Railways have a special place in Canada’s past, as they do today. They play an integral role in putting food on our tables, keeping us close to friends and family, as well as connecting hard-working farmers and manufacturers to foreign markets. We owe it to ourselves to keep our railways safe for those that use them and for those whose communities they cross.
Over the last four years, the Government of Canada has invested $73M in the Railway Safety Improvement Program to make sure railways are safe and for education and awareness. We have hired and trained more inspectors, enforced strict safety measures, put in place new grade crossing requirements and explored new safety technologies. We will continue to improve rail safety in Canada.
As Minister of Transport, I stand with Operation Lifesaver, as they effectively raise awareness and educate Canadians on the risks of taking chances around railway property and trains. Together, we have an obligation to tailor our efforts to the diverse communities in Canada. For example, with the Government of Canada’s support, Operation Lifesaver works with Indigenous communities using material in Indigenous languages. I cannot tell you how thankful I am for the efforts of Rail Safety Ambassadors who are out on the front line making a real difference.
As I start this new mandate, I can assure you that rail safety remains my top priority. As well, I know Operation Lifesaver will continue to do its important work for rail safety. My wish for 2020 and always is that all Canadians and railway companies respect the railway safety rules, be careful around railway crossings and stay safe.
The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport