
    • Providing technical or logistical support to the Task Force respecting facility management and the communication aspects of Task Force proceedings.
  • Reporting:
    • Managing, maintaining, updating and preparing reports on the Task Force plan (including communications, change management, schedule, scope, cost, resources, deliverables and stakeholder engagement);
    • As required by the Task Force, or on its own initiative, designing and carrying out studies or implementing projects within an established budget, or as approved by the Director General, TDG; and
    • Reporting to the Director General, TDG on the status of Task Force activities and project expenditures.

TDG Directorate

The TDG Directorate will:

  • Provide full-time secretariat and specialized services to support the Task Force;
  • Identify and assign TC staff for these roles; and
  • Provide the Task Force with in-house technical expertise and analysis in the area of ERAPs and flammable liquids, and any administrative resources as required.

Meeting Frequency and Attendance

The Task Force will meet, at a minimum, on a monthly basis until June 1, 2015, or until such time as the Task Force has tabled its final report. TC may extend the mandate of the Task Force until June 1, 2016, or until such time as the Task Force has tabled its final report. The demands of the project may require more frequent meetings as decided by the Task Force and approved by the Chair.

Meetings will be held in Ottawa and teleconference and videoconference facilities will be used wherever feasible and will be available for members or observers who are unable to attend in person.

If a Task Force member is unable to attend or participate in a meeting, a selected alternate can be permitted to attend on the member's behalf.


By accepting membership in the Task Force members agree to pay any travel, meal or accommodation costs associated with attending meetings. Should any member not be in a position to travel to Ottawa for a meeting, they may join in via teleconference or videoconference (when available).

TC will entertain subsidising travel, meal and accommodation costs where attendance in Ottawa is required, for members and special advisors on specific subjects representing non-profit organisations, in accordance with Treasury Board Guidelines on travel. Process and forms can be found in Appendix B.

Regional RMS will be invited to participate in the meetings via teleconference or in person should normal business bring them to the National Capital Region.

Approved by:

TDG Emergency Response Task Force

Signed on:

TDG Emergency Response Task Force

Signed on:

A/Director General,
Signed on:


Membership Name Alternate(s) Representing
Chair Chris Powers   Transport Canada
Vice-Chair Louis Laferrière   Transport Canada
Member Michael Seth Blaine Wiggins
Arnold Lazare
Aboriginal Firefighter Association of Canada
Member Jim Bird Mark Jasper Canadian Association of Chemical Distributors (CACD)
Member Mark Ford Murray Knowles Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police
Member Denis Lauzon   Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (Canadian Volunteer Fire Services Association)
Member Ken Uzeloc J.P. Cody-Cox Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC)
Member Blake Williams Hugh MacLennan Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP)
Member Bob Goodfellow   Canadian Emergency Response Contractors Alliance
Member Adrian Michielsen   Canadian Fuels Association (CFA)
Member Jim Kozey   Canadian Pacific Railway
Member Lee Nelson   CN Rail
Member Brian Mullen   Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC)
Member Trudy Iwanyshyn   Federal/Provincial/Territorial Task Force (TDG)
Member Daniel Rubinstein   Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Member Spencer Buckland   LPG Emergency Response Corporation
Member Jim Jessop Ted Wieclawek Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management
Member Andy Ash   Railway Association of Canada (RAC)
Member Kristy Moore   Renewable Fuels Association, (United States)
Member Kevin Clifford   Saint John Fire Department
Member Bill Brehl Phil Benson
Rob Smith
Teamsters Canada
Member Clive Law   Transport Canada - TDG
Member Josée Lamoureux   Transport Canada – Marine Safety
Observer Laurie Boyle   British Columbia Ministry of Environment
Observer Giulia Brutesco   Canadian Fertilizer Institute
Observer Mélanie Levac   Canadian Propane Association
Observer Geoffrey Wood
Barrie Montague
  Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA)
Observer Dr. Glenn Millner James Panasiuk Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health (United States)
Observer David Matschke   Defence Research and Development Canada, Centre for Security Science
Observer Grant Hogg Marc-Etienne Lesieur Environment Canada
Observer Peter Grootendorst   Justice Institute of British Columbia
Observer Scott Davies   Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship, Environmental Compliance and Enforcement, Government of Manitoba
Observer Gilles Desgagnés   Ministère de la Sécurité Publique du Québec
Advisor Sara Devereaux   Transport Canada, Atlantic Region
Advisor Josée Boudreau   Transport Canada, Pacific Region
Advisor Paul Driver   Transport Canada, Prairie and Northern Region
Advisor Dan Olech   Transport Canada, Ontario Region
Advisor Eve Poirier   Transport Canada, Quebec Region
Advisor Fred Scaffidi   Transport Canada, HQ
Advisor Nicolas Cadotte Denis Foisy CANUTEC, Transport Canada
Advisor Peter Coyles   Transport Canada, Transport of Dangerous Goods
Task Force Secretariat Mylaine Desrosiers   Executive Director
Task Force Secretariat Kathie Keeley   Senior Policy Advisor
Task Force Secretariat Lindsay Jones   Policy Researcher and Advisor
Task Force Secretariat Chantal Roy-Dagenais   Special Projects Officer
Task Force Secretariat Francine Bigras   Executive Assistant
Director General TDG Nicole Girard   Transport Canada, Transport of Dangerous Goods


By accepting membership in the Task Force, members agree to pay any travel, meal or accommodation costs associated with attending meetings. Should any member not be in a position to travel to Ottawa for a meeting, they may join in via teleconference or videoconference (when available).

TC will entertain subsidising travel, meal and accommodation costs for members or special advisors on specific subjects representing non-profit organisations, in accordance with Treasury Board Guidelines on travel, where attendance in Ottawa is required.

The following process applies:

  1. Supplier and Direct Deposit forms must be completed. The secretariat will provide these forms as well as the Federal Government Travel Expenditure Guidelines.
  2. Once completed, kindly send the forms to the Secretariat by fax (613-993-5146) or by e-mail to mylaine.desrosiers@tc.gc.ca at least 10 days before the travel date.
  3. Send a brief e-mail to the Secretariat outlining an estimate of your anticipated travel costs including your Supplier and Direct Deposit forms.
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