Canada's Transport Minister Pledges World-Class Tanker System

Lisa Raitt also said Transport Canada has responded to all of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada's recommendations in its final report on the Lac-Mégantic crude oil train derailment.

Lisa Raitt,Canada's minister of Transport, announced $20-million will fund a program using the University of Victoria's oceanographic data to help Canada develop a "world-class" tanker safety system, the Vancouver Sun's Peter O'Neil reported. The funding supports the Smart Ocean Initiative being run by the university's Ocean Networks Canada program, which has observatories on land and the ocean floor, he reported.

The data could provide life-saving information about natural disasters but also will enhance navigation safety and marine oil spill prevention, Raitt said in a news release.

Raitt also announced Oct. 29 that Transport Canada has taken decisive steps to address all of the recommendations in the Transportation Safety Board of Canada's final report on the Lac-Mégantic crude oil train derailment. Transport Canada is requiring railway companies to meet standardized requirements for hand brake application and put into effect additional physical defenses to secure trains; increasing oversight by recruiting additional staff to carry out more frequent audits and creating processes for increased information sharing with municipalities; conducting further research on crude oil properties, behavior, and hazards and launching a targeted inspection campaign to verify the classification of rail shipments; requiring certain railways (including short lines) to submit training plans to Transport Canada for review; and conducting an audit blitz of short lines to determine specific training gaps.

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