An Act to amend the Railway Safety Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (transport of dangerous goods by rail)

This bill was last introduced in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in September 2019.


Linda Duncan  NDP

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)


Introduced, as of Sept. 27, 2016
(This bill did not become law.)


This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Railway Safety Act in order to specify that a railway company must not operate any railway equipment for the purpose of loading, transferring, transporting, offering for transport or storing dangerous goods above volumes or of classes specified by the regulations unless it has been specifically authorized to do so by the Minister of Transport in its railway operating certificate.

It also amends the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, in order to provide that the Minister of the Environment must designate a physical activity that poses a potentially significant risk to the environment, human life or public health.


All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Railway Safety ActRoutine Proceedings

September 27th, 2016 / 10:05 a.m.
See context


Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-304, An Act to amend the Railway Safety Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (transport of dangerous goods by rail).

Mr. Speaker, in 2005, my community of Wabamun Lake suffered the devastating impacts of a train derailment and spill of 700,000 litres of bunker C fuel and pole oil into our lake, with a sizeable amount still remaining.

That same summer, a train derailed spilling sodium hydroxide into the Cheakamus River in British Columbia, killing more than 500,000 fish.

In 2013, a runaway train carrying crude oil derailed in the town of Lac-Mégantic, killing more than 40 people and leaving the community traumatized to this day.

I arrived in this place determined to seek action on rail safety. Today, I am tabling a bill to strengthen measures to assess and regulate rail shipping of dangerous cargo.

My bill would make two significant changes to federal laws on rail safety and environmental assessment.

First, it would impose a mandatory duty to undertake a federal environmental assessment of any activity potentially dangerous to health and the environment, and it would extend the right to concerned communities to request such a review, including concerns about rail.

Second, my bill would amend the Railway Safety Act to require additional approval for specified volumes of dangerous cargo. This is critical, as dangerous rail traffic is reported to have increased a thousandfold over recent years, and the National Energy Board is forecasting an additional tenfold increase over the next 25 years. It is time for preventive action.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)